Home Podcasts The Green Tea History You Didn’t Know: About the History of Green Tea in Japan & the U.S. (Dr. Robert Hellyer) | Japan Station 79

The Green Tea History You Didn’t Know: About the History of Green Tea in Japan & the U.S. (Dr. Robert Hellyer) | Japan Station 79

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On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Robert Hellyer stops by to discuss the shared history of green tea in Japan and the U.S., as well as his new book Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America’s Tea Cups.

About Dr. Robert Hellyer

Robert Hellyer is associate professor of history at Wake Forest University. He is the author of Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640–1868 and coeditor of The Meiji Restoration: Japan as a Global Nation. His latest book is Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America’s Tea Cups.

Topics Discussed

  • The various kinds of green tea
  • The popularity of maccha
  • About William Alt’s success in Japan as a tea trader during the 1800s
  • About Hellyer & Company
  • Why Dr. Hellyer became interested in Japan and green tea
  • How drinking green tea was not strange or uncommon in the U.S. in the late 1800s and early part of the 1900s
  • Old American advertisements from the 19th century
  • How Japan would send delegations to World Fairs starting in the late 19th century to promote tea consumption
  • The shift from Chinese style Japanese green tea to Japanese style Japanese green tea
  • American tea culture fromt he 19th century
  • American tea parties
  • How green tea was also thrown into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party
  • Racism and xenophobia throughout the history of green tea the in the U.S. 
  • And much more!

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Links, Videos, Etc.

If you would like to pick up Dr. Hellyer’s book, you can purchase it from Columbia University Press or via the JapanKyo Amazon Affiliate link below.

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Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi) To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Chelsea Szendi Schieder

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Full Show Notes

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