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The Tea Companion (Connoisseur's Guides) Paperback – September 7, 2004

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Drinking tea has traditionally been associated with ancient rituals and Asian art forms; and, in a more contemporary vein, the imbibing of herbal teas is often linked to spiritual benefits and good health. This informative guide provides answers to most any question one might have about the history of tea, the many types of fine teas available, and different manners of brewing and preparation. A detailed international directory by country describes the production of a rather mind-boggling variety of teas, recommending the best selections, along with seven categories specifying the appropriate times to drink the myriad kinds of teas listed. Alice Joyce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The Tea Companion is an indispensable guide for the connoisseur. Authoritative, informative, and inspirational, it covers everything from how tea was first "discovered" to advice on where to buy it, how it should be stored, and how to make the perfect cup of tea. Tea is the world's most popular beverage, yet most people are familiar with and drink only a tiny proportion of the huge array of high-quality teas that are now available. The Tea Companion opens up this diverse and exciting world and encourages you to seek out and try some of the world's most exquisite teas. At the heart of the book is a country-by-country directory which is divided into four main parts. The first three sections look closely at 11 of the world's tea-producing nations. Profiles of recommended teas detail the essential brewing characteristics of flavor, aroma, and color, and also offer brewing hints and drinking recommendations so that you know how to make the most of your brew. The final section is a brief guide to the world's other tea-producing countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The Tea Companion is an invaluable source of reference and inspiration, an accessible and practical guide to help you enjoy the richness and variety of tea. It is, in short, a celebration of the world's favorite brew. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Connoisseur's Guides
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1st edition (September 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762421509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762421503
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

London author Jane Pettigrew speaks at international tea events, teaches Tea Masterclasses, acts as a consultant to hotels and tea rooms around the world, and appears regularly on television and radio. She has written sixteen books on tea, including Afternoon Tea, Design For Tea, and Traditional Tea Time Recipes. Follow her tea travels and adventures at janepettigrew.com. In America, she is one of the featured speakers each year at World Tea Expo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Sam on October 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As mentioned, there are a lot of books on tea. The trick is finding one that's practical and useful. What makes this special is 1) extra detail about brewing time, temperature, amount 2) clear color photos of the dry and brewed tea and tea leaves 3) clear organization that helps you understand teas by country and variety. I've browsed through lots of books and of the ones I've seen, this is the best. Think of it as a first rate primer (beginner and intermediate level), not a text book, but five stars for what it tries to do.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on July 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This interesting book serves as a guide and history book to the world's favorite drink, made from the plant Thea Sinensis. The book reveals the huge variety of teas available and encourages the reader to try some of the world's most exquisite teas. It deals with the discovery of tea (according to legend, by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung), advice on where to buy it, storage hints and how to make the perfect cup. It also includes a discussion of the origin and spread of the word "tea" plus a Grading Terminology and the Tea Taster's vocabulary. Part One, The Story Of Tea, contains the chapters The History Of Tea, Production of Tea, Tea Equipage and Tea Appreciation. Part Two is titled Global Tea Directory and includes a Guide to the Teas of the World, followed by chapters on Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, the Far East and Other Tea-producing Countries. The book concludes with the section Addresses of Mail-order Tea Companies and a thorough index. The text is beautifully illustrated with photographs, reproductions of art, portraits and maps. Tastefully designed, well written and informative, The Tea Companion must be the ultimate book on this popular beverage. I strongly recommend it.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A good overview on the various types of tea, and in general, everything a beginner would want to know about tea. This is a book where you will find accurate, up-to-date information on tea, its properties and health benefits. Unlike many other books that were written more for pleasure reading (poetry, myths and stories about tea from the east), this is a book that gives a good foundation for someone who's serious about the appreciation and benefits of tea. I highly recommend it!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By C. Rogers on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you do not collect books on tea; if you wish to know about tea but not spend your life in that pursuit; if you want a reference guide to tea; if you ONLY want to own one book about tea - this is that ONE book that gives you the most information in the least amount of pages.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. 13 on March 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always been an aficionada of tea, however, I knew very little about it's history and most importantly I knew little about its many varieties. I bought this book with the hope of learning more about tea and it fulfilled my expectations. This book includes a concise and informative overview on the history of tea, several colorful photographs, brewing suggestions, and an extensive index of the world's tea growing regions. One thing about this book is that it is written from a British perspective of tea drinking. This is not problematic, just an observation. We, Americans, have a different orientation and imagination towards tea. Coffee has long been the drink of choice in the States and for many different social and political reasons. Pettigrew touches on some of the sociocultural themes in her text. I nod to that. The goal of the book is not to persuade people to drink tea anyway. I believe the goal is to reinforce and provide new knowledge about tea. With that said, this book is for people who have some experience and openness to tea drinking. I believe the audience for this is book is akin to people who enjoy wine or vegetarian cooking and want to learn more. Personally, I found this book to be intellectually stimulating and illuminating. I did find some of the drinking suggestions to be limiting. For example, Pettigrew believes sugar spoils the taste of many teas, but she recommends milk. I agree to an extent but there are many teas I enjoy with a teaspoon of sugar. Again, I think these are differences in British and American tastes. I also wanted to know more about the use of lemon or other citrus fruits in tea. In some teas, lemon is complimentary in others it destroys the chemical balance of the tea drinking experience. Recipes for tea blending (with flowers, nuts, fruit, etc.) would have been helpful as well. Enjoy.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barrett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you are into the more British styles of tea with a little information on traditional serving styles, then this might be the guide for you. Too often there is the mention of milk with this or lemon with that... and I understand that this is a British book, but I was looking for something broader that covered a wider variety of traditional teas from around the globe. While I do enjoy that the author has included countries that often get overlooked (Azores, Malaysia, even Iran!), I found there was not as much depth into Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese tea. Instead there was much devoted to India and Sri Lanka - again the styles more popular in Britain. So while I do give it a decent nod, I cannot rate it higher than some of the books mentioned below. They are just better. For a concise companion I recommend The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook a little higher.

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The Tea Drinker's Handbook - 5 stars
I really like that the authors picked what they consider the 50 best teas in the world and highlighted production, style, tasting notes, and brewing tips for each of these teas. The text also highlights tea growth and production in various countries. We can read on Japanese production of green tea and their method of steaming to preserve the grassy fresh aromas or production from Brazil made to emulate Japanese Sencha. The entire world of tea is covered at least in mention, from the Azores to Cameroon, to Taiwan, China, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and beyond! The book does not spend too much time on the history of tea other than to mention the origin legend, and the expansion of tea from China.
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