All in book reviews
I had the pleasure of joining Tania Stacey on her Cuppa Cha Youtube channel to talk about my project reviewing English language tea books. Watch now for my Top 3 picks of must-have books and tips for how to NOT break your budget while learning more about tea. Thanks again Tania for the fun conversation!
Read my ongoing English language tea book reviews here! More coming soon!
Since November 2017, I have read and reviewed 31 English language books about tea. These have run the gamut from history to reference and personal narratives to works of fiction. I will be taking a pause from reviewing tea books until 2019 while I focus on other activities in my tea practice. I hope you get a lot of value out of the reviews I have written so far. I have found several gems so far and look forward to discovering new ones starting in 2019 (see four and five star books).
Your suggestions for recommended reading are very much appreciated. I will add them to my “To Read” list on Goodreads. Better yet, if you are on Goodreads, send me a friend request!
The first third of the book introduces a brief history of tea and coffee, some tips to conducting tea readings, some ephemera about uses of teabags, and a seemingly random collection of other divination methods. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a researched history of how tea leaf reading developed but was sadly disappointed. The content of the book outside the illustrated guide could have used some stronger editing and more focus on enriching the reader's understanding of the historical context of tasseography.
If you're a tea enthusiast who is interested in learning more about the world of tea read this first! This book is quick read, well written, and responsibly separates opinions and facts. The unique way the author contextualizes the proliferation of black tea and commodity tea in the West is a particularly interesting presentation and treatment of the history of the spread of tea for those who don't want to read through all the dates, facts, figures, and personalities involved.
I recently re-read Kakuzo Okakura's aesthetic treatise "The Book of Tea." It was so much more meaningful after taking a 6-week classs practicing the Japanese Way of Tea, reading a dozen books on the history of tea, and after focusing more on the practice of tea in my daily life.