So what’s the deal with tea cosies? I’m starting to get the impression that they’re a lot more popular than I ever realized. I’ve never owned one and since I don’t prepare tea in a teapot I don’t suppose I ever will. But given the number of books that I’ve run across while writing previous installments of this column, I wonder if I’m in the minority on this. If you can’t get enough of this stuff, hang on there for a few months until the release of the appropriately titled Tea Cosies by Jenny Occleshaw.
If you’re keen on those broad overviews on the history and culture of tea you’re certainly not likely to ever be lacking for something to read. Whether or not we need another such volume is not for me to say, but it appears that Keith Souter’s The Tea Cyclopedia: A Celebration of the World’s Favorite Drink will be in this vein.
The profession of tea sommelier is nowhere near as well established as that of wine sommelier, but it is steadily gaining ground. One piece of evidence to support this claim is Tea Sommelier, a forthcoming book by Gabriella Lombardi. Among the tea-related topics covered therein, “a careful examination of 50 grand cru teas—including some of the best-known varieties available—will give drinkers a new appreciation of what goes into a cup.”
Like tea sommeliers, the subject of puer tea is one that’s rather specific to be taking up an entire book. I don’t know of many (any?) other books on either topic aside from the ones mentioned here. But if it’s a puer tea tome you must have, sit tight for Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic, by Jinghong Zhang. As the publisher’s description promises, “Puer Tea traces the rise, climax, and crash of this cultural phenomenon.”
Speaking of cultural phenomena, there’s steampunk. I spoke briefly of how it entwined with the world of tea in a previous article. But the two subjects will also be merged in an upcoming book with the somewhat unwieldy title, Steampunk Tea Party: Cakes & Toffees to Jams & Teas – 30 Neo-Victorian Steampunk Recipes from Far-Flung Galaxies, Underwater Worlds & Airborne Excursions.
See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.
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