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Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties Paperback – November 3, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


A pretty and enjoyable book with an affordable price and some practical uses for tea drinkers. (Book News 2012-10-01)

The reference work we've been waiting for has arrived: a comprehensive, but not-too-weighty, one-volume coverage of the world's teas, abundantly and beautifully illustrated with photos of exceptional quality, fascinating graphs, and fairly good maps. The organization of this huge body of factual material will make students most grateful. (James Norwood Pratt TeaTime 2012-04-01)

Beautifully illustrated... While there is no shortage of tea-related tomes, this definitive guide will appeal to die-hard tea enthusiasts interested in learning about the modern, global industry as well as the history and enjoyment of this ubiquitous beverage. (Rosemarie Lewis, Georgetown County Library Library Journal 2012-01-15)

This book is quite impressive, well researched, and complete with numerous photographs illustrating the beauty and wonder of tea and tea processing around the world. Interesting and enjoyable. (Tea House Times 2012-04-01)

A pretty and enjoyable book with an affordable price and some practical uses for tea-drinkers. (Reference and Research Book News 2012-10-01)

About the Author

Kevin Gascoyne, François Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais and ,b>Hugo Americi are professional tea tasters and the owners of Camellia Sinensis Tea House in Montreal, Quebec.

Jonathan Racine is an editor with a passion for tea. For this book he traveled to China to tour plantations, meet with producers and tasters and, of course, to drink many cups of tea.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; First edition. edition (November 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554079373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554079377
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barrett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have purchased and checked out from the library several educational books on tea. This is the book I consider one of the best.

This text would be worth purchasing for the pictures and the scientific analyses contained within. The caffeine chart alone makes one ponder the myth that white and green tea have lower caffeine than wulong and black tea. Funny considering two of the highest caffeine concentrations are in Japanese green teas! What I really liked about this book was that each section seemed to contain a good amount of content on the topic without going into overkill. Production is described for each style in a very concise manner, but each step is explained so that the reader understands production even if this is the first tea book they have read. There are some tasting notes on particular teas the authors have chosen. A few are the normal teas that you see mentioned in many texts, but a few are new. They seem especially fond of Chinese and Japanese tea (seeing as those are the two countries with the longest tea drinking and growing traditions I appreciate this) and they have a good amount of content on Taiwan and India while mentioning Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and a few other countries of note. I also like that the authors didn't get too full of themselves and even have mentions of fun tea facts like bottled Japanese green tea (it's not like the bottled tea here - just chilled green tea without sweetener or additives). But probably the best aspect of this book and the one that lends the most credibility is the periodic inclusion of interviews with tea growers, harvesters, buyers, and sellers. Bravo on a job well done!

I also recommend:
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tea is a book that does a decent job on educating a reader about tea. It contains information about the cultivation, harvesting, and from one terroir to another- which are the similar characteristics that a land and climate will give to the harvests within it. (The explanation of this could have been a little clearer in the book.) The areas covered are; China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, and the East African Coast. There is also information on preparing tea, tasting, the chemical components, the virtues, and in addition, the biochemical analysis of 35 teas. An index is included, along with charts on caffeine, antioxidants.

This is not a simplistic book on the different ways of drinking and types of tea. It should have a glossary to help in understanding; but you can learn an enormous amount of information that is clear to anyone who loves tea and would like to find out more about it, including interviews with those who work with tea.
A confirmed tea lover might find the few recipes included, like beef with Wulong tea appealing. This, over-all is a book for those who adore and are devoted to their cup of tea.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steelermaven on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love tea and have been brewing a pot every night for 6 years---for the antioxidents and other benefits. I now buy only loose tea at a local store and have experimented with different combinations and regions. Finally I decided to learn more about tea and bought several books including this one. I have brought this to work to read during my lunch break and found it to be VERY easy to read and understand. The authors are knowledgable and their descriptions of the various teas, regions, brewing times, amounts, temperatures etc.are extremely helpful. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
One of the major contributions of the work is its simple elegance. It is straightforward and orderly in its presentation. That is not to say it doesn't cover useful details about teas. The book shows the true colors of its authors- experienced tea house owners who have made an art of guiding neophytes into the world of tea with skill and clarity. At the same time, the authors give enough information so that new tea drinkers admire their new-found treasure without being overwhelmed.

The title may not sound flashy, but the book delivers what is promised. The main 150 page section looks at different tea producing countries. History of the country introduces each section, followed by an overview of the tea industry within that country. Terriors and regions of the country come next. Coverage often includes brief profiles of tea professionals of the country. Next come details about the cultivars used, along with how teas are processed. Preparation methods are included, like how to use a gaiwan, a Japanese kyusu pot, or a tea tasting set.

There are examples of teas from each country as well. At this point, the book might begin to look a little like an extensively descriptive menu. Many of the teas are those the authors know well, having developed relationships with growers over many years and offering those same teas in the Camellia Sinensis Tea House. But even if the authors didn't actually carry the teas in their own store, they still choose classic representatives of teas from each location.

There are other, smaller but valuable sections of the work. Master chefs have contributed artful recipes that employ tea to wonderful effect. There are also brief sections on tea preparation using various teaware, and a short tasting guide.
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