The Story of Tea gives you a thorough account of what you would see and hear if you owned a tea company and traveled to origin to talk to producers and source teas.
The Heisses, who own Tea Trekker, provide a collection of information they have gathered over the years, especially in regard to Chinese teas. By reading their accounts, one gets the impression that they have watched traditional and modern processing methods in detail. And they have seen people at work creating all kinds of teas- from your basket-fired green teas, to yellow teas, to pu’ers.
This is the kind of book that is probably in the back room (or retail shelf) of many tea shops you encounter. It is easy to imagine a tea server being asked a tougher tea question, responding, “let me check on that for you,” then dashing to the book to search for the answer.
That is not to say that every answer found will be the correct one. As with many who collect their facts on the ground in distant lands, right answers get refined over years of talking to different experts and double-checking what you have been told. I’m not convinced of their descriptions of zheng shan xiao zhong, lapsang souchong, and my investigation into yan xiao zhong. But I too am on the path of confirming these truths.
There are other valuable aspects of the book:
- An Encyclopedia of Tea- introducing many of the recognized kinds of tea available
- Tea Culture- with descriptions of tea ceremonies and pointers on how tea is prepared
- Photos- many are small to make room for more text, but they are numerous and contribute to illustrating the text’s content
In short, this is one you most likely want to consider adding to your library.
Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings.
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