This year has been devoted to research and inspiration for The Tea Book, a collaboration with DK publishing (a division of Penguin Random House). Famous for their Eye Witness Travel books and many and varied guides to culinary pursuits, DK chose to publish a book on tea at a time when the world’s favourite hot beverage is poised to gain even more ground in markets around the world. This comprehensive primer for tea lovers will be available in book stores in early July.
I was thrilled to be invited to author The Tea Book. I have long felt that there is a need for a book that gives the reader the basis of knowledge about tea in a visual and informative style. The contents are organized so that we begin at the beginning – the tea plant – its botany, terroir and how it is produced. Illustrations, infographics and photos abound. Manufacturing, tea styles, their preparation and appreciation are outlined. There are spreads on the science of taste with an accompanying flavour wheel which helps to guide the reader to a clearer appreciation of their tea. Tea blending is explained with examples, both traditional and new. Spreads on tea growing regions of the world provide maps and key facts. World tea cultures and their unique tea traditions are described. The Japanese, Chinese and Korean ceremonies are beautifully shot with a simplified description of the steps involved.
A section on tisanes teaches how to find ingredients and prepare your own blends to alleviate various maladies. There are many other spreads of interest too numerous to name (it really is comprehensive!) The last pages are devoted to 75 tea beverage recipes including matcha lattés, tea smoothies and tea cocktails.
In true DK style, The Tea Book provides a complete coverage of the A-Z, 101 of tea – an accessible resource that I wish had been available when I was first beginning my tea studies.