When European traders in the 17th century were offered a cup of Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong black tea in China,…. they liked it. This was a breakthrough for Chinese tea, and it made it’s way to Europe via the Portuguese and Dutch ports. It was at that time that Chinese tea became a globalized beverage.
But globalization went much further later on with Chinese migrants who reversed the traders’ journey by moving to Europe. In the book Meet Me In Venice, the Author Suzanne Ma documents the life of a 17th year old girl that travels to Italy in hope for a better life.
If you’re into globalization and the Chinese culture, it’s a highly recommended book to read (of course, while enjoying a cup of authentic Chinese tea). Some reviews below:
Washington Independent Review of Books:
“Eye-opening, fascinating and beautifully written…[Meet Me in Venice] is a revealing and thought-provoking look at the true meaning of our globalized economy.”
Leslie T. Chang, author of Factory Girls and former China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal:
Meet Me In Venice tells of the courage, hardships, and dreams of a new generation of Chinese who are leaving their homeland to seek fortune and opportunity in faraway lands. Suzanne Ma brings beautiful writing, compassion, and humor to the story of seventeen-year-old Ye Pei, who journeys to Italy to pursue her dreams of success and independence—and along the way, to make a perfect cup of cappuccino. Ranging from the language schools of Qingtian to the mushroom farms and garment factories of Italy, Ma illuminates the contours of Chinese immigrant lives that are at once crucial to the global economy and invisible to the outside world.
Los Angeles Review of Books:
Meet Me in Venice “fits nicely with other path-breaking journalistic works on migration & modernization in China… beautifully crafted and poignant.”
While the Chinese tea culture is directly or indirectly part of almost every person in China, that might not be the case for the majority of the European immigrants. At Hello Tea Cup we hope that many of the next generation of Chinese migrants will rediscover the Chinese tea culture, and share it with pride.