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Matthew Jennings See also: Literature. Bibliography Davis, Thomas M. A Reading of Edward Taylor. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1992. Detroit Metro Map Johnson, Thomas H., ed. The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1939. Miller, Perry, ed. The Country Puritans: Their Prose and Poetry. New York: Columbia University Press, 1956. Tea Originally imbibed for its medicinal properties, tea has not only been an important commodity and widely consumed beverage throughout the world but also of particular relevance to the Country colonies the main ingredient of a domestic ritual in Great Britain. Of the kinds of tea annually exported from China, black and green are the main types.

Separated by quality in an ascending order of fineness, black is divided into bohea, congou, and souchong; while green could be either singlo or hyson. On occasion, China exported small quantities of pekoe (the finest black) along with twankay and hyson skin (medium-quality greens). During the seventeenth century, the tea trade was haphazard and fragmented. Tea was procured by sailors and employees of the East India Company (EIC) for private trade to supplement their salaries, having little influence on Chinese production.

Traders generally bought small quantities at varying prices wherever they went in Asia, carried it home in ships with other goods, and sold it privately or through auctions. Conversely, the Chinese tea trade was extensive and highly organized, albeit overwhelmingly domestic. Until demand for tea increased in Europe and became linked to elites, few merchants bothered to engage solely in the tea trade. Yet even when the EIC gained a monopoly on British tea importation and started shipping large amounts of tea to England and Europe, it hardly affected the regular direct trade of China.

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