The high demand of tea in England in the 17th century and business restrictions imposed by China, which was the main source of tea then forced business people to engage in a long business chain to survive in the business. China required tea to be bought using silver. For foreign business people to get silver, they had to sell an item in China and get paid using Silver. England business people involved in the tea business engaged in opium business to ensure they got silver. They would buy opium in India, transport and sell it in China to obtain Silver, buy tea using the Silver, and transport to sell it to England. Although this business led to an increase in drugs smuggling and use among the Chinese youth, it ensured that tea remained in constant supply in England.
In the game, one has to buy Opium, sell it in China, and finally buy tea. One constantly buys opium to increase the level of stock that can be comfortably exported to China and generate sufficient Silver to buy tea. The decision of buying opium is critical as it determines the amount of capital to be invested. One has to buy when the prices are low. The next step involves selling of the Opium in China. It is advisable that one chooses to sell many crates for price to increase profit margin. Trading in a single port severally increase the risk of been caught since the business is illegal. In case one is caught, a bribe tag can be used or one forfeits the ship. A bribe tag is the best as it ensures one doesn’t loss stock.
One is given a specific target of tea to supply to England. If the target is not met, the supply contract is snatched and given to another trader. Traders are advised to buy tea when its price is low in the port of canton. The High Tea game illustrates the various dilemmas that traders are faced with while in business and the importance of the decisions they make to keep themselves in business. The game improves decision making capability while working under pressure.