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Pairing our fine teas with the finest tea books


May 26th, 2020

Teas have always been the beverage of preference when it comes to accompaniment with a book. The combination of these two is simply phenomenal! For a country like India which is filled with chai lovers and bibliophiles alike, it is an experience of bliss, of paradise, of ecstasy. If you haven’t tried it already, you should definitely put it on the top of your to-do list!

Let’s start in on some of the best books about tea.

  • Book: THE HARNEY & SONS GUIDE TO TEA
  • Author: Michael Harney

This guide covers topics regarding all different groups and classifications of tea. For example, how is the Chinese green tea different from Japanese green tea. It also has a special Brewing and Tasting Guide to learn and identify different basic parameters to judge a tea, like body, mouthfeel, aroma, zing, and so on. Its only downside is the lack of photographs for support. However It definitely makes up for it with its depth in content.

  • Title: THE STORY OF TEA: A CULTURAL HISTORY AND DRINKING GUIDE
  • Authors: Mary Lou Heiss, Robert J. Heiss

To put it simply, it is the holy grail of tea books. It has received numerous prestigious awards. It was nominated in 2008 for the prestigious James Beard Book Award and the IACP Cookbook Award. It was awarded Best Tea Book in the USA from Gourmand Awards, Paris, France, and also won the bronze for Best Tea Book in the World in 2008.

It covers a vast variety of topics ranging from history, travelogues, information on tea-growing regions across the world, technical information like discussions on flavour, aroma, identification, brewing, and so on. This book/guide is more of an encyclopedia to select and learn about your interests in the world of tea.

This book is a must-read if you are a tea lover!

  • Title: THE BOOK OF TEA
  • Author: Okakura Kakuzo

To know how a beverage helps build a culture and philosophy, this book is a must-read. Okakura Kakuzo defines tea as a cup of humanity, medicine, and a growing beverage. He writes how tea eventually became an expression of the way of life in the Asian world, especially the Chinese and Japanese cultures. It teaches us about Teaism, Taoism, and Zenism in chronological order. Overall this book is all about art, philosophy, spirituality, meditation, design, gardening, and of course – tea.

  • Title: THE TEA ENTHUSIAST’S HANDBOOK: A GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S BEST TEAS
  • Authors: Mary Lou Heiss, Robert J. Heiss

This small and nifty pocket guide is very helpful in exploring the world of tea. It covers the six classes of tea – green, yellow, white, oolong, black and pu-erh. It examines very specific aspects of tea, like how to buy, store and steep tea, along with detailed tasting notes.
To know the basics of tea steeping(preparation) you can also read our blog ‘Brewing the perfect cup’.

  • Title: JAMES NORWOOD PRATT’S NEW TEA LOVER’S TREASURY. THE CLASSIC TRUE STORY OF TEA
  • Author: James Norwood Pratt

For a take on tea in a story format, this is the go-to book. It talks about ancient tea history, the origin of tea and about the tea renaissance in America. The author writes with his heart and soul and put his thirty-odd years of experience of tea adventure into it. The New Tea Lover’s Treasury is a fascinating and informative book written with humour, expertise and loving passion for a simple cup of tea that’s not really so simple after all.

  • Title: THE TEA BOOK
  • Author: Linda Gaylard

Every genuine tea lover needs to get their hands on this book. It informs the reader about different forms of tea and also introduces them to the various tea traditions around the world with ceremonies and blends. One of the vital features of the book is the chapter on Tisanes (herbal teas) since this is probably the only revered tea book that covers it in depth. In fact, it covers an incredible list of 29 herbs and their benefits and how they may be blended with traditional teas or consumed on their own. Like any other respected tea book, there is a chapter that shows steeping notes and this one includes over 85 tea recipes at the end.

  • Title: TEA: HISTORY, TERROIRS, VARIETIES
  • Authors: Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, and Jasmin Desharnais

This is one of the most complete books on tea on the planet. The reason we feel so is because it was written by three expert men who ran Montreal’s tea staple. There is even a biochemical analysis of 35 teas, a tea tasting lexicon as well as a flavor wheel. This kind of expertise is developed by major tea companies like Unilever and Tata Consumer Products but is kept secret to ensure product and technical superiority. The book won the Best Tea Book at the World Tea Awards in 2014.

The book is very valuable in understanding the various varieties of tea. The book also has a section on the health benefits of tea with an analysis of 35 different teas focusing on caffeine content, antioxidants, and catechins(another type of antioxidant in tea). This book is a must-read especially if you are in the tea business.

  • Title: THE TEA DRINKER’S HANDBOOK
  • Authors: Francois-Xavier Delmas,‎ Mathias Minet,‎ Christine Barbaste

The book focuses on America’s roots in tea-drinking, right from the initial hatred during the treaty of Boston to its current love and appreciation for the lovely beverage. The guide describes tea cultivation and manufacturing processes in great detail. It also covers a tasting guide for the majority kinds of teas in good depth. It has a list of the top fifty teas of the world with tasting sheets, comments, and advice for each. The book is also full of charming images of stunning teas, steeping processes, and manufacturing processes.

What are you waiting for? Go grab a copy now!