The history of sugar: 1) The extraction of sugar cane juice from the sugar cane plant... 2) The invention of manufacture of cane sugar granules from the sugar cane juice in India over 2.000 yrs ago... 3) The spread of cultivation & manufacture of cane sugar to the medieval Islamic world together w/ some improvements of production methods. 4) The spread of cultivation & manufacture of cane sugar... 5) The development of beet sugar, HFCS & other sweeteners in the 19th & 20th centuries.
Appalachia has a long history of sugar making. The Cherokees threw hot rocks into hollowed-out logs that were filled with sap. The early colonial settlers, too, quickly learned to make the sweet stuff: even though census enumerators were inconsistent in reporting maple sugar production, the 1790 output is reported for 26 Appalachian counties of southwest Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and eastern Tennessee.
Persian tea--my favorite. The history of tea culture in Iran started at the end of the 15th century. Before that coffee was the main beverage in Iran. However, most of the coffee producing countries were located far from Iran, making shipping very difficult. With a major tea producing country, China, located on a nearby trading path, "the silk road", and the shipping of tea was much easier. (wiki)