Hoffman Media


The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea 

Preface by Anthony Burgess (Flammarion, 2005)



Throughout the world, tea has left its mark and become a substantial component of culture. The act of drinking tea began with the elite but soon spread to the masses, transforming tea drinking into a popular pastime. As you sip blissful cups, read of the origins and fascinating history behind the leaves that make up the rituals and maintain the popularity of taking tea.


“Tea has become not merely the name of a beverage but the name of a meal,” says author Anthony Burgess. “Sandwiches and cakes accompany the cheerful cups.” The tradition of tea in Britain dates back to the 17th century, and today the English each drink about six cups per day. Although it has become less formal, “taking tea is often a subtle and refined occasion that requires a small measure of artistry,” Burgess adds. “To savor tea time fully, one must know how to take the time to relax, how to leave daily cares behind and appreciate the simple pleasures of the moment.”


Captivating images grace the pages of this striking hardcover volume and convey the story of tea from plantation to teacup. Photographs of peaceful landscapes and lush tea gardens delight the eye and take readers to northeastern India, where Darjeeling grows below Mount Kangchenjunga, and south to the Indian Ocean, where fine black teas are picked in the light, clear air of Ceylon. “The processing, maturity and form of the leaf give tea its tastethe region in which it was grown gives it its character,” explains Burgess. “Some districts produce teas that are inevitably prestigious, thanks to a combination of favorable climate and tried-and-tested cultivation techniques.”


The Book of Tea also features useful information about different ways tea can be incorporated into everyday life. Gourmet recipes like Green Tea Ice Cream and Earl Grey Sauce offer a new take on tea fare, while a guide to tea tasting presents a lovely array of blends for readers’ consideration.

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