208 pages, 8.5 × 4.52 × 0.56 in
March 30, 2010
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 158008804X
ISBN - 13: 9781580088046
About the Book
This pocket guide offers concise, authoritative advice on understanding, buying, and enjoying the six classes of tea, perfect for casual tea drinkers and tea connoisseurs alike. 30 color photographs.
Read from the Book
Introduction: The Glorious World of Tea How times have changed! Premium tea is enjoying the spotlight today in ways unimagined just a few short years ago. Until the 1990s, retail purveyors of premium tea in the United States could be counted on one hand, and specialty food stores stocked just a tame selection of humdrum black tea blends. At best, these selections were marked by country of origin, with perhaps a simple attribution to style of tea or country of production. Unlike today, little detailed information was available to tea drinkers, and most people did not even know what questions to ask. For many, tea was, well, not very exciting, but something that you could count on Grandma to have on hand. Today, we are learning how enticing and pleasingly distinctive premium tea really is. Tea can be subtle and alluring, bold and bracing, sweet and fresh, young and full of vigor, or rich and matured. It is always fragrant and welcoming at all times. Premium teas once unknown in the West are now becoming familiar, and new tea shops and tea houses are opening for business across the country. For tea enthusiasts, this offers a superb opportunity to travel the world of tea one delicious cup at a time. Crafting fine tea requires a highly developed sense of perception for touch, sight, and sound that no machine can replicate. And every tea—from Taiwan’s Ali Shan High Mountain gao shan oolong to a brisk and bright Ceylon black tea from the Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka—tells a st
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Glorious World of Tea 1
Chapter One: Purchasing Tea 10
Chapter Two: Steeping the Perfect Cup 26
Chapter Three: The Six Classes of Tea 40
Green Tea 42
Yellow Tea 75
White Tea 82
Oolong Tea 92
Black Tea 118
Pu-erh Tea 150
Chapter Four: Tea Storage and Freshness 174
Buyer’s Guide 191
From the Publisher
AROUND THE WORLD IN A TEACUP
Did you know that tea is the most widely consumed beverage on the planet after water? Or that all of the world’s tea originates from only three varieties of a single plant? While a cup of tea may be a simple pleasure for most of us, there are a dizzying number of tastes from which to choose. And every tea, whether a delicately sweet green tea from Japan or a bracing, brisk Darjeeling black, tells a story in the cup about the land that nurtured it and the tea-making skills that transformed it.
In this authoritative guide, veteran tea professionals Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss provide decades of expertise on understanding tea and its origins, the many ways to buy tea, and how to explore and enjoy the six classes of tea (green, yellow, white, oolong, black, and Pu-erh). Additional advice on steeping the perfect cup and storing tea at home, alongside a gallery of more than thirty-fi ve individual teas with tasting notes and descriptions make The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook a singular source of both practical information and rich detail about this fascinating beverage.
About the Author
MARY LOU HEISS AND ROBERT J. HEISS have been premium tea retailers since 1974. They are adventurous tea trekkers and food and travel writers, and they also present popular educational tea workshops and tastings around the country. They are coauthors of The Story of Tea and Hot Drinks. When not traveling to source tea for their shop Tea Trekker, the Heisses make their home in western Massachusetts.
“a map to have in your grasp as you head down the dozens of intricate, interconnected paths that define the landscape of the world’s best teas.”
—Fresh Cup magazine, December 2010
“Excellent, concise advice about tea. The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook, a charming guide small enough to fit in a large pocket, brims with enthusiasm. ...The information is essential to appreciation; almost every word bears on taste. The Heisses write with impressive accuracy, having researched and lived the subject extensively.... All tea styles...are given equal attention and value, which is rarely the case in tea literature. ...All is laid out with succint clarity and precision.”
—Kevin Gascoyne, The Art of Eating, 7/1/10
"This book is like a mini encyclopedia dedicated to all things Camellia sinensis."
—Imbibe Magazine, March 2010
"The Heisses have written a valuable guide."
—Library Journal, 3/15/10
"All pertinent tea-making questions are answered in knowledgeable, buoyant prose in this handy guide."
"Rich detail on how to buy, brew, and enjoy the six classes of tea. Questions...are answered with unparalleled passion."
—Tea A Magazine, February 2010
“This delightful, pocket-sized edition offers virtually everything one needs to know about selecting, brewing and enjoying the most consumed (after water) beverage on earth.”