Books of the late 80s to early 00s Anglo-American tea revival

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Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:33 am

I feel like there ought to be a better subject name, but I don't know what it is.

Basically, starting around the late 80s, a bunch of British authors started writing books on British tea-culture that were specifically targeted to American audiences. The best relationship I can think of to this is sort of like the books on Chinese tea-culture that specifically target a Taiwanese audience.

A few clues are that they tend to avoid or ignore any parts of British tea-history that disrupt the aesthetic; you will never see one of these books mention a Teasmade, for instance. Another is Americanized ingredients for tea-snacks, although to some degree this was also a byproduct of when they were written, as postwar Britain went through a process of Americanization that modified many recipes. So similar to the American Bed & Breakfast books, there will be a lot of cream cheese. :)

Early Jane Pettigrew before she was influenced by James Norwood Pratt and the California gourmands might be a good example, such as her "Jane Pettigrew's Tea-Time" book from 1986.

Other examples I can think of:

The Afternoon Tea Book by Michael Smith (1986)
The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea by Helen Simpson (1986)
A Little English Book of Teas by Rosa Mashiter (1989)

I'm sure there are more.

I think they deserve their own subcategory because they are a unique window into American tea-culture at the time, using old British tea culture as the mirror; they are also linked to many of the other American tea-cultures of the time, like the American Bed & Breakfast culture and the Victoria Magazine culture, allowing a person to see how they are all connected.


Another one, A Proper Tea by Joanna Isles (1987)
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