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The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best Teas Paperback – March 30, 2010
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“a map to have in your grasp as you head down the dozens of intricate, interconnected paths that define the landscape of the world’s best teas.”
—Fresh Cup magazine, December 2010
“Excellent, concise advice about tea. The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook, a charming guide small enough to fit in a large pocket, brims with enthusiasm. ...The information is essential to appreciation; almost every word bears on taste. The Heisses write with impressive accuracy, having researched and lived the subject extensively.... All tea styles...are given equal attention and value, which is rarely the case in tea literature. ...All is laid out with succint clarity and precision.”
—Kevin Gascoyne, The Art of Eating, 7/1/10
"This book is like a mini encyclopedia dedicated to all things Camellia sinensis."
—Imbibe Magazine, March 2010
"The Heisses have written a valuable guide."
—Library Journal, 3/15/10
"All pertinent tea-making questions are answered in knowledgeable, buoyant prose in this handy guide."
"Rich detail on how to buy, brew, and enjoy the six classes of tea. Questions...are answered with unparalleled passion."
—Tea A Magazine, February 2010
“This delightful, pocket-sized edition offers virtually everything one needs to know about selecting, brewing and enjoying the most consumed (after water) beverage on earth.”
Top Customer Reviews
Their book points the reader in a sound direction. Serious students of tea may find that they disagree with some of the details, but it is indisputable that the path to the world's best teas is clearly defined in this book. The international tea industry has never been clear about this path because it points to China and unblended, unflavored tea, and the established industry has a hard time delivering such tea to consumers. Even though teas from other areas are mentioned, the heart of the book is about Chinese tea. China, after all, is where tea originated, and definitions about tea need to be consistent with Chinese standards.
They have taken a risk in writing this book. The industry has not been very supportive of writers that dare to write books that challenge conventional wisdom. It may not be obvious to the people reading that are outside of the industry, but a book like this really is a game changer. People will start to look at the tea that they are buying from the conventional sources and will start to realize that tea that they are buying and is being sold for 'good quality' is in reality very 'sound'. Then the open secret that people in the industry know, and increasingly 'tea enthusiasts' are becoming aware of, is that there is much better tea out there, it's just that it is difficult to come by in the US and Europe.Read more ›
Don't be deceived by its small size-this book is a must-have for the tea enthusiast!
If you are looking for recipes or information about what the West calls tea but really isn't tea (like herbal infusions or tisanes), then you won't find information on that in this book. This book is strictly about real tea from the countries of origin that come from the camellia sinesis plant. I love this handbook and am impressed with the education I received just from reading it.
Most importantly, and I must preface this with the fact that this is a valuable contribution to a food item that has relatively little written about it for the general public, I did not appreciate the author's attitude when I got the chance to meet them in Northampton, MA. Regrettably, I did not get a chance to speak with Mary Lou. However, Robert seemed a little ticked off by my interest in tea and even told me, quite ironically because his book mentions it so tersely, that my understanding of storing oolong tea is too simplistic. I was also told that I must not have authentic teas because they looked slightly different than the teas he had. Upon purchasing from him and taking the tea home to compare, they were exact in smell and taste. While I will not recant every bit of our short conversation, I will say that it left me with a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). Robert could not be bothered sweeping his store to sell me any tea, and answered all my questions condescendiingly. The conversation was almost like a saturday night live skit, just not very funny to me in the moment. I can say that I will never shop there again for the sheer principle. I believe that those who are so devoted and excited about something such as tea should either be as excited to educate others about it, or keep it wholly to themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this book after the "Tea Sommelier" left me empty. This is a small book (8.5" x 4.5" and 3/4" thick), but it contains soooooo much good information. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vinnie's Mom
So much info! I love how Mary Lou and Bob share their incredible knowledge while still providing great stories.Published 1 month ago by joe k
A nice little handbook covering all six classes of tea, with a good sampling of varieties within each class. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roy M. Schoenherr
Very handy if you are interested to learn about different kinds of tea andhow to find it. Could be a lttle more graphical.Published 6 months ago by MTA
This book is beautiful, small, and looks great on my tea shelf. The guide is well-organized, informational, and includes beautiful images and tips.Published 9 months ago by Hayli May
This book is a great overview of the world of tea. It works both as a reference for an expert and as a beginners guide to understanding the different varieties of tea, steeping... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Nicholas Driscoll