Whereas there are thousands of teas in the world (hundreds of which are well worth tasting), there are hundreds of tea books in the world (dozens of which are well worth reading). Here are a few tea books of note. The list is by no means comprehensive, but itâs a great start for anyone who is interested in delving deeper into the world of tea and learning more about the flavors, histories, cultures and artisanal practices associated with the ancient brew we call âtea.â
A slim-yet-authoritative guide to afternoon tea, including the difference between high tea and low tea (which may not be what you think it is!), traditional afternoon tea foods, tea pairings and recipes. It also features a glossary, FAQs section and timeline of tea. Although the first edition is out of print, there is a second edition out now.
A classic book on tea, with an emphasis on Chinese tea, tea ware and tea culture. Noteworthy segments include a chapter on 50 famous Chinese teas, a section on teaware styles and eras, translations and symbols for Chinese teas and harvest terms, and glimpses into Chinese tea customs (such as its role at the office and in marriage festivities).
This book is about chado or chanoyu (“water for tea” or “the way of tea”), but it’s also much more than that. It delves deeply into the significance and role of chado in Japanese culture, using it as a means for larger cultural understanding between the East and West. Whether you’re interested specifically in chado or you want a stronger understanding of the philosophical, aesthetic and cultural nuances associated with tea in Japan, this is an excellent read.
A richly illustrated guide to the world’s tea origins (with general topics, like Darjeeling, as opposed to specific topics, like Ambootia Estate), tea histories and traditions (including oft-overlooked regions, like Afghanistan and Tibet) and tastes (including tea types, how to prepare tea, and descriptions of specific teas, such as Lapsang Souchong).
Famed "tea chef" Robert Wemischner shares a wealth of tea recipes in this tea-centric cookbook. If you're interested in cooking with tea, this is a must read!
Tea pioneer Cynthia Gold has honed her skills in cooking with tea and pairing teas with foods as a professional chef and tea sommelier. She shares an enormous number of tea recipes, as well as tea tips and explanations of various tea types, in this comprehensive and mouthwatering book. From the classic (Chinese Tea Eggs) to the contemporary (Watermelon Jasmine Gaspacho with Crab), this book has it all.
A long-awaited book by one of the U.S.’s leading tea importers, Roy Fong. This book focuses in on a handful of Fong’s favorite teas from China and Taiwan, profiling each with notes on histories, growing regions, varietals, harvest and processing. There are informative photographs and short stories of Fong’s tea travels scattered throughout. The book closes with a preparation guide and glossary.
A historical and personal account of the history of tea, particularly as it relates to the Assam region of India. It was written by the wife and the son of an Assam tea estate owner.
This James Beard Award-nominated book closely profiles teas from around the world. Unlike the tea profiles found in many other tea books, it focuses on tasting notes, such as the appearance of the leaves and brew, the aroma, the flavor and the aftertaste. Whereas James Norwood Pratt’s “The Tea Lover’s Treasury” epitomizes the “early adapter” approach to specialty tea in America, this book captures the essence of the new wave of tea – one that is based on the enjoyment of tea as a culinary adventure worthy of the attention received by wine.
This fascinating book looks closely at the vast historical and cultural roles six beverages (tea, coffee, liquor, beer, wine and cola) have played across the centuries. It’s not entirely about tea, but it is a great read!