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.