New Tea Book Review: A Little Tea Book

This is a delightful quick read and fact-driven introduction to the tea plant (camellia sinensis) with tidbits of history, shapes, sizes, and processing styles, that dispels many commonly touted myths about tea (including caffeine levels). The color photographs are beautiful and varied and the author's personal touch and stories are never too obtrusive.

Most important, this is a book you can confidently give any up-and-coming tea lover that will equip them with real skills to be an educated tea consumer. This book achieves what many intro to tea books attempt to and fall short of: it is written to answer the very basic question "what is the information I need to make informed purchasing decisions." It does not wallow in tea mythology or center around western-brewing centered opining of the author. Nor does it distract with excessively detailed and nuanced information that is better to discover as one deepens their journey in to tea, like brewing guides or detailed tea manufacturing notes, detailed tasting descriptions, results of (sometimes good or sometimes questionable) scientific studies, and such.

This is the only beginner book I will likely ever give 5 stars to. I might even have to go back and re-rate other books I have read now.

The only complaint I have with this book is that the watercolor illustration in the leaf shape/size section is too whimsical. So many people have never seen the actual real tea shapes so presenting them in such a whimsical way is not very helpful to newbies.