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The Tea Drinker's Handbook Hardcover – October 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789209888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789209887
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

François-Xavier Delmas is founder of Le Palais des Thés. His in-depth knowledge of tea-producing regions and his exceptional tasting skills make him one of the leading experts in his field. Mathias Minet is a taster. He joined Le Palais des Thés ten years ago and co-directs the business with Delmas. In 1999, he and Delmas founded L'École du Thé, a school for would-be tasters. Christine Barbaste is the author of Thé à Paris in the series Paris est à nous (Editions Parigramme).

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Customer Reviews

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Nice full color pictures.
beangrower
Even better, the thought put into structure and sharpness also makes the information much easier to digest and absorb.
Eetu Mäkelä
I highly recommend this as well as any of the books I mentioned above for building up a tea library.
Christopher Barrett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Eetu Mäkelä on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are just so many things that are great about this book compared to all the others on my shelf.

The most important is that (contrary to many others) the book is extremely well edited and thought out. This makes a huge difference. First, the book contains almost no fluff. It's all essential information, including much that is not available in any of the other books I've read. Even better, the thought put into structure and sharpness also makes the information much easier to digest and absorb.

The final polish is that (again contrary to many other books on tea) all the information is accurate. And if seldom the authors don't delve into all the details, they still manage to stay away from generalizations. For a novice reader, this is extremely important. I've seen too many people get the wrong impression on some aspect of tea just because a tea book without sufficient attention to detail printed information pertaining for example only to a particular type of tea from a particular country as pertaining to the same tea from all sources.

To top it all off, even the pictures are great. Not only do they match the topic, they go above and beyond, giving additional information or a counterpoint to the text they accompany.

The content of the book is summarized as follows (shown because Amazon currently doesn't show the table of contents):

What is tea?
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Format: Hardcover
Update: I have added one new tea book: Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties which I now consider to be equal to the book this review is about, perhaps better in some ways. It is inserted below.
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I have purchased and checked out from the library several educational books on tea. This is the book I consider the best of the bunch. First I will list the other books and mention a few positives about those, then I will describe why I felt this to be the superior text.

Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties - 5 stars
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.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jason O. Walker on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When recently asked: "What tea books do you return to as resources?", this book was on the short list.

The Tea Drinker's Handbook aims to provide insightful, expert information on tea growing & craftsmanship, tea preparation & appreciation, and a collection of must-try teas.

- use it when you want to understand tea growing and processing. The Tea Drinker's Handbook goes beyond many other books in explaining, for example, how oolong tea processing differs from black tea processing. It also gives some of the most thorough coverage on basic terrior and tea farming practices.

- use it when you want simple guidance on tea preparation methods. Basic steps on a variety of steeping methods are provided, including Japanese kyusu and Chinese gaiwan usage. You can also pick up some of tea tasters' lingo, potentially helpful when you need to interact with certain tea vendors and aficionados.

- use it to gain a glimpse of the many treasured teas waiting to be explored.

While there are flaws in the appreciation/preparation section, (decaffeination myth and taste regions of the tongue,) I still found the handbook to be one of the most extensive in coverage of the cultivation and production of tea.

In short, this reference book will give many readers the feeling that they too can start growing and processing their own teas. Or maybe jump into the tea business.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Frank A. Whorton on January 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Am an avid coffee drinker, but I am finding tea is so much more interesting and varied. These French authors have opened doors for me. If the book was translated, it doesn't show in the text. Explains the growing, production cycles, etc... of all kinds of teas from Black to white and all the "colors" in between. The fifty best teas list has given me a list to go down and try since I am new to better teas, and the tasting notes are very helpful on cluing me in on what to look for and notice. A great book for a new tea-lover like me. I only wish it would have discussed herbals such as Rooibos and others.
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