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The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide [Kindle Edition]

Mary Lou Heiss , Robert J. Heiss
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: £17.10 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

Whether it's a delicate green tea or a bracing Assam black, a cup of tea is a complex brew of art and industry, tradition and revolution, East and West. In this sweeping tour through the world of tea, veteran tea traders Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss chronicle tea's influence across the globe and provide a complete reference for choosing, drinking, and enjoying this beverage.

The Story of Tea begins with a journey along the tea trail, from the lush forests of China, where tea cultivation first flourished, to the Buddhist temples of Japan, to the vast tea gardens of India, and beyond. Offering an insider'­s view of all aspects of tea trade, the Heisses examine Camellia sinensis, the tea bush, and show how subtle differences in territory and production contribute to the diversity of color, flavor, and quality in brewed tea. They profile more than thirty essential tea varietals, provide an in depth guide to tasting and brewing, and survey the customs and crafts associated with tea. Sharing the latest research, they discuss tea's health benefits and developments in organic production and fair trade practices. Finally, they present ten sweet and savory recipes, including Savory Chinese Marbled Eggs and Green Tea Pot de Crâme, and resources for purchasing fine tea.

Vividly illustrated throughout, The Story of Tea is an engrossing tribute to the illustrious, invigorating, and elusive leaf that has sustained and inspired people for more than two thousand years.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 28270 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (23 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HFRM28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #522,839 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift 11 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've not heard anything bad about the book from the recipient yet, they only got the gift a week ago so since they do not write very often i may not get feedback for some time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
100 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 8 Nov 2007
By N. Suzuki - Published on
I would have so wished to love this book. I am a tea lover and tea is one of my passions. The wonderful pictures looked promising, so did the index and the chapter outline. However, information were repeated over and over again, at some times I felt the authors are rambling on and on without making a point. Often they talk about their tea store, their experiences while traveling, how there are other "bad" tea stores, who do not know anything about tea. A more appropriate title would have been "OUR story of tea".

I would have wished, the authors would have explained better the different steps how the different white, oolongs, black, green and pu-err teas are made. The authors only mentioned the order of how the tea leaves are processed, no explanation for the whys, except "to make the tea more mellow, greener ...". This would have been a great chance to explain a bit about the chemistry, that is going on there.

Although, the context and lay out was so promising, the overall read ended up to be boring and disappointing. With too much repeated information on one side and too little at others, plus the never-ending passages without much point. The fascinating ways of tea with its drinking traditions and production and cultural evolution got lost under all the rambling and was burdened with too many words.
57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten star must read 24 Oct 2007
By Elizabeth - Published on
WOW..... Ever have a book come across your desk that leaves you in awe? This is what happened when The Story of Tea landed in my mailbox. What first catches your eye is the crisp clean design of the book and its cover. A sturdy book that has a sensual soothing feel. If the eyes are the gateway to the stomach, then this book was one that would make me want to drink tea. And I have never been a tea or coffee drinker, so this is an important point.

So I sat and ran my hand over the book and looked at the zen style teapot pouring a hot serving of tea, in the cover photo. Then I opened the book and an hour later when the sun had begun to set and I realized I needed to turn on a light, I realized how mesmerized I had become. To the point I reread areas because I was on the path to becoming a tea lover.

The photos are stunning and informative, which is rare in most books. I was intrigued about all the various cultures where tea is not only drunk, but used as an ingredient in medicine, cooking and baking. The Life of a Tea Bush one reads of the different types of tea bushes, their needs be it water, deeply rich soil, mountains or valleys. On page 51 one learns of the 8 elements of tea productions.

On page 257 one begins to read the encyclopedia of teas, from White, Yellow, Green, Oolong, Black, Pu-erh, Scented, Artisan, Presentation, or Display Tea. And then Brewing The Perfect Cup. No tea bags here thankfully. Then Storing tea, the best water, temperatures etc.

Tea Customs and Culture covers China, Japan, Europe, and other countries like north Africa and Arabia, teapots and cups, as well as Wagashi or what is called sweets that one can serve with various teas.

Like tea itself, this book is soothing and nice. And would make a GREAT gift for anyone who loves history, food, is a teacup or teapot collector, is living in a cabin or on Park Avenue. Have homeschooling friends and family whom I have and will recommend the book to.
42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice to look at, informative, poorly written. 25 July 2008
By M. Parfitt - Published on
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a beautiful book to page through. And it's pretty clear, I think, that the authors are real experts on their subject. I was going to buy it from Amazon on the strength of the other reviews here, but frankly I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead. The writing is really quite poor throughout, and much as I found the subject interesting, I found it tedious to untangle one ill-constructed sentence after another as I made my arduous way through the book. The writers don't seem to be quite sure of who their audience is, or what tone is appropriate for this sort of book. At times, it reads like a textbook; at others, like a reflective essay. But it never reads very smoothly. A thoroughly revised new edition would be nice!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Tea Book You'll Ever Need 27 Jan 2008
By Sharon Hudgins - Published on
Reviewed by Sharon Hudgins, author of "The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East"

The subtitle of this beautiful book ought to be "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Tea But Were Afraid to Ask." It answers all of your questions--and more--about tea, including the history of tea, where tea is grown, how it is processed, and the cultural factors influencing the production and consumption of tea over the centuries. Both encyclopedic and very readable, it is filled with historical references, details, and anecdotes lacking in lesser books on this subject. And there is even a section on "Cooking with Tea," including recipes for Green Tea Pots de Crème and Green Tea Chiffon Cake with Walnuts and Crystallized Ginger.

The authors own a shop that sells fine teas, coffees, and other food specialties in Massachusetts. Their book's scope is worldwide and their own knowledge considerable. They have traveled to China and Japan to visit the sites of tea plantations and tea processors, and their handsomely designed, well-printed book is full of color photographs taken on location. If you buy only one book on the subject of tea, this should definitely be the one! It also makes a great gift, paired with a pretty teapot and a box of special, aromatic tea. Highly recommended!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the only tea book you'll ever need 13 Nov 2007
By R. Frank - Published on
No single book on tea can possibly address the needs or interests of all tea lovers, but this book will unquestionably satisfy the needs and interests of a very, very large and diverse audience. It is also an extremely handsome book with wonderful photographs and intelligent, carefully researched writing. The disappointed reviewer who complained about redundancy seems to have missed the point that the reader can enter any section of this book and get all the relevant information on, say, manufacture, or brewing, or botany without having to jump backward or forward to other sections to fill in the information gaps. The redundancy, what there actually is of it, seems purposeful and useful. (Also, I was not taken aback by the lack of detailed information on tea chemistry, but as I said no single book on tea will satisfy everyone.)

I confess to being something of a tea novice, so for me The Story of Tea answers questions about styles of tea and proper brewing methods that will enhance my enjoyment. That's my primary focus at present. At some point in the future, I'm sure I'll return to the text to learn more about tea history, where tea comes from and how it is harvested, produced and consumed in different regions and cultures. In short, this is a book that I intend to grow into over time and there is no need to hurry. I'll just sip it. One final point: given its elegant design, this book is an incredible bargain! It's on my list of gifts to give.
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