• Books and Magazines

    Book Review: A Social History of Tea

    The history of the world is intimately tied to the history of tea. For those of us nerds who happen to love both, information tends to be gathered piecemeal. There are few comprehensive resources to feed our quest for knowledge and a lot of misinformation along the way. Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson are two people who definitely know their stuff so I was super excited to dig into this book. The book starts out with a brief discussion of the origin of tea (Sheng Nong, et al.) but the main focus is on British and American tea history. I really love that the chapters are organized by century. This makes will make…

  • Books and Magazines

    Book Review: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

    I had heard about this book quite a long time ago and I was so excited by very the idea of it. A fiction novel based in Yunnan is right up my alley, especially if tea is involved. The author, Lisa See, did a ton of research and incorporated many real life aspects of the tea industry into her story. She even went so far as to travel there with Linda Louie of Bana Tea Company in 2014. Her efforts paid off because everything that the main character experienced felt very authentic. I hate when there are spoilers in book reviews so I’ll try my best not to do that. This book follows the life…

  • Books and Magazines

    A Tea Lover’s Travel Diary: Phoenix Single-Tree Oolong Tea Tie Kuan Yin Oolong Tea by Jason C.S. Chen

    I read A LOT of books throughout the year. I try to write about the tea related ones that really stand out here but sometimes they get lost in the shuffle, amidst tea reviews and everything else going on. This is one of those books. It had been on my Amazon wishlist for a while but I finally bit the bullet nearly three years ago. The author is the owner of Bellevue, WA tea establishment Smacha. An introduction by tea industry favorite James Norwood Pratt was also a big selling point. The first thing that struck me was the photograph heavy layout of this book. Rather than relying on words, the author lets…

  • Books and Magazines

    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea by Jason Goodwin

    I always get excited when I come across a tea book that I haven’t read before. This one popped up on Kindle Unlimited so I was able to read it for “free” through my subscription. The digital version is still fairly inexpensive even if you do have to purchase it. There have been many books written about the history of tea but The Gunpowder Gardens takes a bit of a different route. He uses the lives of his grandmother’s, one who lived in China and one who lived in India, to tell the story of this simple leaf we all love so much. This book is as much a travel book, if not more so,…

  • Books and Magazines

    The World Atlas of Tea: From the Leaf to the Cup, the World’s Teas Explored and Enjoyed by Krisi Smith

    This book arrived in my mailbox just in time for a long road trip to a wedding in upstate NY. That worked out for the best because although it isn’t exactly a coffee table book, it’s a little too large to carry with me on my commute. The first thing that caught my eye was the large, beautiful photographs. Many of them spanned more than one page. The chapters follow what seems to have become the typical tea book formula: how tea is made, how to brew it, and a description of various teas from around the world. The small guide to growing your own tea was an unexpected but welcome addition. Important…