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Tea Companion. The

by: Jane Pettigrew

New York NY: Macmilllan 1997, $22.00, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-02-861727-4

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(1) page(s): 27

Subtitled: A Connoisseur's Guide, this volume traces tea from its roots in China through history, cultivation, and consumption. What is different from the previous volume (Serendipity is that it is loaded with color and content.

The author, owner of a tea shop in London since 1983, has written four other books about tea, is a consultant to the United Kingdom's Tea Club and other organizations, and writes for many international magazines. She is known as a tea expert.

There is an introduction loaded with historical photographs and illustrations of different teas. Also, a wonderful drawing of methods of production from leaf to scented teas, information on organic teas, tea terminology and blends, packaging, tea pots and other equipment, tea appreciation, brewing, water, tea and food pairings, and even how to organize a tea party, Western style.

The book is written in four sections, the first is the above mentioned thorough introduction. What follows are looks at almost a dozen of the world's tea-producing countries profiled with pictures tea leaves or bricks, individual characteristics, brewing hints, and drinking recommendations. All this detailed in half of the book.

The second half is a global tea directory of eleven tea producing countries featuring more than seventy individual teas. The book ends with mail order tea companies, where to get three tea magazines, the Tea museum other useful addresses, and a detailed index. Color photographs complete this gem of a volume.

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