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Quilp, the epitome of evil in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop, seen here with Little Nell, is a dwarf with the head of a giant and a "few discolored fangs" for teeth. But his most grotesque trait is his trick of drinking "boiling tea without winking" and eating "hard eggs, shell and all." Culture Club/Getty Images hide caption

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Culture Club/Getty Images

A satire of women's social discourse in the Queen Anne period depicts six women taking tea in a parlor, with figures on the left signifying hidden emotions and power struggles behind a genteel facade. Circa 1710. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Sure, this elixir is tasty and comforting, but will it actually soothe your sore throat and help bring your voice back? Ovidiu Minzat/EyeEm/Getty Images hide caption

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Ovidiu Minzat/EyeEm/Getty Images

At Mr. John Chivery's Tea-table. An illustration from Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, originally published in serial form between 1855 and 1857. Universal History Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Tea pickers stand in the scorching sun, hand-plucking the tea leaves for about eight hours a day. Furkan Latif Khan/NPR hide caption

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Furkan Latif Khan/NPR

Tea Farmer In India Leads Charge For Organic, Evades The Charge Of Elephants

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Demand for domestic tea is so strong that Minto Island Tea Co. continues expanding production. Here, Camellia sinensis is planted on the Salem, Ore., farm. It takes three years for tea plants to mature for harvest. Courtesy of Minto Island Tea Co. hide caption

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Courtesy of Minto Island Tea Co.

Pu'er tea is packed in bings at a market in China's Yunnan province. A cake of Pu'er continues to change as it ages, and bits of tea are chipped off in order to brew. Ellen Mack/Flickr Vision via Getty Images hide caption

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Ellen Mack/Flickr Vision via Getty Images

Sir Thomas Lipton in 1909. Lipton was already a self-made millionaire before he ever entered the tea trade. But by figuring out how to lower the retail cost of tea and standardize his product "direct from the tea gardens," he became much, much richer. Library of Congress hide caption

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Library of Congress

Workers harvest autumn flush teas on a tea estate in Darjeeling, India. Autumn is the personal favorite flush of many of India's most discerning tea tasters, though these teas remain largely unknown and nearly impossible to find. Jeff Koehler hide caption

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Jeff Koehler