Tea Books

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Bok
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:22 am

DailyTX wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:11 am
I assume the original text is in Chinese, wondering if you can share the title with me :)
早期壺事典「貳」Early tea pots II

Ask for addition to their facebook, some chapters are translated in there, you can also post pots of yours if you have doubts. Just need to be aware of the basic rules: Do only post pots you own, with a small paper with your name next to it, sale transactions are not allowed there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/teapot2/?ref=bookmarks

It is run by the author Dr.Lu and some other friendly experts who do not mind sharing and helping. Good place to also see old pots of others and other that are not.
If you want a copy of the book you can contact him there, paypal is accepted and the book is still worth having even without the texts. I doubt the translation will be ready anytime soon...
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pedant
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:33 am

i wish i could find mine. i excitedly printed out the translated chapters right away when they came out and then went to find my copy of the original book to look at the pictures while reading, but i haven't been able to find it. i kinda gave up looking for it. i wonder if it's gone for good? :(
DailyTX
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:52 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:22 am
DailyTX wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:11 am
I assume the original text is in Chinese, wondering if you can share the title with me :)
早期壺事典「貳」Early tea pots II

Ask for addition to their facebook, some chapters are translated in there, you can also post pots of yours if you have doubts. Just need to be aware of the basic rules: Do only post pots you own, with a small paper with your name next to it, sale transactions are not allowed there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/teapot2/?ref=bookmarks

It is run by the author Dr.Lu and some other friendly experts who do not mind sharing and helping. Good place to also see old pots of others and other that are not.
If you want a copy of the book you can contact him there, paypal is accepted and the book is still worth having even without the texts. I doubt the translation will be ready anytime soon...
@Bok
Thank you for posting the title. I gave up on facebook a long time ago lol, probably will see if I can find a copy in Hong kong
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Bok
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:56 am

DailyTX wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:52 am
Thank you for posting the title. I gave up on facebook a long time ago lol, probably will see if I can find a copy in Hong kong
Yeah I do not use FB much apart from stalking groups like that... You can not get it in HK, I am almost 100%. It is a small, very specialised edition. If you want me to help you get it, please PM me, I can contact Dr.Lu for you.
DailyTX
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:11 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:56 am
DailyTX wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:52 am
Thank you for posting the title. I gave up on facebook a long time ago lol, probably will see if I can find a copy in Hong kong
Yeah I do not use FB much apart from stalking groups like that... You can not get it in HK, I am almost 100%. It is a small, very specialised edition. If you want me to help you get it, please PM me, I can contact Dr.Lu for you.
PM sent :)
Ethan Kurland
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Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:09 pm

What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me?

Those are the opening lines of EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. (Not a tea book :D ).
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Bok
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Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:48 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:09 pm
What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me?

Those are the opening lines of EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. (Not a tea book :D ).
Nice quote from a very good book! Thanks for reminding me if this part which I had forgotten.
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mbanu
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:33 pm

A surprise for me was "The Book of Tea & Herbs: Appreciating the Varietals and Virtues of Fine Tea and Herbs; a practical guide from the Ministry of Information" by The Republic of Tea. I had assumed it would be around on-par for those pack-in books that vendors sell about their own teas, but it is actually quite well-written for when it came out (1993). The fact that it was dedicated to William Ukers almost makes me think it was ghostwritten, but I would recommend this as a gift if there are any Republic of Tea drinkers in your life who you'd like to coax towards loose-leaf. ;)
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mbanu
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Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:17 pm

Tea & Sympathy by Anita Naughton.

Not sure if this counts, as it has recipes, but is not really a recipe book so much as a tea-culture book, one of the best I've ever read for describing a particular place and time's tea-culture. If you look at standard book review sites the results are mixed, with people complaining that it mostly seems to just be name-dropping celebrities, without really understanding the context.

Tea & Sympathy catered to Anglo-American New York, and was sort of a common ground between Brits in New York hustling to become stars, Brits in New York who succeeded, and Anglophiles looking for a local version of a Victorian fantasy tea. It is really in the same category as the old "Mid Atlantic Man" essays by Tom Wolfe.

So there is always mention of little old ladies having tea and cake in the background, WASP interior designers trying to inspire themselves through Britishness, Anglophile tourists from overseas ordering weird cream teas, etc., and for them it is more similar to the stereotypical British tea experience. Then there are the British expats, for whom the place is more like a donut shop or 24-hour diner would be seen in the U.S., not really an escape into fantasy but a place to come back down to reality, marred by the fact that a lot of them came to New York to make it and succeeded. The author actually really captures the sort of provincial star-struckness; there's a gag in the book where the Dalai Lama shows up for brunch and the waitress only knows who it is because one of the other patrons recognizes him, because, after all, he isn't in the entertainment industry. :)

It also does an excellent job of helping to explain what it is about tea-culture that makes the culture happen; the author frankly states that the two most popular teas were Typhoo and an unnamed Earl Grey. Granted, these weren't quite as easy to find in the 90s, but there didn't need to be ultra-boutique tea simply due to the nature of the tearoom itself.

The contrast between the American Anglophiles and the British Yankophiles does a good job outlining the spectrum of tea-room culture from the escape-from-reality type that the Japanese tea ceremony and to some degree the Taiwanese tea-art ceremony and grand hotel British ceremony draw from, and the fabric-of-reality type that you see in cha chaan teng type places in Hong Kong that are sort of the tea equivalent of the donut shops and 24-hour diners I mentioned, in that if you pointed out to someone that a donut shop was in fact a coffeeshop, or that a 24-hour diner where people sit at a bar drinking coffee was in fact a coffee bar, they would say, "Well yes, they sell coffee, but they have waitresses not baristas, it's not the same..." trying to phrase this spectrum but not having good words for it. :)

There are also some touching personal stories. The book does a great job of capturing the chaotic behind-the-scenes lives of service-sector workers, which is easier to forget in the tea-art rooms because more effort is made to subliminate for the sake of the fantasy. There are also a few hard-swap stories that are interesting, where Americans who came to escape get thrust back into reality unexpectedly, or where Brits who came to ground themselves found themselves shot back up into the sky.

I would definitely recommend it.
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mbanu
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Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:00 pm

For folks interested in tea history, it looks like Boris Torgasheff's 1926 China as a Tea Producer is in the public domain now: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Ch ... _XAAAAMAAJ

I find this a very interesting time, as it is after the UK had largely given up on Chinese teas, and after the collapse of the Russian export market, but before the nationalization of the tea industry.
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mbanu
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Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:34 pm

I noticed that Agnes Repplier's To Think of Tea! is also available now: https://www.google.com/books/edition/To ... rfAAAAMAAJ

This one is a favorite of James Norwood Pratt, who referenced it in The Tea Lover's Treasury as a "Useful Reference on Tea":
Repplier, Agnes. To Think of Tea! Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1932. A social, historical, and literary study of tea of rare insight and unsurpassed charm. Now hard to find, but worth the search.
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mbanu
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Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:13 pm

Greywacke wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:47 pm
I've added a couple more China-specific English publications that were apparently written by the curator (Wang Jianrong) of, and specifically for, the China National Tea Museum (although I can't 100% confirm; just based on the synopsis I found with some of the books):
  • Wang, J. Illustrated Dictionary of Famous Tea in China
Ah, I forgot to mention that I have this one! It is remarkably evasive about who the author is. On the cover it says "Edited by Wang Jianong and Zhou Wenjin" while the full credits in the back are
Publisher: Jiang Heng
Project Coordinator: Zou Liang
Editor: Wang Wenyuan
Book Designer: Qiu Donghao
Proofreader: Cheng Cuihua
Editorial Assistant(s): Kong Yuping, Yao Xiaoyan
There is also an uncredited preface by Cheng Zongmao, the honorary chairman of the China Tea Science Society.

I did like that they mentioned certain old-fashioned practices not well-known to folks unused to Chinese teas, like storing tea with quicklime as a preservative. There are also a few photos with suspicious captions, such as a wooden rolling machine listed "Ancient tea-processing machine: tea rubbing machine" that I would have thought was from the Republican-era attempts to mechanize the tea industry. Some of the scientific claims are ones that are mentioned so frequently in Chinese books that I think they forget how surprising they sound to other readers, such as the idea that tea can help with radiation poisoning. (Is this actually a branch of modern tea-research in China?)

There are only about 50 pages of actual text in the book, a brief historical survey, a few scientific claims, and advice on how to brew and store various categories of tea. Most of the 250 pages consist of 2-page photo spreads of different teas with very little captioning. For example, there are two pages on Lingtou Dancong, that include large photos of the dry leaf, the wet leaf, and brewed tea, and two lines of text, "Origin: Raoping, Guangdong" and "Characteristics: yellowish brown, lofty and lasting aroma, slight honey aroma, fresh taste." :)
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Sat Aug 14, 2021 4:53 pm

OOF, I'm still here and updating, just in the background, lurking. @mbanu Yeah, some of these get exceedingly difficult to classify/organize--there's either no author, or only an editor listed, or in a few cases, a compiler. And a lot of these books don't have ISBNs associated with them. Sometimes I resort to whatever the most visible name is, to make it easiest for anyone else looking at the list to find the book with a google search.

On a tangentially related note, I recently picked up Bamboo House, a book I found in a used book shop, that details Indonesian tea history. I've found a grand total of one mention of this book anywhere online. I'm excited to read it, but I try to force myself not to 'jump queue' with books I've bought (I'm currently reading How to Make Tea: The Science Behind the Leaf which I'm despising, to be honest).

Unfortunately, I can't find China as a Tea Producer in pdf anywhere. Through that link, google's blocking me. So I'm guessing it's copyright hasn't quite expired in Canada yet, blah.

A tiny side-project of mine is to collect together epub and pdf releases of tea books across multiple sources in one easy download spot.
Last edited by Greywacke on Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Greywacke
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Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:56 pm

Update: More additions. Added to 2021 releases, and started 2022 releases. Broke out a 'Children's Books' section. Also working on breaking out a 'teaware' section, as well as add in the books people have suggested...

Some new additions:
  • Soei, R. A Beginner's Guide to the Zen Tea Ceremony: Developing Mindfulness and Calm the Japanese Way
  • Stevens, A. The Story of British Tea Chests and Caddies: Social History and Decorative Techniques
  • Brekell, P. A Beginner's Guide to Japanese Tea
  • Mondal, T. Tea: Genome and Genetics
  • Dou, Q. Tea in Health and Disease
  • Macfarlane, I. Macfarlane, AD Twenty Years in Tea: The Letters of Iris Macfarlane from Assam Tea Gardens 1946-1965
  • Jegathesan, M. Tea and solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Postwar Sri Lanka
  • Krenner, W. Jeremiah, K. Chadogu: The Art of Tea
  • Rao, K. The Ultimate Tea Guide: A Detailed List of 60+ Tea Varieties, including Health Benefits & Steeping Recommendations
I've also added a new section, Children's Books:
  • Waissbluth, D. O'Byrne, C. Teatime Around the World
  • Maheshwari, P. Chaiwala!
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Quentin
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Mon Aug 16, 2021 7:29 am

I’ve been reading through a super good Rengetsu gallery catalogue from the National Gallery of Australia. Unsure what category it would fall into though.

Eastburn, M. Black Robe, White Mist: Art of the Japanese Buddhist Nun Rengetsu
Last edited by Quentin on Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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