What’s the next best thing to drinking tea? Reading about tea..! There’s fortunately a lot of books about tea out there to choose from. Here are our top five tea reading titles that stand out as particularly entertaining and informative. Perfect for curling up with along with a cup of tea as the days shorten….
"The Book of Tea" by Kakuzo Okakura
An essential part of any tea enthusiast's book collection is “The Book of Tea”. Published in 1906 by Japanese philosopher, Okakura Kakuzo, it remains over a century later one of the most widely read books on tea. It chronicles Japan’s tea culture and was written in English by Kakuzo in order to demystify Japanese tea culture for Western readers. Preparing and drinking tea Kakuzo explains must be understood as “the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence”. Worth remembering the next time we’re tempted to reach for those tea bags…!
"Darjeeling" by Jeff Koehler
"Darjeeling" is an engaging ode to one of the world’s most famous tea growing regions. Koehler tells the colourful history of tea from this region and how it went from being a remote obscure part of the kingdom of Sikkim to the “Queen of the Hills”, home to over a hundred tea gardens in a short space of time, weaving in the history of colonial and post-colonial India. Looking ahead he addresses some of the multiple challenges facing Darjeeling from the labour crisis to deforestation and global warming. An important read that helps revive pride and respect for Darjeeling tea…!
"For All the Tea in China" by Sarah Rose
"For All the Tea in China" is a history book that reads more like an action-packed novel. It tells the story of the Scottish botanist Richard Fortune whose audacious smuggling of tea plants from China and tea growing expertise in the mid-19th Century created a new nation of tea in India. Rose takes us on a journey alongside Fortune as he travels through China in search of tea seeds and cuttings. This is tea’s very own Indiana Jones- hard to put down!
The World Tea Encyclopaedia, Will Battle
No tea book collection is complete without a comprehensive examination of the world’s tea growing regions. In this epic 379-page work, Battle leans on his decades of experience in sourcing and blending to guide us through how tea is grown, prepared and consumed and helps us navigate the different terroirs around the world. Required reading for any tea geek…!
Eighty Degrees Magazine
Eighty Degrees is not a book, but a beautiful quarterly journal that celebrates tea culture in all its forms. The journal has wonderful features about a myriad of themes around tea and tea life written by tea lovers and industry experts, alongside stylish photography. It's a perfect read to sit and sip with.
"Tea, Wine's Sober Sibling" by Mariella Erkens
This is a great addition to any tea connoisseur's book collection. There is a wealth of information and details on the often underexplored topic of tea and food pairings, especially when it comes to chocolate. The recipes are extremely creative and show how versatile tea is an ingredient. This books really brings something different.
Any favourite books on tea? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org