As tea gained its ascendancy during the nineteenth century, discussion of the rituals surrounding its daily preparation became a discursive shortcut for talking about hospitality, family nurturance, stoicism under pressure, middle-class taste, imperial control, and other quintessential British character traits. British taste in tea merged with their hunger for sugar, another product of empire. Given the broad range of tea for sale and the high risks of adulteration, it became a feminine accomplishment for women of all ranks to know from whom to buy good tea, what good tea should taste like, and how much it should cost. Tea retained its bourgeois and gendered connotations from the midcentury onward, in that whether sold, bought, prepared, given away in bulk, or dispensed by the exquisite China cupful, tea was seen as women's work. Lipton's teas "rich, pure, and fragrant" are available "direct from the tea garden"–the vast Lipton plantation holdings in Ceylon–"to the teapot".