Tempest in a Tea Cup

The history of modern drug addiction might be said to start, innocuously enough, with a cup of tea. London diarist Samuel Pepys recorded his first taste of "tee (a China Drink)" in 1660; by the early 1700s, as cheap sugar to sweeten the brew poured in from the West Indies, the entire nation was on its way to becoming hooked. Some Englishmen were soon knocking back 50 cups a day. The English East India Company, which held the monopoly on all Eastern imports, saw its tea sales grow from 97,000 kg in 1713 to 14.5 million in 1813, making tea its...

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