It is likely that most tea enthusiasts have devoted space in their homes to their passion, not just in the kitchen but also on their bookshelves. There are the classics like Kakuzo Okakura’s “The Book of Tea,” “The Classic of Tea” by Lu Yü and “All About Tea” by William H. Ukers. Then there are the more modern popular titles like Cynthia Gold’s “Culinary Tea,” James Norwood Pratt’s “Tea Lover’s Treasury”, “Tea: History, Terroirs and Varieties” by Kevin Gascoyne and “The New Tea Companion” by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson.
Over the past year a few new titles have hit the shelves that tea lovers may want to make space for in their collections.
A Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson
Hard core tea readers are already well acquainted with Jane Pettigrew’s 2001 “A Social History of Tea,” a comprehensive book on Britain’s love affair with tea. With the assistance of tea blender and writer Bruce Richardson, Pettigrew has now updated the book to include the many ways that tea has entwined itself into American history and culture. This book is a must have for tea history buffs.
The Infusiast: Diatribes from the Devotea by Robert Godden
This lighthearted book is a delight for all those looking for a refreshing take on all things tea. Australian tea merchant Robert Godden chose to explore seven tea topics with seven examples – seven teas, seven recipes, seven tea pioneers. We are treated to reprints of some of his most memorable blog posts. Readers can be assured that this tea book is unlike any they have read before.
Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic by Jinghong Zhang
This November 2013 release from University of Washington Press explores puer’s rich history, the period in the 1990s when it obtained superstar status in China and across the world, and its subsequent crash in 2007.
Tea Sommelier by Gabriella Lombardi
October 2013 saw the arrival of this new book, designed to pay tribute to the beauty of 50 special teas. With stunning images by photographer Fabio Petroni, this volume presents a gastronomic guide to tasting, preparing and serving tea as well as recipes and pairing suggestions. This book would be a wonderful gift for any tea enthusiast.
A few others to consider:
The Tea Cyclopedia by Dr. Keith Souter — An easy reading book dancing through a broad range of topics. The highlight: A chapter of simple science experiments to try to better understand tea’s properties.
Wild Tea Hunter by J.T. Hunter – The owner of Wild Tea Qi shares his travels, his passion, and his insights into the darker side of the tea industry.