A bibliography of scholarship produced during the last century on the history of tea in Britain. We will update this from time to time. Please suggest further entries on the comments page.


Ashworth, William J., Customs and Excise: Trade, Production, and Consumption in England, 1640-1845 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Berg, Maxine, ‘Consumption in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Britain’, in The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain: Volume 1 – Industrialisation, 1700-1860, ed. by Roderick Floud and Paul Johnson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 357-86

Boulton, William Biggs, The amusements of old London: being a survey of the sports and pastimes, tea gardens and parks, playhouses and other diversions…from the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century (London: Nimmo, 1901)

Bowen, Huw V., ‘Tea, tribute and the East India Company c.1750-c.1775’, in Hanoverian Britain and empire: essays in memory of Philip Lawson, ed. by Stephen Taylor, Richard Connors and Clyve Jones (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1998), pp. 158-76

Bowen, Huw V., Margarette Lincoln, and Nigel Rigby, eds, The Worlds of the East India Company (Rochester, NY: Brewer, 2003)

Bowen, Huw V., Revenue and Reform: The Indian Problem in British Politics, 1757–1773 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Boxer, Charles Ralph, Dutch merchants and mariners in Asia, 1602-1795 (London: Variorum Reprints, 1988)

Bramah, Edward, Tea & coffee: a modern view of three hundred years of tradition (London: Hutchinson and Co., 1972)

Breen, T.H., The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped America (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Brenner, Robert, Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550–1653 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993)

Brewer, John and Roy Porter (eds), Consumption and the World of Goods (London: Routledge, 1993)

Brown, Peter B., In praise of hot liquors: the study of chocolate, coffee and tea-drinking, 1600-1850 (York: York Civic Trust, 1995)

Carnell, Rachel, ‘The Very Scandal of her Tea Table: Eliza Haywood’s Response to the Whig Public Sphere’, in Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture, ed. by Chris Mounsey (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2001), pp. 255-73

Carruthers, Bruce G., City of Capital: Politics and Markets in the English Financial Revolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996)

Chaudhuri, K. N., The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint-Stock Company, 1600–1640 (London: Cass, 1965)

Chaudhuri, K. N., The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660–1760 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978)

Ching, Julia and Willard G. Oxtoby (eds), Discovering China: European interpretations in the Enlightenment, Library of the history of ideas: 7 (Rochester, N.Y. and Woodbridge: University of Rochester Press, 1992)

Clare Brant, ‘Speaking of Women: Scandal and the Law in the mid-Eighteenth Century’, in Women, Texts and Histories 1575-1760, ed. by Clare Brant and Diane Purkiss (London: Routledge, 1992), pp. 242-71

Cole, R. B., ‘Form versus function : a study of some early Worcester tea wares’, Journal of the Northern Ceramic Society, 20 (2003/4), 59-64.

Cole, W.A., ‘The Arithmetic of Eighteenth-Century Smuggling: Rejoinder’, Economic History Review, 28 (1975), 44-49

Cook, Harold John, Matters of exchange: commerce, medicine, and science in the Dutch Golden Age (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2007)

Day, Samuel Phillips, Tea, its Mystery and History. With a preface in Chinese and English by Lo Fong Loh (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1878)

Dermigny, Louis, La Chine et l’Occident. Le commerce à Canton au XVIII siècle, 1719-1833 4 vols (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1964)

Dikötter, Frank, Lars Laaman, and Zhou Xun, Narcotic culture: a history of drugs in China (London: C. Hurst, 2004)

Drake, F. S., Tea Leaves: being a collection of letters and documents relating to the shipment of tea to the American colonies in 1773, by the East India Tea Company (Boston: A.O. Crane, 1884)

Emmerson, Robin, British teapots & tea drinking, 1700-1850; illustrated from the Twining Teapot Gallery, Norwich Castle Museum (London: H.M.S.O, 1992)

Evans, John C., Tea in China: the history of China’s national drink (New York and London: Greenwood Press, 1992)

Fan, Fa-ti, British Naturalists in Qing China: Science, Empire, and Cultural Encounter (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003)

Farrington, Anthony, The English factory in Japan, 1613-1623 (London: British Library, 1991)

Farrington, Anthony, Trading Places: The East India Company and Asia, 1600–1834 (London: British Library, 2002)

Feld, Steven, ‘The tea ceremony: a symbolic analysis’, in Empire of the senses: the sensual culture reader, edited by David Howes (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2005)

Forrest, Denys, Tea for the British: The Social and Economic History of a Famous Trade (London: Chatto and Windus, 1973),

Fromer, Julie, ‘“Deeply Indebted to the Tea Plant”: Representations of English National Identity in Victorian Histories of Tea’, Victorian Literature and Culture, 36 (2008), 531-47

Fromer, Julie, A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian Britain (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2008),

Frost, Thomas, ‘The tea-gardens of the 18th century’, Bygone Middlesex, ed. W. Andrews (London: The editor, 1899), pp. 164-74

Furber, Holden, Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600–1800 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1976)

Gardella, Robert, Harvesting mountains: Fujian and the China tea trade, 1757-1937 (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1994)

Glamann, Kristof, Dutch-Asiatic trade: 1620-1740, 2nd edn (‘s-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981),

Godden, Geoffrey, Oriental Export Market Porcelain and its influence on European Wares (London: Granada, 1979)

Goodman, Jordan, ‘Excitantia, or how Enlightenment Europe took to Soft Drugs’, in Jordan Goodman (ed.), Consuming habits: deconstructing drugs in history and anthropology (London: Routledge, 1995), pp. 126-47

Greenberg, Michael, British Trade and the Opening of China, 1800-42 (Cambridge: University Press, 1951)

Griffiths, John Charles, Tea: the drink that changed the world (London: Andre Deutsch, 2007)

Griffiths, Percival Joseph, The History of the Indian tea industry (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson: 1967)

Harler, Campbell Ronald, The Culture and Marketing of Tea (London: Oxford University Press, 1933)

Harvey, Karen, ‘Barbarity in a Teacup? Punch, Domesticity and Gender in the Eighteenth Century’, Journal of Design History, 21: 3 (2008), 205-221.

Heckethorn, C. W., ‘Old London Taverns and Tea Gardens’, Gentleman’s Magazine, 287 (September 1899), 223-46

Heiss, Mary Lou, The story of tea: a cultural history and drinking guide (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed, 2007)

Hillemann, Ulrike, Asian empire and British knowledge: China and the networks of British imperial expansion (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Hsia, Adrian, The Vision of China in the English Literature of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1998)

Huang, H.T., ‘Tea Processing and Utilisation’, in Science and Civilisation in China: Vol. 6, Biology and biological technology. Part 5, Fermentations and food science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 503-70

Hurford, H., Two centuries: the story of David Lloyd Pigott and company of London, tea and coffee merchants, 1760-1960 (London: Harley, 1960),

Israel, Jonathan I., Dutch primacy in world trade 1585-1740 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1989.)

Janes, Hurford, Two centuries: the story of David Lloyd Pigott and Company of London, tea and coffee merchants, 1760-1960 (London: Harley Publishing, 1960[?])

Jörg, C.J.A., Porcelain and the Dutch China trade, trans. by Patricia Wardle (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982)

Keay, John, The Honourable Company: a history of the English East India Company (London: HarperCollins, 1991)

Kennedy, Rachel, Between Bath and China: trade and culture in the West Country 1680 to 1840 (Bath: Museum of East Asian Art, [1999?]

Kowaleski-Wallace, Elizabeth, ‘Tea, Gender, and Domesticity in Eighteenth-Century England’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 23 (1994), 131-45.

Kowaleski-Wallace, Beth, Consuming Subjects: Women, Shopping, and Business in the Eighteenth Century (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1997).

Lach, Donald F., and Edwin J. Van Kley, Asia in the Making of Europe: Volume III, the Century of Advance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)

Lawson, Philip, The East India Company: A History (London: Longman, 1993)

Le livre du thé (1991); trans as The book of tea, trans. by Deke Dusinberre, preface by Anthony Burgess (Paris: Flammarion, c2005.)

Liu, Yong, The Dutch East India Company’s tea trade with China, 1757-1781, TANAP monographs on the history of the Asian-European interaction; v. 6 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007

Lu, Yü, (d. 804), The classic of tea: origins & rituals, trans. by Francis Ross Carpenter (Hopewell, NJ: Ecco Press, 1974).

Macfarlane, Alan, Green gold: the empire of tea (London: Ebury, 2003)

Mair, Victor H., and Erling Hoh, The true history of tea (London: Thames & Hudson, 2009)

Matthee, Rudi, ‘Exotic substances: The introduction and global spread of tobacco, coffee, tea, and distilled liquor, 16th to 18th centuries’, in Drugs and narcotics in history, ed. by Roy Porter and Mikulás Teich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 24-51.

McKendrick, Neil, John Brewer, and J.H. Plumb, The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth-Century England (London: Hutchison, 1983)

Merritt, Jane T., ‘Tea trade, consumption, and the republican paradox in prerevolutionary Philadelphia’, Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography, 128:2 (2004) 117-48

Mintz, Sidney, Sweetness and power: the place of sugar in modern history (New York: Viking, 1985)

Mitchell, B. R., and Phyllis Deane, Abstract of British Historical Statistics, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962)

Morse, Hosea Ballou, The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China 1635-1834, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926-1929).

Moxham, Roy, Tea: addiction, exploitation and empire (London: Constable, 2003)

Mui, Hoh-Cheung and LH Mui ‘The Commutation Act and the tea trade in Britain 1784-1793’, Economic History Review, 16: 2 (1963), 234-253

Mui, Hoh-Cheung and LH Mui, ‘Smuggling and the British tea trade before 1784’, The American Historical Review, 74: 1 (1968), 44-73.

Mui, Hoh-Cheung, and LH Mui, ‘Trends in Eighteenth-Century Smuggling Reconsidered’, Economic History Review, 1975 2nd series, 28 (1975), 28–43

Mui, Hoh-Cheung, and LH Mui, ‘William Pitt and the Enforcement of the Commutation Act, 1784-1788’, English Historical Review, 76 (1961), pp. 447-65

Mui, Hoh-cheung, Shops & shopkeeping in eighteenth century England (London: Methuen, 1987)

Mui, L.H., ‘Andrew Melrose Tea Dealer and Grocer of Edinburgh 1812–1833’, Business History, 9 (1967), pp. 31-45.

Nelson, Claire, ‘Tea-table miscellanies: the development of Scotland’s song culture, 1720-1800’, Early Music, 28:4 (2000) 596-620

Parmentier, J., Tea time in Flanders: the maritime trade between the southern Netherlands and China in the 18th century (Bruges-Zeebrugge: Port Authority; Ghent: Ludion Press, 1996)

Pettigrew, Jane, Design for tea: tea wares from the dragon court to afternoon tea (Stroud: Sutton, 2003)

Pettigrew, Jane, A Social History of Tea (London: National Trust, 2001)

Pocock, John Greville Agard, Barbarians, Savages and Empires. Barbarism and religion, Vol. 4. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Porter, David, ‘A Peculiar but Uninteresting Nation: China and the Discourse of Commerce in Eighteenth-Century England’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 33: 2 (Winter 2000), 181-199

Porter, David, ‘Writing China: Legitimacy and Representation 1606-1773’, Comparative Literature Studies, 33 (1996), 98-122

Sandra Sherman, ‘Impotence and Capital: The Debate over Imported Beverages in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, 1650-1850: ideas, aesthetics, and inquiries in the early modern era: vol. 9, ed. by Kevin L. Cope and Anna Battigelli, (New York: AMS Press, 2003) p. 142.

Schama, Simon, The Embarrassment of Riches: an Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (London: Collins, 1987)

Schivelbusch, Wolfgang, Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants, trans. by David Jacobson, (New York, Pantheon Books, 1992)

Schlegel, George, ‘First Introduction of Tea into Holland’, T’oung Pao, Second Series, 1: 5 (1900), pp. 468-472

Scott, J. M., The tea story (London: Heinemann, 1964)

Sen, Sudipta, Empire of Free Trade: The East India Company and the Making of the Colonial Marketplace (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)

Shammas, Carole, ‘The Eighteenth-Century English Diet and Economic Change’, Explorations in Economic History, 21 (1984), 254-69

Smith, Woodruff D., ‘Complications of the Commonplace: Tea, Sugar, and Imperialism’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 23:2 (1992), 259-278

Smith, Woodruff, ‘From coffee-house to parlour: The consumption of coffee, tea, and sugar in north-western Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, in Jordan Goodman (ed.), Consuming habits: deconstructing drugs in history and anthropology (London: Routledge, 1995), pp. 148-63.

Steensgaard, Niels, ‘The Growth and Composition of the Long-Distance Trade of English and the Dutch Republic before 1750’, in Rise of Merchant Empires: Long Distance Trade in the Early-Modern World, 1350-1750, ed. by James Tracey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 102-52

Steensgaard, Niels, The Asian Trade Revolution of the Seventeenth Century: The East India Companies and the Decline of the Caravan Trade (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975)

Thomas, Peter David Garner, Tea Party to Independence: The Third Phase of the American Revolution 1773-1776 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991)

Thomson, Gladys Scott, Life in a Noble Household 1641-1700 (London: Jonathan Cape, 1937)

Twining, S. H., The House of Twining, 1706-1956; being a short history of the firm of R. Twining and Co. Ltd. tea and coffee merchants (London: R. Twining, 1956)

Van Dyke, Paul Arthur, The Canton trade: life and enterprise on the China coast, 1700-1845 (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005)

Varey, Simon, ‘Three Necessary Drugs [Coffee, tea and chocolate]’, in Kevin Cope (ed.), 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era (New York: AMS Press, 1998), IV, pp. 3-51

Voskuil, Lynn, ‘Robert Fortune, Camellia sinensis, and the Nineteenth-Century Global Imagination’, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 34 (2012), 5-18

Wakeman, F., ‘The Canton Trade and the Opium War’, in J. Fairbanks (ed), Cambridge History of China, Volume 10, part 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 163-212.

Walvin, James, Fruits of Empire: Exotic Produce and British Taste, 1660-1800 (London: Macmillan, 1997)

Waugh, Mary, Smuggling in Devon and Cornwall 1700-1850 (Newbury: Countryside Books, 1991)

Waugh, Mary, Smuggling in Kent and Sussex 1700-1840 (Newbury: Countryside Books, 1985)

Weatherill, Lorna, Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture in Britain, 1660-1760 (London: Routledge, 1988)

Wills, John E., Pepper, guns, and parleys: the Dutch East India Company and China, 1622 [i.e. 1662]-1681 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1974)

Winslow, Cal, ‘Sussex Smugglers’, in Douglas Hay et al, eds, Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England (London: Allen Lane, 1975), pp. 119-66

Young, Alfred Fabian, The shoemaker and the tea party: memory and the American revolution (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1999)

Zhuang, Guotu, Tea, silver, opium and war: the international tea trade and Western commercial expansion into China in 1740-1840 ([Xiamen?]: Xiamen University Press, 1993)

Zhuang, Guotu, ‘The Impact of the International tea Trade on the Social Economy of Northwest Fujian in the Eighteenth Century’, in On the Eighteenth Century as a Category of Asian History: Van Leur in Retrospect, ed. by Leonard Blussé and Femme Gaastra (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1998)


3 thoughts on “Bibliography

  1. In the bibliography you certainly need to include C. Koninckx: The First and Second Charters of the Swedish East India Company(1731 – 1766); Van Ghemmert Publishing Co., Kortrijk (Belgium), c.1980, given that the SOIC provided a substantial proportion of the tea consumed in Britain in the middle years of the eighteenth century. Warwick University have just put the sale catalogues of the SOIC from 1733 – 1759 on line at

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