Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Little Tea Book by Arthur Gray

Every once in a while I'll dig through the Amazon Kindle store to see if I can find any tea themed treasures. Recently I stumbled upon a book that I hadn't noticed before. The copyrite is dated 1903 so it's a fairly old public domain text. It gives a brief history of tea along with several poems and anecdotes along the way. Mention is made of puerh, bancha, gyokuro and several other types of tea that I would have thought would be unknown at the time. It's a short read at just 74 pages but it is definitely worth the read. Best of all, it's free! I found it hilariously old fashioned yet surprisingly relevant in many cases. Rather than drone on about it, I thought that I would share a few of my favorite quotes as examples.

"Since India has no record of date, or facts, on stone or tablet, or ever handed down a single incident of song or story - apart from the legend - as to the origin of tea, one is loath to accept the claim - if claim they assert - of a people who are not about practising the "black art" at every turn of their fancy." 
"A glance through this book will show that the spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort and refinement. As these qualities are all associated with the ways of women, it is to them, therefore - the real rulers of the world - that tea owes its prestige and vogue." 
"I don't think that milk was ever intended for coffee or tea. Who was the first to color tea and coffee with milk? It may have been a mad prince, in the presence of his flatterers and imitators, to be odd; or just to see if his flatterers would adopt the act."

You can find out more about this book here.