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123 books

Death by Darjeeling

by

3.7 rating

Comment 1: I spotted the "Tea Shop Mystery" series piled on a table at a friend's house and borrowed them, as I was in the mood for a "cozy" mystery, and the trio of paperbacks also promised "Scrumptious recipes." Mysteries *and* recipes! What could be better?I have now read Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder (but not the first of the series, Death by Darjeeling). The titles are unavoidable, of course, but they also could definitely be better books. Worse, the recipes tend to be too frou-frou for my taste (though I might try out the Sweet Potato Muffins).The books are *very* firmly set in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. Having read them, I now know a great deal about the historic district of Charleston. It seems charming, but if any of the people living there are black, none of the characters is tactless enough to mention the fact.I have also learned a lot about tea and service dogs, and I'd actually love to visit Theodosia Browning's tea shop, at least as long as Delaine Dish, the annoying clothing shop owner, stayed away.But I've also learned several things about how not to write a book. For example, sentences depicting the main character's thought processes should not be repeatedly concluded "Theodosia decided." It makes very little sense and gets annoying. In addition, if you're using the close third-person point of view, and the point of view shifts away from the main character, there should be a discernible reason for it. Also, the reader feels cheated if the point of view shifts into a suspect's head and the suspect's thoughts deliberately mislead the reader - especially when the amateur sleuth's investigations proceed to have exactly the same effect.Overall, though, these are perfectly workmanlike examples of their type - that type being what I might call the Topical Mystery. The reader is assumed to want to be fed (pardon the pun) tidbits of knowledge about a consistent subject - here, it's tea, and also Charleston - as well as whatever's needful for the plot (antiques and related subjects come in a lot in this series). This is the model that Dick Francis used to extraordinary effect. Childs' efforts tend to be clunkier; more forced, somehow. It probably doesn't help, from my point of view, that I'm not interested in Theodosia's thoughts about fashion or decorating her shop and apartment, or even her relationship with her lawyer boyfriend. In fact, nearly *everything* Theodosia encounters seems to be an excuse for a mini-lecture, and that's just taking the technique too far.On the other hand, I did become quite fond of Theodosia, and her employee-friends Drayton (who has *got* to be gay but is so-tastefully never caught on screen with a man) and Haley (perpetual student and baking wizard). Overall, in fact, the characters are the best features of the books. The mysteries are perfectly adequate and even credibly constructed. The biggest treat, though, is Burt Tidwell, Charleston police detective and the epitome of "not a people person." His peculiar relationship with the amateur Theo (you couldn't call it "friendship" but it's definitely not hostility either) is the most interesting part of the book - something that is actually *not* smooth and civil and all surface value.All in all, I'd say: Good beach reads, especially for people who haven't developed my rudimentary editor's eye.

Shades of Earl Grey

by

3.9 rating

Comment 1: Theo's friend, Delaine Dish is throwing an engagement party for her niece Camille and her fiance Captain Corey Buchanan, one of 'THE BUCHANAN'S' of Charleston. This is an elegant affair and the wedding ring is being displayed for the party because it is a piece of the Estate jewelery. Unfortunately things don't go very well. As they are waiting for the couple to arrive the ring is stolen and the groom meets with a freak accident. Captain Buchanan dies and so the mystery begins, why would anyone want to kill him or was it an accident and the ring seems to have disappeared too.The following weekend the ring was supposed to be displayed at the Heritage Society's Treasures Show, that won't be happening now, but the show must go on. Even though everyone is in a tizzy over the accident, or murder, of Captain Buchanan, Theo, Drayton and Haley are planning for an open-house to introduce The Indigo Tea Shop's new line of T-Bath products.The Heritage Society goes ahead with the Treasures Show when all of a sudden the lights go out, then when the generator kicks in there is a Blue Kashmir (sapphire) necklace missing. Theo's mind goes into high gear and along with Drayton and Haley they come up with a scenario, a cat burgler, but if that's the case why is Captain Buchanan dead? The police don't agree with her, but the more Theo and her friends put their heads together they even come up with three suspects.See if you agree with them and if you can figure it out before you get to the end of the book. I am finding that these books move along kind of slow and for a mystery I'm finding more emphasis on the Indigo Tea Shop than the mystery part. I do understand that, in a way, because it is A Tea Shop Mystery series but when I hear 'mystery' I guess I expect a little more sleuthing than this book had.

Blood Orange Brewing

by

3.92 rating

Comment 1: The first half of the book is all about tea parties, dainty food, pretty settings and buying linen. A gentleman of means who was a war re-enactor is stabbed by an unknown assailant, and Thea who runs the tea-shop investigates a slightly spooky house where it occurred. Apart from some poking around in a few directions, there is no more drama until the last few chapters, which are a direct copy of Zero At The Bone; only the original is far better and more convincing. I got the distinct impression that this was fitted in at the end and had not been present in the author's head at the start, though she is entitled to switch leads of course.I would not stop anyone reading these books who likes the fussy expensive nature of the setting around a tea shop and historic homes but with the ongoing recession it seems ever less important. Some of the recipes and flavours do sound very nice. Another worry is that it really is not safe for anyone to go exploring on their own, which Thea does although we don't see her do any fitness training or sports, as they are bound to get into trouble and need help to get out of it. The heroine of Zero At The Bone was wise enough to pick a suitable guy to help her explore. Mainly if you like the series, read it, but if you want a good crime to solve by getting your hands dirty, read Zero At The Bone.

The English Breakfast Murder

by

3.89 rating

Comment 1: My 3.5 JEWEL review can be found at One Book Shy of a Full ShelfCozy mysteries have become a go-to genre for me when I want something light and fun. I like to try to solve the puzzle before the end and I enjoy tackling the twists and turns the authors throw at the reader. This book fit that requirement well.Laura Childs has created a fun series with her Tea Shop Mysteries. The characters are well written and fun to get to know. Theodosia's story this time has a lot of interesting facets to it with the task of saving sea turtles, solving a murder, skirting a little romance and promoting her tea shop all combined into one tale. There was a lot of camaraderie and action packed into this fairly quick read. The author did a good job with the red herrings as I didn't figure it out until almost the end!This is a really fun series with an enjoyable heroine who makes you want to hang out at her tea shop and go on fantastic adventures with her and her wacky cast of characters. Comment 2: Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author.5 stars... I loved this book! It has earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

The Jasmine Moon Murder

by

3.95 rating

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is catering a Charleston benefit, a "Ghost Crawl" through Jasmine Cemetery, when the organizer drops dead—and it looks like foul play. Theodosia stirs things up with her own investigation, and gets into hot water up to her neck.

Chamomile Mourning

by

3.9 rating

Charleston, South Carolina, is alive with music, dancing, and the arts as the Spoleto festival gets underway. But Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning feels far from festive when the inaugural Poet’s Tea is forced into one of the Heritage Society’s austere halls by rain. And when it rains, it pours—as proven when a respected auction house owner plummets from the balcony, landing dead on Theodosia’s specially-prepared cake. Worse yet, it looks like someone helped him over the edge. With a full kettle of suspects, Theodosia pursues an investigation into the murky swamps of the Low Country, where she uncovers a thriving criminal enterprise of art forgery, fraud—and murder…

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

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3.79 rating

Comment 1: Dolin has illuminated a subject on which I was pretty much in the dark—America’s early commerce with China. The biggest revelation for me was the direction of the opium trade. Prior to reading this work I thought that China exported opium, but now I know this was not the case. The Opium War was a series of battles fought by England against China in 1840 in which the British Navy proved far superior to the Chinese. The purpose of these battles was to stop the Chinese from enforcing their own laws Comment 2: Dolin has done an admirable job of shedding light on a fascinating aspect of American history about which we do not often hear. We have in this book an engaging cultural and social history, as well as an economic one. Yes, Dolin focuses on the exchange of goods in trade between the China and the West, beginning in the late 18th century and following the thread through to the start of the 20th century, but the stories here are so much broader than that. Dolin works from the perspective gained fro Comment 3: When America First Met China is a fascinating look at the golden age of sail as it grew from the remnants of the 18th century and into the 19th and how the rise of trade with China directly affected and influenced both America and Britain in their quests to build a country and maintain an empire. The book explores the initial trading of fur seal pelts and silk and how through expeditions and politics, diplomacy and warfare, the trade eventually turned to opium with all its consequences, both ant

Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea

by

4.27 rating

Comment 1: I read this on the recommendation of my Goodreads friend Kathryn (thank you, Kathryn!) even though I thought it might make me feel a bit melancholy, what with yearning for a companion animal yet unable to have one. But, this book is so wonderfully lovely in every way, I couldn’t help but feel happy as well as slightly sad.The cover illustration won me over, and the whole book got better and better.This is an incredibly sweet story about a lonely old man who wants a cat, not a kitten, and finds one at a shelter. The story is beautifully told. I wonder if it appeals to kids as much as it will to adults, especially older adults. I hope so because it’s a good early reader book, and I notice that it’s the first book in a long series about Mr. Putter & Tabby. There are 3 chapters: Mr. Putter, Tabby, and Mr. Putter & Tabby.The illustrations are perfect. They’re comfy and pretty and I love the style of art. They were done in pencil, watercolor, gouache, and Sennelier pastels on 90 pound vellium paper. I was going to refer to some of the illustrations but I like too many of them to single out just a few. This is a gem of a book, and I am curious about the other books in the series. This is a book I’d like to own; I enjoyed it so much.I’m giving this 5 stars not only because I loved the story and illustrations, but I was also deeply emotionally touched, and because I’ve never read a children’s book quite like this, that addresses the issues of older animals (and older people) and shelters vs. pet stores in quite this way, and there is so much included that can be discussed. Maybe the story and illustrations aren’t truly amazing, but they were to me, and so from me it’s 5 stars.

365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know

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3.63 rating

Comment 1: It was just okay. There were probably more quotes on tea than actual facts. So I got a few new tid bits, but there were too many quotes for what I was looking for. Comment 2: Filled with 365 little snippets on tea facts, rituals, poetry and little recipes. Pure delight for tea drinkers!

Alice's Tea Cup: Delectable Recipes for Scones, Cakes, Sandwiches, and More from New York’s Most Whimsical Tea Spot

by

4.14 rating

Comment 1: I was shocked when I found out that this book contains the same exact recipe I use for my burgers (that I "created" on my own when I was 12!) Well, minus the 2 teaspoons of ketchup, that I don't add. I don't really like the use of ketchup in cooking but I tried it and it was not noticeable at all.. so hey, why not. That says one thing about the book: it's reliable. I bookmarked a few recipes that I can't wait to try. The Mocha Chocolate Chip Cake is one of them. Though their center focus is scon Comment 2: This book is worth buying even if just for the scone recipes alone! Oh mercy, I love this book. It is the story of two sisters who started a tea room and they share their recipes with the rest of us. There are Buttermilk scones, Pumpkin scones, Black Forest Ham and Cheese scones, Mixed Berry Scones, Walnut Scones, Peanut Butter and Jelly Scones, Turtle Scones (just like the candy and my favorite scone), Vanilla Bean Scones, Peppermint Stick Scones, Cinnamon Scones, Banana Butterscotch Scones, an Comment 3: In 2001, Alice’s Tea Cup opened on Seventy-Third Street in New York, a magical hideaway where tea could be savored with a bit of whimsy and happiness. The success of the Fox sisters is now ours to enjoy in this delightful collection of recipes for scones, teas, cakes, soups and sandwiches from the restaurant menu. Alice’s Tea Cup is a veritable feast for the eyes and palette.

The Book of Tea: The Classic Work on the Japanese Tea Ceremony and the Value of Beauty

by

3.81 rating

Comment 1: سحرني هذا الكتاب بروعته وجماله..علّمني على أن أرى الجمال في كل ماحولي في هذه الأمواج المتلاطمة المسماة الحياة.لامستني حروف وكلمات وجمل الكتاب لتعطيني معاني راقية وكما قال الكاتب:" الجمال موجود في كل مكان إذا ما اخترنا أن نراه".أعطاني دروسا في حضارة الشاي الذي تعلقت به وأحببته أكثر بعدما علمت الحضارة الصينية واليابانية لطقوس تحضير الشاي واستعمالاته....علّمني أن أحاول أن أعيش وأستمد النقاء الذي نفتقده في هذه الحياة القصيرة العابرة..وللزهور في هذا الكتاب نصيب فهي المرافق في الحزن والفرح..هذا الكتاب Comment 2: رائعة والترجمة تستحق مني خمسة نجمات وأكثر :)العبارات جميلة والكلمات تحتاج لوقت طويل للتأمل والتفكر.. كتاب جدا رائع محتواه جدا متفرد تعرفت من خلاله على ثقافات الدول الأقصى شرقية (اليابان والصين)تفهمت لأسباب تقديسهم لأمور جدا صغيرة يمكن تعتبر عامة ما لها أي تأثير في حياتنا العصرية! تقديسهم للجمال والفن والحياة الثرية شدني كثير وطريقة تفكير مذهب الزن والتاوية تعجبت منه ومن البساطة والتواضع والشعور المرهف كلها قيم تجدها في هذا الكتاب القيم

A Time For Tea: Travels Through China and India in Search of Tea

by

3.69 rating

Comment 1: ah well, I wrote it... But in fact I'm as proud of it now (having carefully scanned and proofed the text for the new ebook version) as I was when it first came out.The New York Times review, by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt:Was it that in his boyhood dreams of glory he imagined himself to be one Captain Hawkeye (until spectacles were prescribed), who “owed a lot to a cherished line of English traders and pirates”? Or was it simply because among his two grandmothers’ cluttered possessions he had found Chinese tea caddies from their British imperial pasts?Whatever the cause, readers are fortunate. For a young English travel writer named Jason Goodwin has been inspired by something in his past to devote his funny, evocative first book to the history and geography of tea. After all, tea is a fluid that one might take for granted these days, but a Zen myth holds it to have originated when a monk frustrated by his sleepiness tore off his eyebrows and cast them on the ground, whereupon the first tea bushes sprang up to provide him with a stimulant. And a 19th-century writer in the Edinburgh Review compared tea to nothing less than the truth: “suspected at first, though very palatable to those who had courage to taste it.”In fact one takes tea so for granted that instantly upon thinking about it one encounters one’s ignorance: In what sort of soil does it grow? How is it processed for market? Is there a system for grading it? Why can’t one grow it in the garden?But Mr. Goodwin, a charming tease, withholds instant gratification. Instant of cutting straight to the cha (as tea is called in Chinese), he first exercises his skill at evoking a sense of place. “In Hong Kong the inanimate do business along with the quick. Each ramp on a concrete flight of steps proclaims the merit of a product; dustbins call your attention to the Hong Kong Bank; an enormous Marlboro cowboy hangs tough on the flank of a high-rise — as you come close, he shyly disintegrates into a swirl of meaningless squiggles but recomposes himself, as moody as ever, as you walk away.”Or he deftly dissolves the present into the past, for instance by riding the Hong Kong-Canton hydrofoil and then imagining what it must have been like for ships of the East India Company to travel in and out of the Pearl River estuary at the height of the tea trade 200 years ago.Or he sums up Chinese history in a few brush strokes: “China’s concern through millennia has been to keep floods and barbarians controlled. The Great Wall of China was like a dam to hold back people.”But one wants him to get on with it. How many kinds of tea are there? What is the difference between the best and the worst?All in good time, gentle reader. As Professor Zhuang, chairman of the Fujian Tea Society, explained to the author when asked about classifying teas: “There is a system. It makes about 8,000 distinctions. Perhaps there are more exceptions to the system than distinctions within it. I have 73 years in tea, but I do not know the system. . . . In the West you use an alphabet. In China we learn characters. It is the same with tea.”By and by one gets the point. Mr. Goodwin is not going to explain tea. It is far too complex a subject to systematize. When the Japanese seized Taiwan in 1895 and rationalized the business of buying tea, they came up with the following grades: “Standard, Fully Standard, Standard to Good, On Good, Good Leaf, Good, Fully Good, Good Up, Good to Superior, Fully Superior, Superior Up, Superior to Fine, On Fine, Fine, Fine Up, Fine to Finest, Finest to Choice, Choice, Strict Superior, Choicest and Fancy.” One could get confused.What Mr. Goodwin has in mind is to reveal the process of growing, preparing and marketing tea in its natural setting. So we visit auctions and tea gardens, learn about the agony of the leaves and the twist, witness the process of fermentation and drying.And then comes the climactic moment when Armajeet Sing, a Darjeeling broker, bends over the tasting table of a tea-garden manager named Navim. “Armajeet’s nose descended on the volcano. It was a historic nose, a Persian nose, passed down from Zoroastrian priests to hawking desert lords, from hawkers to warriors and from warriors to the invaders who rode into the desert of Rajasthan. It was quite large but straight and slim; the skin was fine and very pale over a slender bridge, with nostrils that might have been turned in Cremona. It flared over the volcano, burrowed in and re-emerged with a scattering of wet tea-leaves adhering to its tip, which trembled slightly over the verdict. The small mustache was a discreet cushion for the instrument.“Armajeet straightened up. Navim stooped anxiously.” ‘Very useful,’ said the Nose. For a brief moment I thought I saw Navim actually smile.”Mr. Goodwin ends on an offbeat note. He describes the sad fate of the clipper ship Cutty Sark, which was built in 1869 for speed but arrived on the scene just as the age of steam began and was “petrified by history.” Like Mr. Goodwin’s fantasy Captain Hawkeye, the Cutty Sark came too late to trade tea.But if ship and swashbuckler are ossified, Mr. Goodwin’s imagination stays vibrant. It has summoned up all the tea in China and India. And made one thirst for a spicy cup of the brew.end of review

The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History

by

3.46 rating

Comment 1: Great history of tea and the only source I can find so far talking candidly about the oppressions of the tea industry and ways to combat it and find ethical/more just tea sources. I wasn't expecting it to be as spiritual as it was (although the author is a reverend-- should've done my research!) and the main point storyline of the book is actually about this service support organization developing a tea cafe. It was still great and I learned a lot, but I think the title and subtitle led me to be Comment 2: The Way of Tea and Justice recounts the amazing journey of Becca Stevens and her group at thistle farms as they established a tea cafe to help women off the streets heal and rebuild their lives. Becca Stevens is a pastor and much of the book reflects the ups and downs of her journey and how her passion for justice and love for her faith kept her focused even through some very difficult times in her life. Her concept of tea as a way to heal sent her on a journey to learn more about the history an Comment 3: In the stress of the holiday season, this has been a perfect read for me. Almost every sentence feels like something I should quote or stitch onto the proverbial pillow to review again and again. Becca Stevens uses the human rights violations in the history of tea to represent the former violence and victimization in the lives of the women that are being restored at the Magdalene rehabilitation center. Her dream is to create the Thistle Cafe to be both a symbol and physical living proof of the r

The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time For Tea: Travels Through China and India in Search of Tea

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3.64 rating

Comment 1: This is no dry history but a thoroughly enjoyable journey through China and India with a witty and erudite tea enthusiast! Having read the author's history of the Ottoman empire (Lords of the Horizons)I expected to be entertained along the way and was not disappointed as he re-traced the steps of his 2 grandfathers, both involved in the tea trade, and mused on the decline of the Empire. Comment 2: I really enjoyed reading this book. Tea has a fascinating history and the author does a great job taking the reader from its complicated beginnings to the modern day.

Dragonwell Dead

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3.94 rating

It's springtime in Charleston and just about every species of South Carolina's flora is in full and glorious bloom at the Spring Plantation Ramble. Once a year, the upper crust open their sprawling gardens to the public, the site of flower shows, rare plant auctions, and a contagious spring fever. Although Theodosia Browning barely knows a Phalinopsis from a Bog Rose, she still enjoys the Ramble, especially since she can pour tea and promote her Indigo Tea Shop-and her latest concoction, Dragonwell Sweet Tea.

Tea: The Drink that Changed the World

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3.66 rating

Comment 1: This easy-reading book was a well-researched and written text on the world history of tea. I would classify this as a "reader's digest" version of tea history, as the bibliography's primary resources for this book included some of the most outstanding tea history books. This would be a great book for tea enthusiasts who aren't ready to ready to commit to reading a tome like "The True History of Tea" (Victor Mair et al) but still want to develop an appreciation for the breadth and depth of tea's Comment 2: Laura Martin's book is a useful overview of the history of tea, which begins with an account of the development of tea drinking culture in China, Korea, and Japan. The book then discusses the Europe's introduction to tea, the role of the Dutch and British East India Companies, and 19th-century national conflicts (such as the opium wars) that resulted from the tea trade. Martin's account of tea in the 2oth and 21st centuries is somewhat thin, but she does provide a glimpse into the problems with Comment 3: A little more basic than I was hoping for, but not bad as an overview and plenty of fun historical anecdotes. The British are even bigger bastards than I realised, predictably. The writing was too brief and vague at times, especially in the sections on pre-modern China and Japan, but the bibliography looks decent. I'm mining it for sources.

The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

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3.93 rating

Comment 1: If you really love tea and want to learn more about it, this is your text. It covers a myriad of topics, including the origin of tea in China; its cultivation in India by the English, who stole tea plants from China; the harvesting and processing of six types of tea; tips for brewing and serving tea; and its health benefits. My only quibbles are that the chapter on cultivation could have been a bit more engagingly written, and I would have liked to see South African Rooibos and South American Ye Comment 2: This was an incredibly disappointing book. First, it was full of typos, tortuously crafted sentences, and formatting errors. It had some of the worst editing that I have encountered in a published book. The book read like it was written by a committee: the chapters did not flow into each other; lots of information was needlessly repeated, yet it was never very well explained; and the book did not seem to be a coherent whole. I don't feel any more informed about tea than before I opened this book Comment 3: I liked that this book covered not only manufacturing and industry, taste, regional variances, and terroir but included the history of tea and its relationship to global economics and colonialism, the different plants, particular teas, and rituals. I especially liked that the authors included a section on organic and fair trade regulation in regards to tea. I wish they'd included more but they named the important institutions and included a comparison of European standards to US standards.

A Social History of Tea

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4.14 rating

Comment 1: Tea is my favourite drink, so I'm curious about its history and origins; how and why it has been enjoyed over the centuries. As an english woman, I have grown up drinking it and often think to myself as I sit down with a cup, how many generations have gone before me, using this same drink as a source of comfort and warmth. Hopefully I will get some interesting answers! Comment 2: Well researched, lots of details about purchases and prices. The author went to a lot of work to put together a thorough book about tea, but it is a bit monotonous in places. Comment 3: The book worked out well. It is nicely illustrated and nicely researched, especially in the early years.

Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West

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3.65 rating

Comment 1: This was a very pleasant and excellent read. I liked the organization, starting in the East, then working its way to the West, following the history and dissemination of tea around the world. The last two parts then go into trivia and other common facts about tea as well as looking at the economics of what is now a worldwide industry. By the time you are done reading this, you will have learned something about tea. The author uses a very evocative tone in the narrative that will have you longing Comment 2: This was an awesome little history of the cultivation and drinking of tea, from its first cultivation in China, to its spread to Japan, and then the European discovery and colonization to get their hands on everyone's favorite leaf. There are good side chapters on the opium wars and the quest to find the secret to china (the porcelain, not the country). The book sums up with a discussion of tea cultivation in the modern era, including fair trade and organic gardening practices. This book was a p Comment 3: This book reaches back into the deep history of China and the first tea drinkers and explores the spiritual, historical, economic, and social impact our love of tea has wrought across time and across continents. It's an amazing story, and one well worth reading. I was enchanted by parts of this book, and shocked by others (though by now I should no longer by shocked by any of the things one country or one people will do to another - it's not like our mistreatment is anything I haven't heard of b

The Empire of Tea

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3.12 rating

Comment 1: I'm not sure this book deserves a second star, but I'm in a generous mood today, so let's run with it.Let's start with the good things. The introductory chapter where Iris Macfarlane discusses living on an Assam tea plantation with her husband is simply fascinating--even if she paints herself with a rather saintly brush. The rest of the book has interesting parts, but is so disorganized that to find them you have to dig. The author goes off on tangents and, I suspect due to the disorganization, is highly repetitive. I also question some of the assertions such as the one repeated ad nauseum that tea is "strength-giving." I don't think I got through a chapter without seeing this driven into my skull. I agree completely that tea brought health, and I'm sure the caffeine did wonders, but "strength-giving?" Were the drinkers healthier? Well, yes, and this can probably be attributed to drinking water that had been boiled first. The author gives no evidence for "strength-giving" or any reason for it to be so, just it was and really it was and did you know it was.The author also relies heavily on long quotations and excerpts from other sources. The sections are so long and without analysis, I wonder if he was trying to reach a page quota. Although primary sources are interesting, paragraph after paragraph of a British colonial-era apologist borders on the absurd. I walked away knowing only a little more about tea and I turned the last page with a sense of relief. Rather than this, read A History of the World in Six Glasses; it's a better book with more information and more analysis. Plus you get five more beverages--A BARGAIN!!!

Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire

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3.56 rating

Comment 1: I love tea. More than coffee these days. I have to have my morning cup! So I was interested in reading about the history of tea. I thought it would be a fun and interesting "story". I was really shocked and amazed while reading this book. There is a lot to this story that is amazing in this interesting and well researched book. And in many ways, it is a shocking statement about what a colony really is. I had never really thought about what it means to be a colony. But through both of Roy Moxham's books, one about the salt tax in India and this one about tea in India and elsewhere, I have learned the horrible truth about what a colony really is. If you only take one thing away from his books, it is to learn what it means to be a colony. An absolutely astonishing and shocking statement. And yet we have the British to thank for the world wide love of tea. It is easily available and widely loved. But at great suffering for the people of India in the past, something that is not well known.I had always thought that tea, black tea, was a product of India. I was amazed to learn that while there may have been a few tea trees in the jungles of Assam a long time ago, it was the British who wanted to get tea away from the Chinese, who started growing it in India, starting from the early 1800s. Before the British, there was no tea drinking in India!! Also, I had assumed that durning the long trips to England, the green Chinese tea on board the British ships had continued to ferment and that created the black tea that we know today. But that seems to be incorrect. It seems to be true that the Chinese also created black teas as well as their oolong teas and green teas. China is the origin of tea drinking. All other countries, including Japan and India, got the tea trees (tea is a tree!!) from China! The British just continued the tradition. They had imported the green teas as well as the black. The black teas were just more popular in England.This book is about the history of tea in relation to British tea drinking and tea culture in Britain as well the the British efforts to first import tea from China, then to grow it in India and Ceylon (and later elsewhere). But more than anything, it is the growing of tea in India, how the British went about it, that is fascinating and shocking at the same time. You will learn the true meaning of what it means to be a colony. And what avarice really is. If you want to understand the true meaning of avarice read Roy Moxham's book about the salt tax in India as well: The Great Hedge of India. These two books have opened my eyes to what a colony is and how horrible it is to be a colony. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of tea and the history of India.

The Book Of Tea

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3.81 rating

Written in 1906 by a future philosopher, curator and Zen teacher, this book, which was intended to be read aloud in a famous salon, interweaves the history of tea with Japanese society. It also contains essays on spirituality, poetry and art.

The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea

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3.78 rating

Comment 1: This little treasure enlightens the reader about the art of taking tea, especially at the 'Ritz' - the last delicious morsel of Edwardian London!This type of outing allowed a lady to dine alone (or in company) without the riggers of a chaperone - to partake of tea, delicate sandwiches and tempting little cakes and pastries.The book describes the handed-down precision of decking out a sumptuous table for the most discerning food critic.And for the Ritz, it is a practice that has been demonstrated for 100+ years.It takes the reader down memory lane of the once afternoon tea in the children's nursery; or the Sunday best for tea with Granma; or the delightful games of playing tea parties with our toys when we were young!Sweet and savoury delights highlight the chapters of Winter and Summer Teas.Detailed recipes for mille feuilles, chocolate eclairs and strawberry tarts are some of the tasty teasers that fill the pages.English, foreign and wicked cakes also make an appearance at the 'High Teas'.And not to forget the 'main event' - the history of tea drinking and a directory of teas.From Assam to Lapsang Souchong; from Darjeeling to Jasmine and Russian Caravan.And not to forget my favourite 'Earl Grey' - a refreshing fragrant yet delicate brew especially when served in a delicate bone china service!mmmmmmhhhhh!

Taking Tea at the Savoy

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3.28 rating

Thè, té, cha, chai—tea is a universal beverage. It links the solemnity of the Japanese tea ceremony and the sustaining high tea of British school children; it can be green or black, fragrant or smoky. To take tea at The Savoy is to combine tradition with all the elegance and sophistication that befits one of London’s great hotels. Anton Edelmann, The Savoy’s Maître Chef des Cuisines, offers exquisite recipes with tales that conjure up leisure time in a bygone era, set against the romantic story of tea and its journey to the West. Here is afternoon tea at its most stylish—aromatic brews, delicate porcelain, impeccably presented dainties. Indulge in feather-light palmiers or cinnamon madeleines. Savor delicate cucumber sandwiches or fragrant honey and ham biscuits for an al fresco summer tea, or luscious cakes to chase away winter doldrums. Taking Tea at the Savoy is a book to inspire endless afternoons of delight.

The Tea Lover's Guide

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4.2 rating

English edition translated from the original French version « Le guide de dégustation de l'amateur de thé »   ====   Voici l’ouvrage de référence indispensable à toutes celles et ceux qui s’intéressent au thé.   Parcourant depuis 20 ans les plantations pour sélectionner les thés les plus rares, les créateurs du Palais des Thés dévoilent dans ces pages les mille et un secrets qui leur ont été confiés au gré de leurs périples.   Impressionnante somme d’informations, toujours délivrées avec clarté et pédagogie, ce guide vous entraîne dans les jardins de thé, à la rencontre de ceux qui, avec passion et patience, dédient quotidiennement leur savoir-faire au plaisir d’amateurs du monde entier.   François-Xavier Delmas et Mathias Minet passent chaque année des milliers de crus au crible de leur expertise. Ils livrent ici les clés de l’art de la dégustation, les indispensables conseils pour préparer l’infusion et la sélection des 50 thés, qu’ils estiment être les meilleurs au monde.   Les Editions du Chêne, 240 pages dont 210 photos et illustrations.   Guide en anglais.

Tea: A Global History

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3.54 rating

Comment 1: This book is great for tea lovers. There are beautiful photos of leaves, tea ceremonies, tea-houses and whatnot. And, Saberi goes into great detail about the difference between the cultivation and consumption of tea in various countries, including brewing practices and pruning methods. Obviously, it's boring but if you get through this and memorize some of the key terms, you might impress some older folks at a dinner party. I will revisit this book again at some point because it will make me tha Comment 2: This one was a easy and enjoyable read, especially for a tea lover. It touches on the history of tea and the role it has played in a variety of countries both in the past and in current times but manages a good balance between giving enough information to keep the reader interested but without bogging down the writing or trying to sound like a text book. The only downside is that author does skip Africa and South America, mostly focusing on Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Even if thes Comment 3: Part of Reaktion's Edible series. Be warned, this is very brief. It does its best, but the point of the series is to give an introduction to the history of a food item in 150 pages or so. If that's all you want or need, or if you've read other, more in depth books about tea, you'll probably enjoy this one. It's nicely written and illustrated. But if you've never read a history of tea, or if you want more information, you may find this one frustrating.

The Japanese Way of Tea: From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu

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4.27 rating

Comment 1: An interesting look at the history of tea in Japan. The author wanders a little and repeats himself a lot but some of that may be that this is a translation of a Japanese book. A knowledge of some of Japanese and Chinese history is essential to understand this book but otherwise an interesting read.

The Tea Ceremony

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4.12 rating

Comment 1: One of the two penultimate books in the english language about the mystery and traditions of the Japanese ideal of tea. This is the first book I read about the tea ceremony, and I'm glad. Tanaka-san begins by walking you through both the history and evolution of the tea ceremony, which gives the reader a WAY better understanding of why the ceremony exists at all. It's this basis that allows the later portions describing the nuts and bolts of the ceremony to take on a deeper, richer meaning.

The Chinese Art of Tea

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3.97 rating

Comment 1: The strength of this book is in it's collected information. I didn't care for all of the personal anecdotes. The author seemed to think of himself as a ladies man and I really couldn't care less about that aspect of his "tea" knowledge. If you can get past that, then there is a lot of good information on varieties, history of, and prepartion of classic Chinese teas. When the author sticks to the history of tea in Chinese culture the book is at it's strongest. Unfortunatly it seems to have become Comment 2: While dated, this book gives a window into pre-WWII China and the tea culture that thrived there. There is very good information about various varieties of orthodox tea that still holds true and makes it a useful reference. Comment 3: A good introduction to Chinese tea culture, accessible and interesting. The author's writing style is charming, and the book gives a picture of tea within its historic and cultural contexts.

The Book of Green Tea

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3.22 rating

Comment 1: Had a lot of good information about different teas and their sources. I learned a lot about how teas were processed and various histories about tea. However, all of the descriptions about the drink itself seemed to run together with few exceptions. There was an overuse of unhelpful descriptive words (such as "lovely" or "yellow green liquor") that didn't make any tea really stand out. I also wasn't really that interested in the beauty or cooking sessions, but there is a lot of information there

The Great Tea Rooms of Britain

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4.12 rating

Comment 1: Assisted by the British Tea Council (!), Richardson visited 22 of the best tea rooms in Britain, from London to North Wales to Scotland. The writing is gushing but doesn't really excite one's tastebuds. The photographs are odd: clearly staged, but nevertheless a bit awkward and clumsy looking. Trays of pastries are badly lit, or are set so far back in the photograph that all details are lost. Oftentimes sandwiches curl at the edges, as though dried out, and the bread is separated from its fillings. Chocolate eclairs have depressingly cracked tops and lumpen shapes. The pictures have no captions, and often the recipes are not accompanied by a photo of an example (or if they are, I can't tell--it's hard for an untutored eye to distinguish between a Sally Lunn, Welsh Cakes, Bara Brith, and drop cakes. I'm sure they've very different! But without labels, I surely can't tell one from another.) And yet, there is something really enticing about this book. It's so earnest, and the hints of history (this is where "dyed in the wool" originated/this is where Wordsworth died/Henry VIII ate these) are tantalizing. Plus, it's hard to say no to pastries stuffed with cream. Reading this book made me want to jump on a plane to the UK, so--well done, British Tea Council! You win again!

Tea at the Blue Lantern Inn: A Social History of the Tea Room Craze in America

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3.94 rating

Comment 1: My husband got this book some years back since he was researching tea. Since I enjoy drinking tea and visiting tea rooms plus love reading about history, I thought I would give this book a try. The book is attractive, with a lovely cover and inside are many illustrations and photos. The book is also well researched, lots of information. Although the book is only 180 pages, it took much longer to read than I thought. I am glad I read the book and it was interesting and informative, but the book b Comment 2: It's very anecdotal which gets a little old in the second half (mainly I was disappointed that it didn't mention MINE - The window Garden in Cincinnati). It offers many insights into womens' lives in the early 20th century. We take so much for granted: women today can easily walk into a restaurant unescorted but it used to be unthinkable. Also I had no idea that tea rooms in Greenwich Village were quite the bohemian thing to the point that they became tourist attractions. Comment 3: This was an interesting book, but I found it to be quite dry. Whitaker went into great detail in describing the tea rooms, their menus and their names (sometimes a little too much detail for me). I was also interested in the social aspects and changes that brought about the "tea room craze," and I just felt that I didn't get as much of that as I wanted.

The Boston Tea Party

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3.88 rating

Comment 1: The significance of the Boston Tea Party is described in this narrative nonfiction piece of story-telling that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. Straightforward text and primary source quotes from townspeople and participants offer details that make the rebellious act come alive. The text is accompanied by large muted illustrations that will enhance readers’ understanding. This book would be a great supplement for social studies teachers. Back matter includes an afterword, bibliography, Comment 2: As he always does, Russell Freedman has once again brought the Boston Tea Party, arguably the event that started America's Revolutionary War, to life. How does he do that, given that the act of dumping tea into the Boston harbor has been covered in just about every elementary social studies text ever published? He relies on research, of course, and tells the story of this act of protest that started small and gained momentum through the eyes of its participants, their family members or onlookers Comment 3: This book gives the story of the Boston Tea Party. It begins by talking about when the ship full of tea came to the harbor and why the people did not want the tea. It then talks about the men who disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians and went aboard the tea ships. The tea was then thrown overboard on all of the ships while the towns people watched. It then gives and afterword, explaining what happened after the Boston Tea Party and what happened in the American Revolution. There were many first

The Twelve Teas of Christmas

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4.4 rating

Comment 1: This is a lovely book, with twelve themed tea parties for Christmas. The themes each party is built on are well thought out parts of the holiday season. Barnes has included some simple recipes for each of the twelve parties, as well as ideas for decorations and activities. Clough's paintings are the perfect compliment to Barnes' lush holiday descriptions.

Breakfasts and Teas: Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions

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3.29 rating

Comment 1: As with Paul Pierce's Suppers book which I reviewed earlier, this book is an extravagant, faintly racist collection of menus and party ideas, with almost no recipes and no illustrations.

Tea with Jane Austen

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3.94 rating

Comment 1: This is a delightful and very informative book detailing the importance of tea in the lives of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. There are historical facts concerning the rise of tea to the prominence it gained in Austen's era. What makes this book special are the excerpts from Austen's books and letters that provide examples of buying and serving tea and the part it plays in daily life. Lovely sketches accompany the text in this book that is produced on high quality paper. It's a trip back in Comment 2: Tea is an important part of all Jane Austen's works. She was the keeper and maker of tea in her family and each chapter of this small book contains a description of how tea was served at a particular place or time of day. It includes history, recipes, and even how to make a perfect cup of tea. Comment 3: Much more interesting than you might expect, facts about tea and how tea played out within the strict hierarchy of Recency era England were informative. Excerpts from Austen's works and correspondence rounded it out, and the recipes within were so much fun to read.

Tea: A Global History

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3.51 rating

From oolong to sencha to chai, tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Perhaps that is because it is a uniquely adaptable drink, consumed in many different varieties and ways by cultures across the globe and in many different settings, from the intricate traditions of the Japanese tea ceremony to the elegant tea-rooms of Britain to iced tea drunk on the verandas of the American Deep South. In Tea food historian Helen Saberi explores this rich and fascinating history. Saberi looks at the economic and social uses of tea, such as its use as a currency during the Tang dynasty; its role in American independence at the Boston Tea Party; afternoon tea drunk by the British in India; and the 1913 creation of a tea dance or Thé Dansant that combined tea with tango. Saberi also explores where and how tea is grown around the world and how customs and traditions surrounding the beverage have evolved from its legendary origins to its present-day popularity. Featuring vivid images as well as recipes from around the world, Tea is a refreshing and stimulating treat.

High Tea

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2.7 rating

Comment 1: This book was something of an anomaly for me--contemporary fiction, with no fantasy or historical element? Strange! But when I spotted it in the bookstore I was immediately suckered in by the adorable cover, and the promise of one of my very favorite things in the world: TEA. It turned out to be a very pleasant read. Likable characters, great food (I want to try the coffee cake recipe!), the prerequisite beverage of choice, and even a bit of antiquing thrown in (always a bonus). Good stuff. Reco Comment 2: A fun, light and easy book :) If you know me, you know why this book would appeal to me - 1) the main character's name is Margaret, 2) she's British, 3) I lived in the L.A. area for over 25 years and 4) when I visit my sister in L.A., we often go to tearooms! So it was perfect really. I loved that Margaret is an older lady (no, I'm not as old as her, lol) who had to make some life choices and didn't know what to do. I liked her perfectionism at first but willingness to change later. I liked that Comment 3: When I first picked this book up I thought the cover was really cute & pink. I never really go for novels that look like that but then I was also looking for something different from what I usually read. I think the cover is a bit decieveing. For me this book had too many characters. I wish the writer would have concentrated more on the life of Margaret Moore and her Tearoom at Magpie's instead of the airheaded actresses and actors that surrounded her. I really did try to like this book but

All the Tea in China

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4.16 rating

Comment 1: I have to give this book a few stars, since it was, in its time, incredibly informative, and remains still highly readable and eminently enjoyable. However, even at the time, _All The Tea in China_ contained at least a few major errors, and the information is, today, often outdated. (E.g., at the time of this book's publication, finding yellow tea in China would have been quite difficult, and impossible outside China. Today, yellow tea is commonly available from US importers.) However, if read i

Gunpowder Green

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3.84 rating

Tea shop owner Theodosia Browning knows that something’s brewing in the high society of Charleston—something other than her newest tea… The Indigo Tea Shop, Charleston’s favorite spot of tea, has just come out with its latest flavor: Gunpowder Green. Theodosia Browning cannot wait to hear its praises as it is unveiled at the annual yacht race. But when she hears the crack of an antique gun meant to end the race, a member of Charleston’s elite falls dead. Theodosia has a hunch that his demise was no accident—and will go out of her way to prove it. But if she doesn’t act fast, Theo will find herself in hot water with some boiling-mad Charlestonians—and more than a little gun-chai… Includes a delicious recipe and tea-making tips!

Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice

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3.88 rating

The tea ceremony persists as one of the most evocative symbols of Japan. Originally a pastime of elite warriors in premodern society, it was later recast as an emblem of the modern Japanese state, only to be transformed again into its current incarnation, largely the hobby of middle-class housewives. How does the cultural practice of a few come to represent a nation as a whole? Although few non-Japanese scholars have peered behind the walls of a tea room, sociologist Kristin Surak came to know the inner workings of the tea world over the course of ten years of tea training. Here she offers the first comprehensive analysis of the practice that includes new material on its historical changes, a detailed excavation of its institutional organization, and a careful examination of what she terms "nation-work"—the labor that connects the national meanings of a cultural practice and the actual experience and enactment of it. She concludes by placing tea ceremony in comparative perspective, drawing on other expressions of nation-work, such as gymnastics and music, in Europe and Asia. Taking readers on a rare journey into the elusive world of tea ceremony, Surak offers an insightful account of the fundamental processes of modernity—the work of making nations.

Tea and Tea Drinking

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3.53 rating

Comment 1: As a devoted tea drinker, Anglophile, and history buff, I've been meaning to read up of tea's long relationship with British society. I noticed several lengthy books on the subject, but haven't picked one up until discovering the charming Comment 2: An absolutely delightful book! It's a very brief and concise history of tea. Lots of great info and wonderful pictures. I read it while in England where they love to drink to - as do I. :)

The Tea Chest

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3.59 rating

A beautifully engaging novel set in the world of a boutique London tea shop. 'I loved it - a perfect blend of sweet and spice.' - Jenny Colgan 'What a gloriously wonderful read. I loved it.’ - Cathy Kelly Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she'd be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family's future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down. Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again. When the three women's paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's magical vision for London's branch of The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other. With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what's important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves? An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it's a world you won't want to leave.

The Charms of Tea: Reminiscences and Recipes (Victoria)

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4 rating

Comment 1: Nice enough book, beautiful pictures as usual from Victoria magazine. This was sort of an aspirational book for me, as I've always wanted to have a ritual of afternoon tea but have not managed to do so. Perhaps when Himself really retires, since he's the real tea drinker in the family. You will find information about teas and the food that goes with them, including recipes. Comment 2: Oh my goodness, this book was just perfect! It has it all. Interesting narrative, evocative photographs, wonderful quotations, and exciting recipes. The wealth of information that it contains will certainly help me plan and host a girls only Victorian style afternoon tea for my BFF and other friends:)

Design For Tea: Tea Wares From The Dragon Court To Afternoon Tea

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3.4 rating

Why did polite society lift its little finger along when raising the tea-cup to the mouth? What is a mote spoon? What is the origin of the word caddy? This book takes readers through the various groups of tea equipage used over the past 350 years.

The Tea Companion

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3.78 rating

Comment 1: Nonfiction is not usually my thing, especially "gift books" about relatively niche topics like this one. However, I enjoyed the thorough discussion of how tea is made and the history of tea production and consumption. The last third to half or so of the book is devoted to a fairly exhaustive survey of all the tea-producing regions in the world and the types of tea for which they are known, which is very useful for someone looking to expand their knowledge of tea varieties or potentially for a te Comment 2: Packed with info and light weight. Very well-rounded and meaty on the basics, from brief layout of history and production methods to brief descriptions concerning equipment and brewing instructions. Page on leaf grading vague and confusing, and last section of tea-producing regions is relatively slimmer than the others, though. Important note: not much is said about "herbal teas" (such as hibiscus, peppermint, anise) despite their popularity in markets because these are, in a technical sense, ca Comment 3: This is an excellent guide to tea and the best guide I've found so far. There are many wonderful sections about different types of tea, the tea industry, how to make certain teas and even information about different ways of serving tea. The graphics in the book are also very tasteful. Highly, highly, highly recommended. The only thing this book didn't really have was information about "healing" tea but Pettigrews' book's other aspects outshine this flaw.

The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea

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3.94 rating

Comment 1: Not gonna lie... I'm a flavored tea kind of person. Harney & Sons' Boston is my current addiction. Michael Harney's book has inspired me to be a bit more adventurous - to seek out pure tea and discover the pleasure of it. I've got my sights on a couple Chinese black teas, as well as oolongs. While this isn't meant to be a comprehensive look at pure tea, it covers a range of teas, light to dark, discussing how each is made and the subtle nuances of each. It invites you to develop a discerning Comment 2: I actually bought two copies of this book, one for my tea buddy,we love trying/tasting new teas and attending tea tasting events. We feel that this is a great reference to understand and explore not only about the flavor and the subtle nuances but to understand diversity of teas , and how all the elements in nature that influence each of its character. A great accompaniment to enhance your tea experience. Comment 3: Today's tea themed page turner is The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea by Michael Harney...yes, it is that Harney & Sons, so in all honesty you know that the book is going to be good. I am going to start out by saying this might be my favorite stand alone guide to tasting tea. It is wonderful as a go to refresher for experienced sippers and a fantastic intro to those new to the art of tasting tea.

Taking Tea with Alice: Looking-Glass Tea Parties and Fanciful Victorian Teas

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3.77 rating

Comment 1: Not much use unless you have children who will put up with you staging twee and frilly activities with them and their friends and can afford to pay other people to make dozens of tiny cakes and decorative whatnots. Comment 2: Alice In Wonderland was and is one of my favorite books.I love the Victorian era as well.After reading this book I think I'll have a tea party the Victorians and Alice would be proud of. Comment 3: I want to borrow someone's daughter so I can put on one of these teas! I will totally play the Mad Hatter if that is what it takes! Lots of great menu and game ideas in this book.

Ancient Tea Horse Road

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3.92 rating

Comment 1: This is an interesting recit... perhaps because I know a little of the area he describes and wish to know more. I can’t put my finger on exactly what I don’t like about this book... His writing style perhaps... but nothing more specific. I do like his respect for everyone he meets, his descriptions are good, he gives us a fairly good insight into the various people he travels with although it is at times repetitive (sometimes funny). He isn’t self-satisfied or congratulatory, thank goodness. Jef Comment 2: Jeff Fuchs' The Ancient Tea House Road: Travels with the Last of the Himalayan Muleteers (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008) a book I pulled off of the library New Books shelf. Fuchs who has lived for five years in Asia writes about exploring lost tea roads in Western China and Tibet. Although an enjoyable book, one tires of the endless discussions of tea connoisseurship and Fuchs' discovery of yet another tea road. Comment 3: I've been waiting to read this book a long time. I suppose it's been a sort of quest all due to its limited availability. I seem to be drawn to travelogues of faraway places. Jeff Fuchs travels the most removed locales seeking a nearly mythical tea trading road. In delivering a riveting tale of travel and hospitality, we also learn quite a history of tea. Loved this book.

Zen in the Art of the Tea Ceremony

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3.92 rating

Comment 1: Great info about tea and Zen. I liked learning about how the Tea Ceremony cake to be - brought from China to Japan by the monks.

Cha No Yu: The Japanese Tea Ceremony

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3.96 rating

Comment 1: An excellent guide to the Japanese tea ceremony by the esteemed scholar, A. L. Sadler. First published in 1933, this 1963 second edition, hardback book covers all aspects of the the Japanese tea ceremony and is the one discipline where nearly all aspects of Japanese culture come together. Such topics include: utensils and pottery; etiquette; architecture; the garden and stone lanterns; forms of the ceremony; its relation to the Catholic Mass; flower arrangements; order of the meals; guests; the Comment 2: This book was a comprehensive look into everything I wished to know about the ceremony - except for the ceremony itself. It left me with much information regarding tea rooms, the aesthetic of the ceremony, the different accoutrements, and I feel quite confident that I could even build a historically accurate Japanese tea house if I wanted to. Which is pretty cool. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of mention on how to perform the ceremony, however. The art form takes many years of study to Comment 3: The book does and entertaining job of recounting some of the stories around the Cha-no-yu, but falls short when it comes to going into detail on the ceremony itself. Comment 4: I usually don't read these kinds of books… but I'm living in Japan at the moment and found it at the library.

The Gunpowder Gardens: Travels Through India And China In Search Of Tea

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3.69 rating

Jason Goodwin, inspired by his grandmothers who spent their lives in China and India observing the custom of afternoon tea, set off to explore the relics of this imperial age and its worldwide trade, delving into the extraordinary history of tea. Evoking a vanished world, he follows the origin of tea, its use, influence and importance, from the the Canton factories through the establishment of British India and the Opium Wars, all the way to that great tea metropolis, London.

The Book of Afternoon Tea

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4.03 rating

Now cooks everywhere can master the time-honored tradition of afternoon tea. Over 100 delicious, illustrated recipes teach the art of preparing traditional tea cakes and sandwiches and offer contemporary alternatives. Mackley tells how to brew the perfect cup of tea, covers the myriad of teas available, and presents menu suggestions. Color photographs.

The Vintage Tea Party Book

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4.19 rating

Comment 1: What a wonderful book! It is full of brilliant recipe ideas, vintage crafts (including flag making) and instructions on how to get the vintage look! There are recipes for brunches, morning and afternoon teas and evening functions. Some look easy and some look quite difficult. The book is easy to read, with many beautiful pictures and easy to follow instructions. I can't wait to have a tea party of my own, although I am not sure that I have the time required to set my hair as instructed. Well wor Comment 2: Just finished a quick look-through of this gorgeous volume, enough to know which pages I want to revisit, and to confirm that the whole thing is delightful. Filled with out of the ordinary recipes that appear delectable and don't have too many ingredients; I will definitely be making some Earl Grey truffles sooner rather than later. I may possibly bake a grapefruit. Brie and walnut scones, you are on my list. Tea-quila Sunrise speaks for itself. Comment 3: A book written with a light but loving touch, outlining the joys of the tea party, with a vintage twist. It is separated into three sections which outline different types of tea parties - brunch, afternoon tea and evenings - with a myriad of yummy recipes interspersed with style suggestions, including patters for aprons or uses for odd teacups.

Tea with Friends

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3.79 rating

In a similar format to Storey's very successful Country Tea Parties, Tea with Friends presents a year's worth of occasions to bring friends together around a pot of tea. Includes 13 original, little-fuss party ideas illustrated with elegant watercolor paintings. Each party contains menus, tea recipes, and things to make or do to enhance the celebration.

High Tea at the Victorian Room

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3.85 rating

Join us for High Tea at the Victoria Room! In this fun and instructive guide you'll learn the history of high tea, how to brew a perfect cup and the proper way to slice a scone. Afternoon tea is the perfect excuse to gather with friends and family while indulging in a little decadence. From fancy finger foods you can make yourself to scrumptious cupcakes no one can refuse, this book will show you the fun side of this favorite tradition!

Having Tea: Recipes & Table Settings

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3.83 rating

Comment 1: I was a little disapointed with this book. I loved the idea of this book, but it didn't have as many recipes as I'd hoped or really any info on place settings. It had a lot of good ideas for themes for a tea gathering. Comment 2: Beautiful photography, interesting notes and fun recipes. I love how it was laid out for different types of tea. This was delightfully fun.

Pleasures of Tea: Recipes & Rituals

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3.67 rating

Comment 1: Okay. So this was a little short on facts and didn't tell me anything I didn't already know about tea. That being said, it was lovely, and just reading it made me feel more relaxed. The recipes were wonderful, and I feel inspired to host a few tea parties of my own! Comment 2: Lots of pictures, and a number of recipes. I am rather disappointed, but perhaps that is because I was expecting more interesting facts and useful information.

Victoria The Art of Taking Tea

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3.5 rating

Comment 1: My mother used to subscribe to Victoria Magazine, and would pass me the issues once she was done with them. They were always filled with such stunning, softly-lit photographs of gardens and teacups and antique things from an era that really cared about making things beautiful, that each issue seemed like a mini-vacation. This book, by the editors of Victoria Magazine, is just like that. It's a little light on content--just a page or two at a time between photos--so anyone really looking for depth may be disappointed, although I did learn a few things about the early tea trade and made a note of a wonderful place I want to visit the next time I'm in Boston (Tealuxe). But the photographs...from a simple shot of an almost-empty teacup ready to have its leaves read to a grand view of the most amazing, ornate bridal shower spread I've ever seen, they're every bit as soothing and delightful as the beverage they illustrate. Comment 2: This was a nice way to spend an hour relaxing, but it's not the kind of book one would need to keep around to read again. I was actually a bit disappointed in the lack of practical information. This seems to have been written mostly to inspire the reader to drink more tea, perhaps in different ways or unusual settings, but it doesn't really instruct on how to do so. There were also very confusing layout choices made that totally took me out of the romantic tea-dream the book was trying to create

Tea at Fortnum & Mason

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3.76 rating

Comment 1: I really enjoyed reading "Tea at Fortnum & Mason", it provides a really good insight into the history of tea and how important it was to society. I loved the pictures of all the cakes and biscuits, but not sure if I will try any of the recipes, I may just wander into Fortnum's and order a bit of everything. High Tea anyone? Comment 2: First half was an interesting little read about the history of tea and F&M. Second half was basically just a recipe book, but it was the funnest I've had reading recipes so that counts for something. Fortnum & Mason rules. Comment 3: Really nice read. I've tried the honey, raisins and pecan cake as well as the tea cakes, they were excellent. A keeper !

Chado: The Japanese Way of Tea

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4.08 rating

Tea Life, Tea Mind

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4.27 rating

Comment 1: Nádherný příběh o Cestě čaje jako životní filosofii a učení. Tato kniha není o přípravách čaje, ale o tom, co znamená žít v duchu Cesty čaje, jaké jsou zvyklosti a historický vývoj učení, které se čaje v Japonsku týkalo. Comment 2: I read it to learn more about The Way of Tea. It became a study in service and a lesson in meditation. I carry it with me often. Comment 3: How to drink and serve tea. Also began my studies into The Way of Tea. A very nice read for both Zen & tea drinkers alike. Comment 4: An interesting look at life through the eyes of a Japanese Tea Master. "Tea Mind" is an inspiring state of mind.

The Little Book of Tea (Little Book Of...(Flammarion))

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3.2 rating

Comment 1: Today's tea book is a classic, ok 1996 is not really classic (nor is the English translation that came out in 2001) but time flies and knowledge evolves. The Little Book of Tea is a collaboration between Kitti Cha Sangmanee (tea expert and president of Mariage Freres Tea) Catherine Donzel (historian) Stephane Melchior-Durand (art historian) and Alain Stella (writer) all this listed on the back flap. Comment 2: Found at the library. The book is a bit out of date, but there's some useful information there. Not written terribly well... Comment 3: Can be quite dry and snooty so not really for the casual tea drinker. Interesting for the history though.

French Tea: The Pleasures of the Table

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3.67 rating

With their innate sense of style and sophistication, the French elevate even the simple act of taking tea to an art form. From the delightful tea salons dotting every Parisian arrondissement to tea served at outdoor cafés nestled in the, hills of Provence, Carole Manchester shares the elegant art and essence of French tea.French Tea features the teas served in centuries-old salons, out-of-the-way cafés, and in charming restaurants and smart homes throughout France. Whether it's tea taken poolside at the Hôtel Ritz or a Sunday afternoon tea served fireside in a cozy apartment in the 6th arrondissement, what distinguishes each one is the individual, stylish touches that make no two teas alike. Mint tea and Moroccan pastries served in a former mosque, elaborate teas taken in a grand hotel, tea enjoyed en famille in a simple loft kitchen, breakfast tea served at the historic Café des Deux Magots -- all of these and more are captured by Carole Manchester's text and Juliette d'Assay's glorious photography.Of course, no volume on French tea would be complete without a selection of pâtisserie -- the unique pastries of France. Recipes for the most popular French tea pastries and savories include Tarte Tatin, the famous upsidedown apple tart; Financiers, miniature almond cakes; Honey Madeleines; Fougasse, a flatbread with olives; and Zucchini Quiche.French Tea includes glossaries of tea and pastries, how to choose and serve the finest tea, a list of the best salons de thé in France, and, of course, how to brew a perfect pot of tea.

Afternoon Tea Parties

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3.98 rating

Comment 1: I wish I'd read this book first on my tea party cooking book tour. This book lays out sample menus for tons of different occasions along with suggestions for decorations. These menus are simple, look easy to make and produce impressive spreads. Very approachable book for people looking to hold a tea party for any occasion! Comment 2: Made a couple of the cake recipes and was pleased with how they turned out as well as the simplicity of ingredients. I would probably check it out from the library again to try the scone recipes.

Afternoon Teas, Homemade Bakes & Party Cakes: Over 150 Step-By-Step Recipes for Delicious Homemade Teatime Treats and Party Cakes, with More Than 450

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4.17 rating

Comment 1: I am not British and know very little about their traditional afternoon tea. That stated, I generally have at least one tea party a month with my friends--when I make almost everything from scratch. This is the best recipe book for afternoon tea I found. It is hard to decide which recipes to make for your tea--there are so many delicious ones! Highly recommend to anyone who is into afternoon tea.

The Ancient Art of Tea: Wisdom From the Old Chinese Tea Masters

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3.65 rating

Comment 1: Reading the blurb about this book, I admit I was expecting it to be a large scholarly work, I was a bit surprised when I opened my package and found a fairly small book that was not a study on different scholarly works on tea...but more a book of quotes. Ok actually that is not really fair, it is so much more than that. Comment 2: The availability of these texts in translation, along with commentary and annotation, minimizes my concerns with some of the oddness of the language. I hope this work serves to spark more translations and scholarly work on Chinese tea texts into English.

Tea in the East: Tea Habits Along the Tea Route

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3.71 rating

Comment 1: Great intro to the history of and tea from China and Japan! I was disappointed that the sections on India and Sri Lanka were mainly from the perspective of the colonizing British with little to no discussion on native perspectives of tea culture or any perspectives on tea post-colonization.

The Protocol School of Washington Tea & Etiquette: Taking Tea for Business and Pleasure

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4.03 rating

Comment 1: While I found some of the information in this book to be helpful, overall I just found myself getting increasingly annoyed reading this book. It seemed to me that the author had a real bee in her bonnet and I didn't really like her voice or tone in the book. Though, that may have been my own bee in my bonnet. I don't think this is a book I would recommend. Comment 2: This book has some great info about tea and etiquette as expected. However Chapter Two, favorite tea stories should have been called "Name dropping 101" and should have been relegated to the back of the book. Aside from that it was worth the read. There are even recipes included for those interested.

Tea and Cookies: Enjoy the Perfect Cup of Tea--with Dozens of Delectable Recipes for Teatime Treats

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3.06 rating

Enhance your enjoyment of the perfect cup of tea with delectable teatime treats. Tea and Cookies by Rick Rodgers—award-winning cooking teacher and author of more than 25 acclaimed cookbooks, including the Seasonal Gatherings and 101 series—is an exquisite gift book on the history and culture of tea that includes practical information on the many varieties available to tea lovers and delicious recipes for cookies to serve with each cup.

James Norwood Pratt's New Tea Lover's Treasury. The Classic True Story of Tea

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4 rating

Comment 1: I first heard of James Norwood Pratt from this article: http://www.chow.com/stories/10721. Pratt appreciates tea like others appreciate wine: with gusto. That word seems a little inappropriate in the context of the bland tonic that most people know as "tea." But to Pratt, the word hardly conveys the full force of his passion for the plant, with all its nuanced history and legend. Like salt and pepper, the world at one time ran on tea. Wars were fought for it. Countries and fortunes were born and broken, won and lost on it. It was the bane of the righteous and the blessing of those who lusted for life.From the first page, Pratt spins a yarn that starts with the first mention of tea in China, through its history in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, its manufacture, and finally ends with tea's mystique and enjoyment. A dry survey this is definitely not, for Pratt is delightfully conversational on the page. Sections are comfortably dense and none too long for modern readers. The pages themselves are glossy and interspersed with brilliant photographs. Although I deeply enjoy tea, myself, Pratt's obvious passion for it infuses my own and suddenly tea is no longer simply my morning coffee substitute. It's also my daemon, always near to hand to excite me and comfort me when needed. Always ready to infuse my soul and body with its own, to remind me to slow down a bit and just exist for a while.Although the book is effectively unavailable through mass retailers like Amazon, Pratt himself sells autographed copies from his site at http://www.teasociety.org. As well, there are still plenty of good quality used copies around -- I got my copy through Powell's. Still, don't wait too long to procure a copy because once they're gone, I doubt anyone will be letting their copies go. I know I certainly won't.

A Brief History of Tea

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3.52 rating

Comment 1: Strictly alright. As a history-lover, I found the many pages of pure information on the tea 'colonies' of India and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) quite interesting. But, they are just that - pure facts, rarely broken with anecdotes or so much as a details-oriented descriptive paragraph. The way the book begins and ends, with a story of an adventurous young Moxham, are really bookends that do not match the content in between. This could mislead potential readers who may 'try out' the first chapter or f Comment 2: Although this is a work of popular, not academic, history, some indication somewhere of sources would occasionally be useful. Moxham traces the history of tea production and consumption, mostly in Britain and the Empire (he mostly ignores the history of tea-drinking in Asia except where it affects the European trade in tea), linking it to the histories of colonialism, empire, and slavery; like most such stories (coffee, chocolate, oil--all equally unedifying), it's marked by a great deal of viol Comment 3: I now understand why colonization was disliked by so many countries. For example, when China clamped down on opium trading (the only way Britain could get at the tea in China) because of all the addition, Britain went to war with China to change this. In India workers were indentured by British tea plantation owners.

The True History of Tea

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3.71 rating

Comment 1: One of the best history books I've ever read. This new genre of cross-cultural history seen through the lens of a either a specific commodity or trade brings to light a lot of connections that are lost in traditional single-culture histories. I've also read Mair's translation of the DaoDeJing, which is great and comes with an amazing set of appendixes. What's great about Victor Mair is his amazing sense of story as well as history. I had a difficult time putting this book down. Comment 2: I picked this up in a used bookstore on the way to Indonesia, and it was the perfect travel companion. The book provided a timeline of tea's influence on social history through war, trade and culture - offering enough details to keep me intrigued, but not so much that I got bored. Photos and illustrations enhanced the historic perspective, and sidebar stories provided snapshots of tea's impact around the world. Comment 3: If you like tea and want to know more about its history then this is a great book. Yes it has facts and dates and other things that belong in history books but it also has some great illustrations and nice facts you probably wouldn't know. So get yourself your favorite "cuppa" and learn more about this world dominating beverage.

Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

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4.25 rating

Comment 1: Cet ouvrage, particulièrement bien construit, est un incontournable pour quiconque souhaite approfondir sa connaissance du thé. Les différentes sections sauront plaire à tous les types de lecteurs : histoire, botanique, gastronomie, géographie, culture, santé, etc. De plus, le livre est rempli de photos de jardins et de producteurs de thé de partout dans le monde et de graphiques qui permettent de trouver rapidement les informations importantes. Il y a autant de plaisir à le feuilleter pour choi Comment 2: One of the best tea books I've read. It was comprehensive, covered all of the major (and minor) tea producing nations and gave some great examples and tasting notes for the teas. I really enjoyed the last chapter related to tea and health. It included a lot of chemistry and scientific studies about the health benefits of tea. I haven't seen any other tea book that did as good a job providing the science info in such a straightforward format. The layout and photography in the book was very good t Comment 3: An encyclopaedic look at how tea is grown, harvested, processed, and prepared. The author covers quite a lot of tea history, and it was very interesting to read about the various ceremonies and rituals that have sprung up around tea. The book focuses mostly on the Asian growing regions; if you're looking for 18th century French tea parties, this isn't that book. The focus on Asia is a good thing; it can be hard to find good information on Asian customs in the US (where I live). There are some go

The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to the World's Best Teas

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3.83 rating

Comment 1: Straightforward and factual, it wasn't terribly interesting to read front-to-back, but is helpful as a reference source while exploring the world of tea. I followed the instructions in the book and finally managed to brew a decent oolong (fussy, fussy oolongs). Comment 2: A factual book on tea to help people understand tea and helpful to those looking for information on the six classes of tea: green, yellow, white, oolong, black and Pu-erh. It is a handy book to have when perusing the tea stores. Comment 3: Most pretentious sentence (that I found) in this book: "Fill your teacups only two-thirds full; leave the remaining space to collect the feelings and emotions of those who have gathered to drink tea with you." Comment 4: Mary Lou Heiss is a tea retailer and has traveled the world looking for teas. Her book "The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook" is a guide to help tea lovers understand tea and its beginnings.

A Tea Reader: Living Life One Cup at a Time

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3.64 rating

Comment 1: This was such a refreshing read! Most all of the stories in the book were short, but really profound. I liked being able to read one or two of the short essays each night before going to bed. Even more, this book introduced kinds of tea I had never even heard of before, encouraging me to expand my "tea horizons". The book was very well organized, and while each section was wonderful on it's own, the first part was by far my favorite. Do yourself a favor and read this little gem. Comment 2: This was a gift from my nephew, Kevin, who knows I love tea - especially afternoon tea at the Rose Garden Tea Room at the Huntington! I am as Samuel Johnson said, "a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has, for twenty years, diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea, welcomes the morning." Comment 3: I am a lover of tea especially exotic tea and all the paraphernalia that goes with the great tradition of drinking tea. So this book full of real stories about tea lore intrigued me. Some of the stories were alright and some were fantastic. I felt inspired to look for some of the teas mentioned in the book and the localities.

The Tea Drinker's Handbook

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4.18 rating

In a skinny-no-whip-mocha-latte world, The Tea Drinker's Handbook is a refreshing return to America's roots in tea-drinking. Though tea is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world, second only to water, it is far from mundane. For both the lifelong tea drinker and the recent convert, The Tea Drinker's Handbook is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in all things tea. The founders of Le Palais des Thès, a retail chain known for the high quality of its selection of teas, have traveled for over twenty years to plantations all over the world in search of the rarest teas, and the result is this handsome and enlightening book. This is the first guide written under the Le Palais des Thès brand. In addition to ten shops in France, there are stores in Brussels, Oslo, Tokyo, and Beverly Hills, and their products are sold at Bergdorf Goodman.In this impressive and comprehensive guide, we rediscover tea, its cultivation, and all of its richness and complexity. In addition to being an informative resource, this book is also a true tasting guide for tea lovers. The authors open our eyes (and introduce our palates) to tea-tasting, as they list the top fifty teas of the world, complete with tasting sheets, and include comments and advice for each. And with 200 illustrations, The Tea Drinker's Handbook informs and instructs with both fascinating text and alluring images.

The New Tea Companion: A Guide to Teas Throughout the World

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3.89 rating

London's Jane Pettigrew has joined American tea writer Bruce Richardson in creating the latest definitive guide to teas throughout the world. Beautifully illustrated, this classic book gives detailed information and brewing instructions for over 80 teas. Chapters on the newest information about tea and health, tea production, tea blending and tea hospitality are included. This book is a valuable up-to-date addition to libraries of both tea novices and professionals. If you have ever wondered about the time and temperature to brew your teas - white, green, black, or oolong - this is the book for you.

Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic

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4.31 rating

Comment 1: Fascinating to read about the "pu'erh bubble" burst of 2007, where the price of tea rose to ridiculous heights before predictably crashing leaving a lot of speculators with huge stocks of tea worth pennies in comparison to what they had laid out. Woven around this crash are histories of teas (pu'erh in particular) and detailed descriptions of growing-harvesting-processing-storing pu'erh (possibly of interest only to tea-heads. Comment 2: Growing up in a Japanese American household, tea was for me, ubiquitous. My mother practiced Japanese Tea Ceremony, so lovely tea things were all around me, in fact I even kept my toy soldiers in the ornate tea canisters my mom would give to me when they were empty.

The Way of Tea: Reflections on a Life with Tea

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3.92 rating

Comment 1: I love this book and the story about tea and how to really enjoy it. I'm not talking about tea bags here, but the loose leaf tea, besides, the teabags are whats left over after the tea sellers have bought the real leaves. Find a tea shop or natural herb store that sells whole tea like Oolong, gunpowder green, Pureh Dante (expensive but worth the try) these teas and others have full flavor and each has its' own story of how it is made to become that way. This book also features some lovely Chines Comment 2: I got this book from the library, so I had to read it much faster than I would have liked. It is a well written and peaceful book. It's a mix of personal essay, philosophy, Toaism, history, images, and near poetry. The author is very intense about tea. It's amazingly fun to read. I am a tea-nut, so I don't know if non-tea types will love it as much as I did, but I think it's worth a try. Comment 3: This was very well written with beautiful artwork included. The author gives a historical account of tea with his own mentors mentioned along with his personal views of Zen and tea. It is not only in the drinking of tea of course but in the rituals of making and of serving the tea. As a drinker of tea and with my love of the way of zen I gave this five stars.

Classic of Tea: Origins and Rituals

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4.16 rating

Written in the eighth century, this fascinating book looks at the intricacies involved in brewing tea, describing precisely how the perfect tea should be made: from the size of the water gatherer to the height from which water is boiled above the fire. Beautiful line drawings show the various components that go into the making of perfect tea.

19 Lessons On Tea

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3.54 rating

Comment 1: Quick little read and just as advertised. It's 19 little lessons on tea. Great information about types of teas, the best ways to enjoy various varieties, and needed tea accessories. I learned a lot and am looking forward to my next visit to my local tea shop. I had never known before that roobois is from a root rather than the tea plant. Interesting. Awesome read for a free download. Comment 2: My rating is based on what it was, an ebook I received for free that did provide some great information on tea. It helped fill in some gaps in my knowledge, and I have a nice little list of new types of tea I would like to try in the future (Long Life Eyebrow and Peaceful Monkey Leader, please!) Comment 3: While I did learn a fair amount, I hadn't realized going into it that the book was so short. There was some information that didn't go deep enough for me and a fair amount of typos that could have been easily found and fixed. Comment 4: For some reason, I have been itching to get into tea. Doing a Google search didn't help because there is so much information out there. I figure I'd do something a little old fashioned and read a very basic beginners book.

Tea Classified

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3.83 rating

Comment 1: This one is hard to call "read", as it's not a cover-to-cover type of book, but I've certainly read a lot of it. It's a wonderful resource, for anyone like me, who wants to learn more about the stuff they drink each and every day. There's history, information on the various ways tea is grown and processed, tea blends, and then the major part of the book is a "directory" of teas from all of the major tea producing countries. A book like this could never be really comprehensive, if it's going to be something a normal tea-lover can possibly afford, but it still annoyed me a bit that only *half* a page is given to Japanese Sencha, which is the most popular tea in one of the most important tea-countries. (Most of the teas get a full page.) The reason for the one-star docking, though, is that each entry in the directory gets a picture of wet leaf, dry leaf, and brewed tea, but there's no indication of where the tea was sourced for these pictures. No need to suggest that the description of the tea is based on one variety, produced by one company, but still, if you're showing a tea, say more specifically what it is! Then one could, if one were, just perhaps, a bit obsessed, investigate the tea further. (By wasting ridiculous amounts of time on Steepster, for example.)

Myths & Legends of Tea, Volume 1

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4 rating

Gary Robson is both a tea expert and a storyteller. With the "Myths and Legends of Tea" series, his goal is to create the Grimm’s Fairy Tales of tea. Robson is as much in love with the stories of different tea styles as he is with the tea itself. He was frequently found standing in his tea shop telling the tales as they were originally told to him — or as he found them in the course of reading about tea. Many of these wondrous stories are far too short. The poor farmer who cleaned up a temple and was given Tieguanyin oolong as his reward by the goddess. The mandarin who added bergamot oil to an English earl’s tea to compensate for the calcium in the water and created one of the western world’s most popular teas. The tea master who performed one last tea ceremony after he was ordered by his daimyo to commit seppuku. He has taken each of these tales and retold it in his own style. Some of the stories are entirely legend, their origins lost in the mists of time. Some are based heavily on fact. Some will be familiar to any tea aficionado. Some are purely the product of his own imagination. In all of them, he focuses on building a sense of the time, the setting, and the characters -- bringing the stories of tea to life. This first volume in the series features seven stories, each accompanied by a profile of the tea featured in the story: China, 2737 BC - The Origin of Tea Japan, 1591 - The Japanese Tea Ceremony China, 1761 - The Iron Goddess of Mercy England, 1806 - Earl Grey United States, 1874 - Teatime in Georgia Taiwan, 1931 - Oriental Beauty Australia, 20 years from now - Post-Apocalyptic Earl Grey

Tea Deck: 50 Ways to Prepare, Serve, and Enjoy

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4.29 rating

One of the world's most celebrated beverages, tea is as complex as it is delicious. This deck is the perfect companionon a journey to discovering tea's tantalizing secrets. Filled to the brim with essential knowledge on a wide assortment of varieties from across the globe—from black and green to red and white teas—it also includes tasting notes and tips on selection and preparation. And for complementing that perfect cup, irresistible recipes for traditional favorites such as Buttermilk Scones with Warm Strawberry Jam and Petite French Almond Cakes make a delightful offering for any tea party.

The Tea Book

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4.46 rating

Comment 1: Book time! I have been voraciously reading, it is the time of year where I go deep into the books and tend not to come out again until spring. Today's book is The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard and by one of my favorite publishers, DK. See, DK has a tendency to publish really pretty books, their book on Gemstones is still a classic favorite, but this is about tea and not rocks. From the moment I cracked open the book I was impressed with the visuals, it is beautiful! Comment 2: I've been drinking tea as long as I remember. Some of my fondest memories are having tea parties with my grandmothers when I was young. We used a tiny china tea set (that I still have) and very milky tea! I'm still a tea lover and drinker to this day. Comment 3: So tea. If you wanna learn about tea, you read this book over and over. I like how there's pictures for reference, you can break up the page after page after page monotony of regular books by reading a bit of this.

New Tastes in Green Tea: A Novel Flavor for Familiar Drinks, Dishes, and Desserts

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3.97 rating

THE WINNER OF THE GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS in the category of the Best Book in Cooking with Wine, Beer or Spirits for Books New Tastes in Green Tea is an original cookbook that ushers an underappreciated flavor into the kitchen as a beverage and a cooking ingredient. The range of recipes is startling. Green Tea Latte, Matcha Smoothie, or Iced Matcha au Lait take "the greens" in new directions. Mouthwatering recipes for gratin, quiche, pastas, and desserts will enliven the adventurous cook's culinary repertoire. While breaking fresh ground, New Tastes in Green Tea also covers the basics. Author Mutsuko Tokunaga, vice president of the World Green Tea Association, introduces the reader to the most popular types of traditional tea, the fine art of brewing a perfect cup, and the ins and outs of tea lore. Lavish images by two top food photographers provide the perfect visual accompaniment for making green tea a part of everyday life. This book arrives at the perfect time. With the growing awareness of the health benefits of this popular beverage, and the emergence of such innovative teas as vanilla hojicha and mango sencha, green tea is finding a place in more and more households. On the health front, the beneficial properties are almost too numerous to count. It is said to restrict the increase of blood cholesterol, control high blood pressure, lower blood sugar, refresh the body, deter food poisoning, help prevent cavities, fight viruses, and freshen skin. Whether you are looking for a bevy of palate-pleasing drinks or savory new food recipes, New Tastes in Green Tea is a must-have for anyone seeking to appreciate the versatility and elegant flavorings of one of the world's most healthful beverages.

The Meaning of Tea: A Tea Inspired Journey

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3.7 rating

Comment 1: As a tea lover and tea blogger (teasquared.blogspot.com), I was eager to drink up this text. And I enjoyed it well enough. But it's not an easy read. It's an extra marketing arm for a film project of the same title — the book is simply edited transcripts of interviews with tea lovers and producers around the world. As such, it's very skimmable. I'm now eager to watch the film just so I can see how the visual editors distilled the narrative the book editors didn't. The only thing the book adds ar

Steeped in the World of Tea

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3.76 rating

Comment 1: I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was disappointed by this book. Most of the selections included had little to no effect on me, inspiring neither thought nor feeling- a fatal flaw for something that is more than half poetry. The photography was good and there were two of the selections I did enjoy ("A Geography Of Tea" and "The Wine Of The Poor") so it wasn't a total loss... But I'm glad I bought it off the bargain table instead of paying full price. Comment 2: One of those wonderfully cute, sentimental books about tea that keep appearing everywhere. There are better books about tea available, so unless you're determined to own every book there is about tea, skip this one.

Culinary Tea: More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World

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3.87 rating

Comment 1: I'm really intrigued. This gave me ideas beyond those in the book. The premise is using tea as a seasoning IN foods, not just as a beverage alongside foods. A cooking magazine some years ago mentioned tea-infused desserts but I never made them. Now I'm thinking spice-blend tea-infused french toast. Interesting background on all the teas, their histories in various countries and their components.

The Spirit of Tea

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3.74 rating

Comment 1: I didn't think it was possible for someone ti be more passionate about tea than I. I enjoyed this book, but was disappointed that he chose ti source Gimbutas as a reference. Also, the I ching stuff seemed a bit irrelevant. But, this read like poetry. I am eager to recommend it to my local tea shop.

Tea & Etiquette: Taking Tea for Business and Pleasure

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3.93 rating

Comment 1: If the idea of eating in a formal setting scares you, read this book first. Not at all hoity-toity, this book explains polite etiquette in a business meal setting without intimidation. Very much recommended. Comment 2: A wonderful book for learning and reference on the art of taking tea in various situations, with great little stories added in. Will soon be on my reference shelf!!

Traditional Teatime Recipes

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3.73 rating

This wonderful collection of the best recipes for a traditional British tea will satisfy even the most jaded of palates. Hundreds of recipes for cakes, biscuits, buns, scones, breads, and rolls are provided here with clear instructions and mouthwatering images. From Herb Bread, Cheese and Celery Whirls, and Scarborough Muffins to Melting Moments Biscuits, Fat Rascals, Seventeenth-Century Honey Cake, and Daniel's Coffee and Drambuie Meringues, there is something for everyone. All the basics of good teatime cooking are provided and great tips on common baking problems and how to avoid them. Including not only a brief history of the recipes (many going back centuries), but also the best teas to drink with each one, this is the ultimate book for enjoying the wonderful occasion of an afternoon tea.

Tea Sommelier

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4.27 rating

Comment 1: A great book to display and look through. There's a ton of good information about the types of teas, how to brew each type, preferred methods for eastern and western culture, and recommended teaware. But what's even nicer is the amazing photography on nearly every page. I noticed a few typos towards the beginning which I found interesting, that such a beautifully printed book didn't have a good enough translator and editor to catch a few typos. But nonetheless this is proudly on my coffee table Comment 2: Amazing book that gives a lot of great information about tea making. Gorgeous illustrations and a bonus section of really intriguing recipes in the back of the book. Great coffee table book but even more than that ---great resource for anyone who loves tea or wants to learn more it. Comment 3: While the book itself was beautiful, there were several typographical errors and it seemed to err on the pretentious side, making it at times unapproachable.

The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India

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3.79 rating

Nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northeast India, Darjeeling is synonymous with some of the finest and most expensive tea in the world. It is also home to a violent movement for regional autonomy that, like the tea industry, dates back to the days of colonial rule. In this nuanced ethnography, Sarah Besky narrates the lives of tea workers in Darjeeling. She explores how notions of fairness, value, and justice shifted with the rise of fair-trade practices and postcolonial separatist politics in the region.  This is the first book to explore how fair-trade operates in the context of large-scale plantations.  Readers in a variety of disciplines—anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies, and food studies—will gain a critical perspective on how plantation life is changing as Darjeeling struggles to reinvent its signature commodity for twenty-first-century consumers. The Darjeeling Distinction challenges fair-trade policy and practice, exposing how trade initiatives often fail to consider the larger environmental, historical, and sociopolitical forces that shape the lives of the people they intended to support.

Modern Tea: A Fresh Look at an Ancient Beverage

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3.91 rating

Comment 1: I have been quite the drinker of tea for the last ten years or so, present for the great tea revolution here in the United States as tea, globally the most popular beverage next to water, becomes the trendy thing. As more and more types are available aside from the bland, old tea bags common the US, it can be easy to be overwhelmed. Lisa Richardson's Modern Tea is a concise, easily read compendium of tea knowledge ideal for beginners looking for an introduction to the sometimes complicated world Comment 2: This book is a great read if you are interested in all things tea! Great for someone just getting into it as well as long time lovers of the beverage. The photos are very visually appealing also. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this book. Comment 3: For a book that was self-described as a non-pretentious look at tea for beginners through tea lovers, this was pretty pretentious. Maybe I just didn't want to know this much about tea. Comment 4: Modern Tea is a small, light book, packed with info presented in an easy-to-enjoy format. Chapters in the book include:

Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea

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3.88 rating

Comment 1: “Darjeeling tea’s story is romantic. Like all romances, it has a strong element of improbability, even randomness, to its beginnings, with false starts, near misses, and plenty of luck along the way to the plant’s finding its perfect home. The story is rich in history, intrigue, and empire, in adventurers and unlikely successes, in the looming Himalayas and drenching monsoons, in culture, mythology, and religions, in ecology, and even opium. All these elements have contributed to making Darjeeli Comment 2: A book covering pretty much everything you could want to know regarding tea, and specifically that grown in the Darjeeling region of India (which is the most expensive and most highly regarded black tea). Topics include the original discovery/invention of tea, the importation of tea plants from China to India during and after the Opium Wars, the establishment of tea plantations in Darjeeling, how tea is grown and processed and evaluated and sold today, how to distinguish between the different "f Comment 3: Today's post is on Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea by Jeff Koehler. It is 291 pages long including notes and is published by Bloomsbury. The cover is a picture of the hillside where Darjeeling tea is grown with a cup of it at the top. The intended reader is someone interested in history, India, and tea. There is no sex, no language, and no violence in this book. The story is told from the third person without the author's voice at all. There Be Sp

The Art and Craft of Tea

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4 rating

Comment 1: I really enjoyed this book about tea in a coffee table book format, although my coffee table holds far less coffee than tea but that is another discussion. I really enjoyed reading about the history and all of the work that goes into making tea the beverage that we enjoy today. I learned some things, reinforced some knowledge and enjoyed the recipes. If you love tea and love everything behind tea culture this is a book for you. Comment 2: Awe, this was so lovely! It's definitely a surface look at so many aspects of tea and tea culture and tea production and enjoyment, but I really loved how approachable and readable it was. I especially loved the section where it talked about specific regional teas and talked about how they are made and why the came to be. So so fascinating and I can't wait to try out some of the recipes and preparations. Comment 3: Generally, a good introduction to tea although some regions get surprisingly little attention (e.g. Taiwan) and even India receives but a few short paragraphs. In some places the design of the book with its many photos leads to odd sequences in the text and although the book boasts 160 total pages the liberal (and welcome) use of photographs means the the amount of written text is actually quite modest.

How to Make Tea: The Science Behind the Leaf

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3.58 rating

Comment 1: Ihan mukava pikku kirja teestä. Mukaan on päässyt lipsahtamaan muutamia pieniä käännösvirheitä ja epätarkkuuksia, mutta ne eivät ole kovin pahoja. Pidin siitä, että kirjassa oli tietoa teen maistamisesta ja makuvivahteista sekä erilaisista haudutustavoista. Comment 2: This isn't a book I'd recommend, even to novices. Yes, it touches almost every facets, except history, of teas. Yes, it gives you hints of how to select, buy, brew teas. It even tries to teach you how to brew the exotic ways...

Steeped in History: The Art of Tea

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4.33 rating

After water, tea is the most frequently consumed beverage on the face of the earth. In ancient China tea was regarded as one of the seven daily necessities of life; for many Japanese it has served as a ritual element in the quest for enlightenment. In England afternoon tea holds an immutable place in the popular imagination, while in the United States it is often associated with the American Revolution. While various teas have been prepared in an assortment of ways and have played parts in countless culinary practices, it is also important to note that tea is and nearly always been a highly important commodity. As such, it has played a variety of striking and often paradoxical roles on the world stage--an ancient health remedy, an element of cultural practice, a source of profound spiritual insights, but also a catalyst for brutal international conflict, drug trafficking, crushing taxes, and horrific labor conditions. In the course of Steeped in History, editor Beatrice Hohenegger and eleven distinguished historians and art historians trace the impact of tea from its discovery in ancient China to the present-day tea plantations of Assam, crossing oceans and continents in the process. In so doing, they examine the multitude of ways in which tea has figured in the visual and literary arts. These include not only the myriad vessels fashioned for the preparation, presentation, and consumption of tea but also tea-related scenes embellishing ceramics and textiles and forming the subject of paintings, drawings, caricature, songs, and poetry.