Tea Books

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Tue Feb 08, 2022 3:10 am

It's interesting how styles of content can lead to liking books or not, not only the ideas but how they are framed, and how selection choices are made. Something like Tony Gebely's Tea: A User's Guide might appeal to people approaching tea as he does, sort of a engineer's breakdown approach, but someone with a more stylistic or experiential approach to tea might see that as off-putting. For introductory content it's easy to see scope choices or how ideas are framed as positive or way off track, even without them being wrong. Errors are something else, but omissions can stand out a lot too.

It sounds like I'm trying to indirectly blame someone for something, but that's not the point. Some judgment goes into ideas that could be interpreted as right or wrong by others but style and shared perspective plays a lot of role too; that's it. Some people would love Sergey's book on Chinese teas because a lot of the content is novel, in-depth, and informative and some could be put off by other inclusion of type descriptions in forms not everyone would relate to, a limited flavor list interpretation approach.
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Sun May 29, 2022 3:13 pm

I realize @Greywacke keeps a great blog with reviews of many of the titles listed in the opening post:

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Mon May 15, 2023 9:54 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Sun May 29, 2022 3:13 pm
I realize Greywacke keeps a great blog with reviews of many of the titles listed in the opening post:

(Oh shoot, hahah, yeah I do. I'm a slow reader so it only sees a couple updates a year.)

Just updated with as many 2023 releases as I could find. I also re-shuffled a book or two between categories after reading them. I figure 'Green Tea and Milk' can help kickstart the 'America' section; Japan's section is long enough.

Got my hands on 'Tea and Tea Dealing' and 'Management of Monopoly' from the library, so I've set aside all my current owned books to read both of those.

With some of the books mbanu's come across, considering splitting up the 'British' section between books dealing with industry and history, versus those dealing with culture/etiquette. The section isn't so long yet to warrant it, but the Region-category can pretty quickly get confusing.
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Sun May 28, 2023 12:33 pm

Hello everyone! I will buy a used book
"First Step to Chinese Puerh Tea"
Thank you ;)
P.s. or share a link to the store
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Thu Jun 15, 2023 1:30 am

The list has gotten quite long!

I wonder if we could highlight some books from it, clearly there are better books and worse books there. I just skimmed through the list and made a quick note of books I've read which I'd consider notable. In general, I have a rather strong interest for tea history and Chinese tea, and my highlights will reflect that.

Gascoyne, K. Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties
Gebely, T. Tea: A User's Guide
I think these two are the best "general overview" -books. Gebely tries to be "the" book and the attempt is quite good, though it doesn't quite hit the mark and tries too hard, imo.

Lovelace, V.U. Tea: A Nerds Eye View would be a good second book to get after any of the other previous ones. It has some fascinating stuff about how taste buds work, and the genome of the tea plant and it's evolution.

Driem, G. The Tale of Tea: A Comprehensive History of Tea from Prehistoric Times to the Present Day
Some sections are interesting. Much less comprehensive than one would assume from the length.

Benn, J. A. Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History
Fascinating read on the social functions tea served in monasteries.

Blofeld, J. The Chinese Art of Tea
Interesting peak into the old China and the tea lore which was floating around.

Gardella, R. Harvesting Mountains: Fujian and the China Tea Trade, 1757-1937
A very fascinating book. Shows the effects of western demand for tea for China. Usually in historical overviews the narrative shifts to Europe around this time, this book fills the gap by showcasing how the tea market evolved in China during that time. Tensions between Wuyi -farmers who had been at it for ages and newcomers flooding to farm more tea for European market.

Hinsch, B. The Rise of Tea Culture in China: The Invention of the Individual
This was a good companion to Benn's book, similar themes as I recall.

Chan, K. P. A Glossary of Chinese Puerh Tea
Chan, K. P. First Step to Chinese Puerh Tea
Interesting peaks into the classic HK pu'er culture. Not much relevant information for modern consumer, but interesting for historical reasons.

Graham, P. J. Tea of the Sages: The Art of Sencha
This was a good one, too bad copies are hard to come by and I never bought one. Not really about sencha the tea type, but senchado as a cultural phenomenon. Maybe should be regrouped into Japan on the list?

Zhang, J. Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic
Zhang gives quite a different view to pu'er than Chan earlier in the list. Worth reading both.

Fisher, A. Tea Medicine
Fisher, A. The Way of Tea: Health, Harmony, and Inner Calm
I think the style of the Way of Tea was more accessible for me. The Tea Medicine is a more thorough look into the tea as was taught in the Tea Sage Hut.

Okakura, K. The Book of Tea
Beautiful book.

Sen, S. XV Tea Life, Tea Mind
Sen, S. XV The Spirit of Tea
I think these two are quite similar in style and goal to Okakura's book, and it would make sense to group them together.

I'd love to see some more highlights from others.
There are some singular mentions in earlier pages, of course, but I'd love to see some more discussion about what are the gems of list.
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Thu Jun 15, 2023 3:46 am

I've enjoyed Green with Milk and Sugar and Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties by Kevin Gascoyne from Camellia Sinensis. Infused by Henrietta Lovell was also a fun read.

I'm surprised there are no books about tea in Taiwan on this list.
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