I’ve never really showed my share of books on tea around here. It’s always been a series of random books that I personally find interesting, which can range from business books to traditional fairy tales (you’re most likely to find me in bookstores around town …). But since you’re here now and probably a fellow tea and books lover, I want to share with you some of the most fascinating reads on tea, its origins and making, as well as the cultural connotations that the cup carries.
How to Make Tea: The Science Behind the Leaf by Brian R. Keating and Kim Long
For a 160-page book, this is a comprehensive read on tea basics and technical aspects of making the brew. If I have to sum it up in a short sentence, it’ll be “A definitive how-to article of everything you need to know about tea in book form” :p Not formal and definitely non-boring, so please don’t judge the book by its title :) If you’re a newfound lover of tea, I highly recommend How to Make Tea as your brewing companion.
P.S. The book features simple diagrams and lined illustrations along with its texts.
If you can read and understand simplified Mandarin Chinese, you should definitely get this book. I found it at a Kinokuniya bookstore, and it was on sale. So yeap, how could I not get it?! Everything you need to know about tea in China, with an encyclopedic introduction to the different types of Chinese teas along with how to best enjoy them respectively spanning the first half of the book, and with traditional tea recipes and their health benefits for soothing all sorts of ailments covering the second half of it. What I love most was that it’s modern, easy to understand, and highly applicable. So get the gem from the Chinese-language sales section of Kinokuniya, stat.
The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard
Better known as The Tea Stylist, Linda Gaylard is your go-to gal for learning how to love the cup of joy. Just because tea originated from China doesn’t mean Indians, Africans, Japanese, the Brits, or even Indonesians cannot enjoy the brew. Personally, I think this is highly condensed book about tea for the general public, but what I find helpful in your tea journey was the beautiful visuals and infographics throughout the pages – they really help you learn. The contents were neatly divided according to what the average Joe Schmoe would be interested in when he’s first introduced to tea, but probably still hasn’t delved deeper yet into its world. If you can’t tell the difference between Chinese red tea and rooibos tea, I highly recommend getting this guide for your toilet reading ;) The last chapters of the book features both tea and tisane recipes for you to try at home. Neat, huh?
The Ancient Art of Tea: Wisdom From the Old Chinese Tea Masters by Warren Peltier
Now if you’re the artsy-fartsy type (like I am) and is reaaally into the long, complex history behind the beverage, what made it so popular around the world, and the rich culture that it’s bore, I super duper recommend The Ancient Art of Tea. Just a couple of weeks ago I discussed what I learned about the factors affecting the taste of your tea when it concerns to companionship – do you enjoy it better in solitude, or with a friend? Turns out the ancient practitioners, i.e. the experts, claimed that tea is best enjoyed alone. I would argue that it’s best when you make it for your good tea-loving friend, but that’s just one of the interesting things you’ll learn from this handy 6-inch (square) hardcover. Its customs, rituals, and etiquettes are all classic wisdom for making tea your natural way of life.
So which one of these reads piqued your interest the most?