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Ancient Art of Tea, The

by: Warren Peltier

Tokyo, Japan : Tuttle Publishing 2011, $15.95, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-8-8040-4153-5

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2011 Issue: 18(3) page(s): 19

The cover advises this book includes Wisdom From the Old Chinese Tea Masters. There is that and a Foreword by John T. Kirby, Professor and Chair of the Department of classics at the University of Miami. The author, Xia Yun-Feng aka Warren Peltier, is the Director of the Chuan Ming Chadao Tea Culture Research Center. He has studied and shared the way of tea for almost twenty years.

With many parts of Classical Chinese tea books translated into modern English, Peltier extracts knowledge and shares it. All can learn many fundamental secrets of tea as practiced by the ancient sages. This book delights and enlightens about making tea including about the fire required to heat the water, kinds of water best suited to make this delicious beverage, utensils needed, and how to enjoy this unique ancient art.

The six chapters end with one about tea etiquette, its importance, sacrificial offerings, tea and guests, tea and marriage, and other customs and refinement when drinking tea. There are four appendices including one for chapter notes, one for a tea biography, another listing many classical texts, and finally one with segments of many classic Chinese tea texts. Should these not be enough, the last page lists nineteen most recent Chinese items (2000 - 2008) for further reading; and the cover reveals the book's subtitle: Discover Happiness and Contentment in a Perfect Cup of Tea. Do learn how to sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy it.

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