Five Essential Tea Books

For anyone looking to increase their knowledge of tea, there are numerous resources available, including Web sites and an assortment of magazines and books. If you’re looking for a few additions to your tea-bookshelf, check out these tea-related tomes.

Ebook

Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West
By Beatrice Hohenegger
Over the past few years a number of books have attempted to recount the history of tea. Most have done the job well enough, but with such a vast topic, there’s always room for yet another interpretation. In Liquid Jade, Hohenegger does a great job of telling the story of tea and takes a look at some areas that fall outside the realm of history.

Tea: Aromas and Flavors Around the World
By Lydia Gautier
Gautier’s examination of tea is worth picking up as much for the eye-catching photographs by Jean-Francois Maliet as for the informative text. Among the topics the author tackles are tea history, the alchemy of tea, tea tasting and a look at the cultural and historical similarities between tea, coffee and chocolate.

The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide
By Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss
If you’re looking for one book about tea, this is a good place to start. In just one modest volume the authors have managed to compile an encyclopedic overview of tea. If you’re new to tea or a long time fancier, you’ll find something of interest here.

Tea: The Drink That Changed the World
By Laura C. Martin
As already noted, there are many books that attempt to tell how tea has affected the world around us. Laura Martin provides yet another perspective on this topic. Her book covers familiar territory, but she also uncovers numerous bits of tea-related info that aren’t common knowledge.

The Empire of Tea: The Remarkable History of the Plant That Took Over the World
By Alan MacFarlane & Iris MacFarlane
The Empire of Tea looks at a commodity that Alan MacFarlane calls “more than just a drink.” Iris MacFarlane, who was once a tea-planter’s wife in India, offers a chapter that takes a first-hand look at tea production. Son Alan then details what he calls “the story of how tea, the first global product, took over the world.”

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