I’m always excited to see a new book to add to my library, especially when it is written by one of my favorite authors. The World of Tea by Jane Pettigrew is quite a hefty read at 434 pages and 6lbs in weight. It was way too big to carry on my commute, so it took a while to read through completely. I purchased it in 2019 but only just recently got around to finishing it.
What Is It About?
The World of Tea is basically a gigantic atlas of all of the places in the world where tea is grown. In the first chapter, Jane gives a brief overview of what tea is, how it is made, and how it is brewed. I don’t think many people would pick this book up who are not already familiar with tea basics, but I appreciate that there was not much fluff or repetition.
The tea-growing regions of the world are then organized by continent. A brief history is given for each of them, along with maps and stats on the area under tea, altitude, main cultivars, etc. Each section is illustrated with beautiful pictures taken in tea origins around the world.
The author elected to focus on individual producers in smaller regions like the United States. In contrast, the chapters on China highlighted the varieties of tea grown in each sub-region. This was a pretty fair approach since it would be an impossible task to cover all of the tea growers in China.
At the end of the book, there is a list of places of interest around the world. It mostly consisted of the different tea research organizations along with some museums. I was thrilled not to see the usual recipe section that most publishers insist on.
Would I Recommend It?
I would definitely recommend The World of Tea for anyone with interest in tea. It functions well as a coffee table style book, but there is some serious reference material there. I read it cover to cover for this review, but I don’t think that is how most people will be inclined to use it. Thumbing through to the part of the world that the tea you are sipping is from is a great way to absorb tidbits without information overload.
Content aside, this book is beautifully done. From the embossed gold lettering to the green ribbon bookmarks and stunning photography, it was obvious that a lot of thought and care went into its construction. It is a sturdy hardcover, and the spine has held up well with no visible cracking from use.
There was one review on Amazon complaining about how expensive this book is. I did not find that to be the case at all. $40 for a book this size and quality is an absolute steal. While the statistics may not be relevant forever, I will get years of use before the information becomes very outdated.
Have you read The World of Tea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
World of Tea by Jane Pettigrew was purchased from Amazon using affiliate advertising income.