Tea Books Revisited

By William I. Lengeman III

A revised edition of a classic book about tea, a pair of guidebooks to the finest American and British tea rooms, a guide to all – or at least most – of the tea in China and a study of the Japanese philosophy of tea. If any of this piques your interest, read on.

James Norwood Pratt’s New Tea Lover’s Treasury
By James Norwood Pratt
James Norwood Pratt started writing about tea long before its recent resurgence. The Tea Lover’s Treasury came out in 1982, when high quality tea wasn’t nearly so available as it is today. An updated version of the book – James Norwood Pratt’s New Tea Lover’s Treasury – rolled out in 1999. The tea bookshelves have become considerably more crowded since then but this one’s still worth a look.

All The Tea In China
By Kit Chow & Ione Kramer
One slim volume could hardly do justice to a topic like the teas of China, but Chow and Kramer offer up a respectable overview nonetheless. Much of the book looks at Chinese teas and tea culture, but the authors also stray into other tea-related topics and include a handy guide to 50 varieties of Chinese tea.

The Great Tea Rooms of America
The Great Tea Rooms of Britain
By Bruce Richardson
Tea room owner Bruce Richardson has written such books as The New Tea Companion, The Tea Table, and Tea in the City guides to Paris, London and New York. The latest edition of The Great Tea Rooms of America takes readers to 22 tearooms in the United States and Canada, in an illustrated volume that also includes an assortment of tearoom appropriate recipes. Readers on the other side of the Atlantic will want to consult the companion volume – The Great Tea Rooms of Britain, which tackles 22 tea rooms in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Book of Tea
Okakura Kakuzo
Okakura Kakuzo’s 1906 work is a slim volume that introduces readers to his concept of Teaism and looks at how tea has become so integral to Japanese life, both as a beverage and on a more spiritual level. The book has been in print since it was published. It’s available in various print and electronic editions.

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