How To Expand Your Tea Education: Books

by Jason on May 29, 2013

in Member Content, Voices of Tea

Part of a series on How To Expand Your Tea Education.

There is so much to read about tea. It is very likely that there are more tea books than the population of tea-book-readers can sustain. With a potential overabundance of tea books, choosing the more useful can be a challenge.

Some categories of tea information can be considered more useful than others. The historical and cultural background of tea helps show how tea shaped society, economics, and politics. A bit of tea science enables each of us to appreciate the mechanics and chemical compounds that create good tea and affect our bodies. Descriptions of tea characteristics and flavors help us savor tea and give us a stepping stone to new tasting experiences.

And so, a list of tea books that provide those valuable kernels of Culture, Science, and Appreciation:

1. The Tea Dictionary: a quick reference for understanding the terminology, geographic locations, and other background information found in other books on the list. Read more about it here.

2. Tea: History, Terriors, Varieties: A great introduction to geographic areas where teas are grown. The work also covers cultivars grown or associated with regions. This book also contains some of the strongest tea research on caffeine levels in a selection of teas, caffeine release during steep time, and analysis of antioxidants and catechins in tea. Read more about it here.

3. Tea Drinker’s Handbook: It covers tea locations, gives useful descriptions of processing methods of teas, and delivers notes on tea tasting profiles. Along with the Tea: History.. book, it also covers steeping methods and teaware from different countries. Read more about it here.

4. The True History of Tea: One of the most scholarly works on how tea has impacted cultures of the world. Read more about it here.

5. The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: Concise descriptions of the categories of tea (e.g. wulong, yellow, green), and what to look for when shopping for particular kinds of tea. Read more about it here.

6. The Story of TeaRead more about it here.

7. Extra Credit: I’d add The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea because Mike Harney went beyond others in showing how articulating a tea’s flavor characteristics can be a rewarding, artful task. And James Norwood Pratt’s New Tea Lover’s Treasury because of the magical air given to the history of tea. With Norwood’s writing, the history of tea is by no means dull. It comes across as a tapestry of tales as good as any collection of bedtime stories that seed pleasant dreams and anticipation of the next night’s telling. Read more about them here.

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