19 Lessons On Tea by 27Press

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When 27Press asked me to take a look at their tea guide, I jumped at the chance. I'm always up for a light read on my favorite subject and 19 Lessons On Tea was exactly that. If you are just starting to explore tea, it's a handy and factual guide. I love that it isn't overly formal and dry. It was well organized and thorough without overloading the reader with information. They even acknowledge that yellow tea exists (unlike many other books that I've read)! The tea quotes at the start of every chapter are also a nice touch. This book will be free on Amazon from January 24th to January 28th so make sure that you snatch up your copy. I've added it to my tea book list on Good Reads. Feel free to vote for your own favorite books!

You can find out more about this book here.

The Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew

I picked up a copy of this book on a trip to Teavana a few months ago. While not a heavy tome, it covers just about every topic that a newbie to tea would need to know about. The book is written in the two sections. The Story of Tea focuses on how tea came to be, it's history and how it is produced. I especially enjoyed the grading terminology chart and the section on tea equipage. It's written in a no-nonsense style but also comes across as very approachable.

The second section is a directory of teas from around the globe. It is a feast for the eyes because the liquor, as well as the dry and steeped leaves for each tea, are attractively displayed. I love that Jane addresses even the little known growing regions like Georgia and the Azores. With most tea books, I find inaccurate facts or some other glaring omission. I can honestly say that it was one of the most comprehensive and factually accurate books on tea that I have ever read. Even if you know your stuff, this book is a great resource and one that I would definitely recommend to any tea drinker.

You can find out more about Jane Pettigrew here.

A Tea Reader: Living Life One Cup at a Time by Katrina Avila Munichiello

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I have been meaning to pick up A Tea Reader: Living Life One Cup at a Time by Katrina Avila Munichiello ever since it was released but never got around to it reading it until now. It's a collection of essays from tea people that come from many different walks of life. As someone whose life has been immensely changed by love of the leaf, this book was right up my alley. I think what I enjoyed the most about this book was that it was not just a regurgitation of facts. The essays were about experiences, thoughts and feelings that are real and relatable.

Although I had come across one or two of them before, most of the material was new to me. Some of them were from familiar names like owners of my favorite tea retailers. Others were from historic texts, such as the writings of Robert Fortune. Together, they all beautifully illustrate the connectedness and sense of belonging that many of us feel when sipping our favorite cup of tea. It took me a less than a week to read it but it is still quite a substantial read. I definitely suggest checking this book out if you have the chance. It would also make a perfect gift for your favorite tea aficionado.

Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lisรซ Stern

I have been meaning to pick up Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lisรซ Stern from some time. The first part of this book serves as an introduction to tea, suggested food pairings for each type and tips on using it as a cooking ingredient. I love the attention that was paid to the individual types of tea (i.e. Yunnan and Keemun instead of just Black). This section would be really useful for people who aren't all that familiar with tea in its various forms. It was well written and very accurate, a surprisingly hard thing to find in a book on tea.

The second part is a collection of well written, easy to understand recipes for everything from appetizers and entrees to desserts and cocktails. I'm a rather visual chef so the only thing that I would change would be to include pictures of the various dishes. However, without pictures I'm less likely to cover my book with drool so perhaps that is for the best. I cannot wait to try out all of these recipes. The Lapsang Souchong eggs look particularly interested. I'm sure you'll be seeing some blog posts showing the results of my labors soon. This book is a definitely must for tea makers and amateur chefs alike.

You can see this and other tea-ish books on my Goodreads list.

New Tastes in Green Tea by Mutsuko Tokunaga

The first thing that I noticed about this book was the incredible photographs. The second was the recipes, which all sound absolutely delicious. I have a habit of throwing matcha into just about everything so it was good to get some inspiration. This book was a fairly quick read but covered  a lot of ground. The author touches on the history of tea in general, how it is grown and processed as well as how to prepare a perfect cup. She also gives in depth information on the many different types of green tea (mostly the Japanese varieties).

Reading this book made me want to immediately preheat the oven and whip out the blender. I will definitely be trying several of the recipes featured soon. It is rare to find a book focused on a  single type of tea but it works very well here. It would be interesting if someone did a similar series on each type of tea. This book is great for the green tea obsessed but would also be a great read for the general tea lover. I ordered my copy from Den's Tea but you can also find it on Amazon and other book sellers.