Introduction: Global, European and Scandinavian Histories and the East India Trade

  • Hanna Hodacs
Part of the Europe’s Asian Centuries book series (EAC)


Nearly all tea consumed in early modern Europe came from China. Most of it was black tea, made from the tea leaves which had been withered, rolled, aired and roasted before being packed into lead-lined chests and loaded onto East India company ships. Together with textiles, tea was the most significant good in the eighteenth-century Eurasian trade. In the case of the China trade, glossy silk textiles regularly travelled on top of the tea in the East Indiamen. Sometimes it was woven or embroidered, but what really characterized the silk cargo was its many colours; it was tinted from sky blue, to crimson red and pearl grey.


Cotton Textile Eighteenth Century Silk Textile East India Company Direct Trade 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Hodacs
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesStockholmSweden

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