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Way of Tea, The
by: Lam Kam Cheun, Lam Kai Sin, and Lam Tin Yu
Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 2002, Paperback
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2002 Issue: 9(3) page(s): 22
Lam Kam Chuen is a Master, author of six books on Chinese subjects, an international authority on a wide range of Chinese arts including Traditional Chinese Medicine. Plying his expertise in yet another area, this book, subtitled: The Sublime Art of Oriental Tea Drinking, is written with his wife and one of his sons. It tells tales about tea, ancient and modern. Reading it provides background about tea’s discovery, development, how it spread throughout China, and tea-drinking customs there. Tea plants, cultivation, and types of tea are detailed along with tea-time and how to brew a proper pot of tea.
The Lam family deals with their topic in depth; they detail differences between white tea, yellow tea, light and green teas, red and black teas, and those with flowers and other additives. They also discuss Kung Fu tea, among others, and they clarify the nine steps needed to brew any of them.
The last part of this book shares information about teas used for healing. Looking at tea and its health culture, it ends with twenty traditional tea-healing recipes recommended for common ailments, cautions when not to drink tea, and some non-culinary uses of this beverage such as its use to clean windows and mirrors, use as a compost, crockery cleaner, etc.
Overall, the book helps the reader understand subtle tastes, aromas, and traditional tea usage. It provides some up-to-date scientific research information, and it also tells some things about tea plants.