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British Legacy Tea
During the rapid expansion of the British Empire, a new scientific interest in exotic botanicals gave rise to the transplanting of numerous species from around the globe to British territories. Commercial interests in tea emboldened the East India Company to hire Robert Fortune to dress in Chinese garb and steal the tea plants and knowledge of their processing technologies from China. Eventually, the British were able to satisfy their thirst for tea without having to depend on the Chinese. Tea gardens were planted in Northern India by the British East India Company, in Darjeeling and Assam. British tea blenders and London tea connoisseurs created new blends such as English Breakfast, which is created to be a hearty black tea blend that is complemented by cream and sugar. New tea plants gave rise to new variations in flavor, such as Assam black teas, where wild, naturally growing tea trees were spliced with the more refined Chinese plant lines. The Darjeeling region became the world's most renowned tea garden for it's subtle flavors of spicy muscatel, found only in tea grown and harvested from Darjeeling gardens.