The New Year brings many moments to stop and look back at the year that has passed and to look ahead at what is next to come. In that spirit, WTN presents some of the new tea books that hit the shelves in 2015 to make sure that your shelves are well-stocked for the early winter days of 2016.
“STEEPED: Recipes Infused with Tea” by Annelies Zijderveld
Zijderveld’s name may look familiar to some in the industry from her eight years leading Mighty Leaf Tea’s marketing efforts. Since then she has been working in digital and content marketing in a range of food-related endeavors. Earlier this year, her new book, STEEPED, hit bookstore shelves as a tribute to the tremendous range of uses tea can provide in the kitchen.
With its hot pink and orange cover with gold detail, STEEPED is tough to miss. The book is divided by tea times: Morning, Midday, Afternoon, High Tea and Sweet Tea. Zijderveld highlights a handful tea types that will be most useful to have on hand for cooking purposes and spends a few pages offering an overview of basic tea steeping and cooking tools and techniques.
The recipes are mouthwatering from the get-go. When Morning Tea opened with blueberry scones with rooibos honey butter, she had me hooked. She then moves on to explore granola, muffins, parfaits, smoothies and jams. Midday Tea offers brunch suggestions from quiches and eggs to salads and drinks. Afternoon Tea brings innovative twists on the traditional, touching on egg salad and cucumber before rolling on to things like Lapsang honey-drizzled fig, arugula and parmesan tea toast. The heartiness is apparent in the vegetarian High Tea menu with portobello steak frites which uses Lapsang with the mushroom and chamomile with the potatoes. There are also soups and vegetarian burgers, steaks and noodles. Sweet Tea is packed with things to close any meal, with Earl Grey poached pears, chamomile risotto with currants and cherry chai cream pie.
“The Tea Book” by Linda Gaylard
World Tea Expo attendees certainly know Gaylard from her presence there and her well-known website The Tea Stylist. Gaylard is a Canadian Tea Sommelier and she was recruited by DK Publishing to produce “The Tea Book” which was released in 2015.
DK, a division of Penguin Random House, has a long history of publishing books they refer to as “illustrated reference” books. The emphasis is on non-fiction titles with many photographs and illustrations, making them beautiful books for a coffee table or to give as gifts.
In keeping with DK tradition, this book is an introduction to the world of tea. It explores history, tea production, health basics, how to infuse and then an exploration of types and recipes. While some of the introductory information will likely be familiar to tea enthusiasts, Gaylard’s writing style and the stunning illustrations makes this book different from what is already out there. The terroir pages particularly caught my eye. Every page is full of color and life thanks to the photographs, charts and the well-written, concise text.
“The Art and Craft of Tea: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Selecting, Brewing, and Serving Exquisite Tea” by Joseph Wesley Uhl
Uhl’s book approaches the topic of tea from a place of pure passion. He revisits tea’s history and origins, brewing styles and new ways to use tea in blends and other beverages. He brings to the book the same love of tea that brought him to create Joseph Wesley Black Tea, a well-regarded line of single-origin teas.
Once again, the photography and book design give this book its full power. The page layouts will feel like reading a magazine, rather than a typical reference book. In his tea book roundup, blogger Tony Gebely gave the book particular credit for doing “the best job of explaining each tea type in a technical, yet simple manner.”
There are three sections – Tea, Technique and Pairings and Cocktails. Tea starts with the basics, the plant, the processing, the varieties and the chemistry. Technique talks about water, proper brewing, and, of particular note, “returning craft to tea culture.” Pairings and cocktails heads in the recipe direction.