One of the great benefits of the Internet – besides allowing us to waste our time watching ridiculous video clips at any hour of the day or night – is that it has opened up access to documents that might not have been readily available otherwise. Among these documents are tea books, some of which are out of print or only available in expensive used editions.
The Book of Tea
By Kakuzo Okakura (1906)
The Book Of Tea is arguably one of the most influential books ever written on the topic. It’s a slim volume that introduces readers to Okakura’s concept of Teaism and looks at how tea became an indispensable part of Japanese life. The Book of Tea has been in print continuously since it was first published and is available to this day in various printed and electronic editions.
By Sir Francis Drake (1884)
An interesting historical document, Tea Leaves’ wordy subtitle also serves as an accurate summary of its contents, “Being a Collection of Letters and Documents relating to the shipment of Tea to the American Colonies in the year 1773, by the East India Tea Company. (With an introduction, notes, and biographical notices of the Boston Tea Party)”
By Francis Leggett & Co. (1900)
Another interesting historical text on tea, brought to us by the “Importing and Manufacturing Grocers” whose “object in publishing this and other books is to bring ourselves and our goods into closer relations with consumers at a distance from New York; and incidentally, to provide readers with interesting information respecting the food which they eat and drink.”
The Little Tea Book
By Arthur Gray (1903)
Gray’s book is a brief compilation of historical information about tea. It also includes an assortment of poems, a guide to tea terms in a number of languages, Wit, Wisdom, and Humor of Tea, and more.
Telling Fortunes By Tea Leaves
By Cicely Kent (1922)
Tea-Cup Reading and Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves
By a Highland Seer
A pair of classic texts on the subject of tasseography (the art of reading tea leaves).