The tea books keep coming. Which is a good thing because this would not be much of a monthly column otherwise. Here’s the latest batch of new and forthcoming titles.

Wine sommeliers have been around for some time now, but the notion of a tea sommelier is a relatively new one. The Tea Sommelier Handbook claims that it “summarizes the most important aspects of tea knowledge and culture,” and is “a book particularly important to people working in a teashop or entrepreneurs starting a new business in this industry.” What’s particularly interesting about this volume, also known as Manual del Sommelier de Té, is that it is a bilingual edition, courtesy of authors Victoria Bisogno and Jane Pettigrew. Already available on Amazon.com.

Chigusa and the Art of Tea (photo from site)

Chigusa and the Art of Tea (photo from site)

How much can you say about an ancient tea jar? If you’re authors Louise Allison Cort and Andrew M. Watsky you can come up with almost 200 pages worth of stuff to say, in Chigusa and the Art of Tea. As the publisher’s description notes, “few extant tea utensils possess the quantity and quality of the accessories associated with Chigusa, material that enables modern scholars and tea aficionados to trace the jar’s evolving history of ownership and appreciation.” This one’s due in early 2014.

How much can you say about tea cozies? Not much, if you’re me. But if you’re author Emma Varnam, you can say quite a lot actually. A one woman factory of books on the topic, Varnam will be releasing Tea Cozies 4 in early 2014. It is said, as was pretty much the case with the previous volumes, that “knitters and crocheters alike will find 30 imaginative and beautiful patterns suited for a range of abilities.”

When it comes to tea, the Japanese are known for a few things – the green tea they produce, the ritualized ceremony that has grown up around the preparation, serving and drinking of tea over the course of several centuries, and their gardens. The latter two of these tend to blend together sometimes. If you don’t believe it you’ll want to take a look at Marc Peter Keane’s The Japanese Tea Garden. It’s a work that’s said to cover “the history, design, and aesthetics of tea gardens, from T’ang China to the present day.”

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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