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Tea Enthusiast's Handbook, The

by: Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss

Berkeley CA: Ten Speed Press 2010, $16.98, Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-58008-804-6

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2010 Issue: 17(3) page(s): 34

This handy guide to the world's most widely consumed beverage is a must-read for anyone who wants to enjoy the world's best teas. Learn about purchasing, steeping, storage, and freshness, and about the six classes of tea: White, Yellow, Green, Oolong, Black, and Pu-erh (the author’s spelling rather than the more common Chinese one of pu-er).

Easy to read, with an easy to use Glossary and Index, we believe one should tote this volume whenever needing to buy tea. It is a wise investment and a wonderful read when learning about this great beverage.

Concise and authoritative, these two tea merchants identify more than anyone needs to know, but do not miss anything anyone might want to know. It is great information they offer. The books details answers to just about everything one might ask about tea. This is just in time as good teas are enjoying unprecedented attention, one cup at a time.

On a par with wine, learn about tea terroir (the soil and air that impacts tea tastes), tea labeling, tea menus, tea shelf-life, and how to buy and delight in every cup of tea. The only thing missing are recipes to cook every kind of tea in every way. However, if they were there, the volume would not fit into a pocket and be easy to tote every time it was needed.

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