Tea by Christine Dattner
I found this book in Sur La Table, a gourmet cooking store. I was immediately drawn to it because of the beautiful packaging. It features two hard cover volumes; The History of Tea and The Taste of Tea. Both of them are enclosed in hard cover holder and tied off with a ribbon. The photographs are vivid and beautifully illustrate the story of tea. The History of Tea was a book that I could not put down. I love reading about the long history that has led to the teas we drink today. This brief introduction is perfect for tea beginners and I love that the author separated the content by country.
The Taste of Tea is a perfect companion to The History of Tea. It explains the process of making tea as well as the different blends that are unique to each tea growing region. The beautiful pictures of each variety are paired with tasting notes. These are really useful when I come across a tea that I have never tried before. I find myself returning to both of these books again and again, especially when writing reviews about new and foreign teas. The only thing that author left out was pu-erh tea. This tea has grown increasingly popular and it deserves more than just a glancing mention. I would have appreciated some discussion of tea ware as well. These two things aside, I would definitely recommend this book.
You can find out more about this book here.