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by: Beatrice Hohenegger
New York NY:
St. Martin's Press 2006, $24.95, Hardbound
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2008 Issue: 15(4) page(s): 26
Tea tales abound. This one is a story from East to West, a fine narrative that is informative, extensive, and exciting. It illuminates China's first uses, Taoist tea uses as an elixir of immortality, Buddhist development of an entire set of rituals, and Chinese first uses as remedies; all of today's beloved beverage. There is England's importing opium to exchange for tea, India's development of tea plantations, even tea utensils, historical tea photographs, tea houses, and more.
This book details lesser known things about tea, too. Ever wonder what a tea taster does? You will learn. Wonder about how mush caffeine is in various kinds of tea? You will get answers. Need to know the difference between white to black teas? You will find out.
The author is guest curator of a traveling tea exhibition slated to open at the Fowler Museum in UCLA in 2009. Can not get there? Bet the book will fill your cuppa tea; surely satiated our need finding minute details we often wondered about and never knew.