Tea Book Recommendations


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Tea Book Recommendations

Postby Chasec » Jul 19th, '12, 16:21

I'm not really sure where to post this, since I'm not necessarily limiting myself to suggestions for pu'er specific books, but I figured I'd start here. I'm open to any sort of suggestions, anything form the history, processing, or cultural perspectives of Chinese tea.
I'm not an absolute beginner, but I could always stand to learn more.
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby Lerxst2112 » Jul 19th, '12, 16:46

Tea Life, Tea Mind by Soshitsu Sen XV
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby JakubT » Jul 19th, '12, 17:03

It's not really a book, but I found Art of Tea (especially the first three issues) to be informative and interesting.
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby needaTEAcher » Jul 23rd, '12, 23:13

I really like First Step to Chinese Puerh by Chan Kam Pong. It is pretty basic, but very inclusive, so it can really help to fill in gaps for basic puerh knowledge.

I also enjoyed The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea by Mike Harney. Very, very intro level on just about everything, but it covers the main breadth of tea.

For a book about the Tao of Tea, I recommend ChaTao, by Aaron Fisher. This is not so much about tea as about Taoism and the history of the relationship between the two, though there are some great ideas, historical facts, and historical suppositions. Facinating read. I actually recommend it for everyone, since it talks about the philosophy of tea as a peaceful, kind "way", which is unfortunately not always the case here on teachat!
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby Chasec » Jul 24th, '12, 01:54

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, they are just the kind of thing I'm interested in.

Lerxst2112, I couldn't find ChaTao, but I did find a similar book, by the same author called The Way of Tea: Reflections on a Life with Tea.

http://books.google.com/books?id=GYicPgAACAAJ&dq=The+Way+of+Tea:+Reflections+on+a+Life+with+Tea&source=bl&ots=EV2sLxRYKb&sig=XTq19LXqej99oflFVVKOtGLyltQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-jEOUIm1NuOSiAKLwonRCQ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby needaTEAcher » Jul 24th, '12, 03:00

Chasec wrote:Thanks everyone for the suggestions, they are just the kind of thing I'm interested in.

Lerxst2112, I couldn't find ChaTao, but I did find a similar book, by the same author called The Way of Tea: Reflections on a Life with Tea.

http://books.google.com/books?id=GYicPg ... CDMQ6AEwAA


That's the one. Sorry! :oops:
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby iovetea » Jul 24th, '12, 07:15

needaTEAcher wrote:I really like First Step to Chinese Puerh by Chan Kam Pong. It is pretty basic, but very inclusive, so it can really help to fill in gaps for basic puerh knowledge.

I also enjoyed The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea by Mike Harney. Very, very intro level on just about everything, but it covers the main breadth of tea.

For a book about the Tao of Tea, I recommend ChaTao, by Aaron Fisher. This is not so much about tea as about Taoism and the history of the relationship between the two, though there are some great ideas, historical facts, and historical suppositions. Facinating read. I actually recommend it for everyone, since it talks about the philosophy of tea as a peaceful, kind "way", which is unfortunately not always the case here on teachat!


the first book i want to buy myself but the harneys and sons book is really bad in my opinion. its actually writen like a brochure you get when you buy tea, I'm not sure i think it doesn't even have pictures in it.

even so i don't know if it includes pu er but tao of chinese tea and tea history, terrors and varieties is 100 times better.


don't get me wrong i like family business and they might be the best vendors but the book is really bad in my opinion.
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby Drax » Jul 24th, '12, 07:50

iovetea wrote:even so i don't know if it includes pu er but tao of chinese tea and tea history, terrors and varieties is 100 times better.


I try not to poke too much at spelling errors, because heaven knows I make my fair share of them, but this one in particular conjured up some pretty incredible images in my head...

For example, I think I would really enjoy reading The Creature from the Black Tea Lagoon.....

I wonder what else.... maybe 20,000 Steeps Under the Tea? Or maybe Dong Ding, the tale of a giant tea gorilla who terrorizes a city.... :D
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby needaTEAcher » Jul 24th, '12, 08:01

Drax wrote:For example, I think I would really enjoy reading The Creature from the Black Tea Lagoon.....

I wonder what else.... maybe 20,000 Steeps Under the Tea? Or maybe Dong Ding, the tale of a giant tea gorilla who terrorizes a city.... :D


Too funny!

I actually am not such a fan of Harney and Sons as a vendor, in many ways. They sell good teas, but I always feel like they are too...I don't know...snooty? And, in my opinion, overpriced. Good tea, as I said, but I don't buy from them. But I do like the book just because it is a good introduction to the world of tea, with a solid range, good details (a bit random in my opinion, but good details nonetheless), and pleasantly written. It does have puerh, but a skimpy section (you can tell he doesn't really like pu). And I agree that the lack of photos is a serious minus. But I still recommend it!
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby JRS22 » Jul 24th, '12, 08:16

Another vote for the Harney book for someone new to tea, even w/o pictures. It's organized as a series of tea tastings, so it helps a beginner begin to focus on the variations within a category, which is more difficult than detecting the differences between categories. Its not unlike a Teachat OTTI.

I coupled it with steeping suggestions from Teachat for some positive tasting sessions. The book includes steeping suggestions but they're not always to my taste.
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby needaTEAcher » Jul 24th, '12, 09:58

I used it in conjunction with tea tastings as well, many of which were from specialteas (before they sold). I even hosted a bunch of tastings for my friends (who thought I was crazy, but were down to try it), starting with 1 from each category (white, yellow, green, oolong, black, puerh), then 2 or 3 in each category. It was super informative, and a lot of fun!
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby iovetea » Jul 24th, '12, 11:05

you know its not that the flavor description is bad, but you find all that and even more in so many other tea books. Just look at the wealth of information other books.

but thats just my opinions, i think the best is always too look first in bookshops and compare and judge for oneself. Everyone has a different taste like with pu erhs lol
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby debunix » Jul 24th, '12, 12:36

The original post requested books about puerh, and none of the handful of tea books I've read are very comprehensive on puerh. The Story of Tea has the photos that the Harney & Sons Guide to Tea lacks, and gives more general background on tea production in different parts of the world, but the Harney & Sons guide was important to me for other reasons. It described detailed tastings of a series of closely related teas, which was very helpful in learning may way around different types of teas, and it provided a phrase that haunted me until I finally figured it out--"the honeyed quality of many Chinese green teas." I did finally find a Chinese green tea that brought that phrase to life, and without that enigmatic phrase as inspiration, I might not have kept searching until I found a green tea that really did have that quality when brewed well.
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby iovetea » Jul 24th, '12, 14:00

Drax wrote:
iovetea wrote:even so i don't know if it includes pu er but tao of chinese tea and tea history, terrors and varieties is 100 times better.


I try not to poke too much at spelling errors, because heaven knows I make my fair share of them, but this one in particular conjured up some pretty incredible images in my head...

For example, I think I would really enjoy reading The Creature from the Black Tea Lagoon.....

I wonder what else.... maybe 20,000 Steeps Under the Tea? Or maybe Dong Ding, the tale of a giant tea gorilla who terrorizes a city.... :D


total missed that post lol
i would love to see 20000 steeps under the tea
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Re: Tea Book Recommendations

Postby needaTEAcher » Jul 24th, '12, 19:09

debunix wrote:The original post requested books about puerh, and none of the handful of tea books I've read are very comprehensive on puerh. The Story of Tea has the photos that the Harney & Sons Guide to Tea lacks, and gives more general background on tea production in different parts of the world, but the Harney & Sons guide was important to me for other reasons. It described detailed tastings of a series of closely related teas, which was very helpful in learning may way around different types of teas, and it provided a phrase that haunted me until I finally figured it out--"the honeyed quality of many Chinese green teas." I did finally find a Chinese green tea that brought that phrase to life, and without that enigmatic phrase as inspiration, I might not have kept searching until I found a green tea that really did have that quality when brewed well.


Harney is the first one I read who said, "Tea should make you smile" as the one and only rule. That rule has been echoed a lot the past few years for me, and has become my guiding principle!
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