Book Review: Tea Drinker’s Handbook

by Jason on January 11, 2012

in Voices of Tea


When recently asked: “What tea books do you return to as resources?”, this book was on the short list.

The Tea Drinker’s Handbook aims to provide insightful, expert information on tea growing & craftsmanship, tea preparation & appreciation, and a collection of must-try teas.

– use it when you want to understand tea growing and processing. The Tea Drinker’s Handbook goes beyond many other books in explaining, for example, how oolong tea processing differs from black tea processing. It also gives some of the most thorough coverage on basic terrior and tea farming practices.

– use it when you want simple guidance on tea preparation methods. Basic steps on a variety of steeping methods are provided, including Japanese kyusu and Chinese gaiwan usage. You can also pick up some of tea tasters’ lingo, potentially helpful when you need to interact with certain tea vendors and aficionados.

– use it to gain a glimpse of the many treasured teas waiting to be explored.

For another perspective, see: Pluck Tea’s review. While the flaws in the appreciation/preparation section that Pluck noted do exist, I still found the handbook to be one of the most extensive in coverage of the cultivation and production of tea.

In short, this reference book will give many readers the feeling that they too can start growing and processing their own teas. Or maybe jump into the tea business.

From Amazon:

About the Author(s)
François-Xavier Delmas is founder of Le Palais des Thés. His in-depth knowledge of tea-producing regions and his exceptional tasting skills make him one of the leading experts in his field. Mathias Minet is a taster. He joined Le Palais des Thés ten years ago and co-directs the business with Delmas. In 1999, he and Delmas founded L’École du Thé, a school for would-be tasters. Christine Barbaste is the author of Thé à Paris in the series Paris est à nous (Editions Parigramme).

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Evan January 11, 2012 at 17:03

Thanks for the mention, Jason. Like I said in my review, this is still the best book out there for tea beginners, and there’s plenty to interest the expert. It’s just that I took up a lot more space pointing out the shortcomings. 😉

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