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The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to the World's Best Teas
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The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to the World's Best Teas

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
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 fr
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Ten Speed Press (first published 2010)
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Jun 12, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2010
Most pretentious sentence (that I found) in this book: "Fill your teacups only two-thirds full; leave the remaining space to collect the feelings and emotions of those who have gathered to drink tea with you."

I found this book hilarious, but also potentially useful as a reference. I'll discover if it's armed me with any useful knowledge when I finally go to a real tea shop, sometime in the near future.
Jan 14, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Without a doubt,the most pretentious book I've ever read of the guidebook variety. I'm a little bit of a tea snob, but I get the feeling that the authors of this book would have me crucified for steeping my tea in a $15 thrift store cow-shaped teapot rather than the preferred "unglazed clay pot."
I appreciate the comprehensive nature of this guide and will refer to it when shopping and brewing tea int he future. It sort of makes me want to continue learning more about teas, so I can be equally as
Nov 10, 2011 Nenna added it
Shelves: tea
Informative, but dreadfully dull.
Page Wench
Oct 07, 2015 Page Wench rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Serious tea enthusiasts
Shelves: non-fiction, tea
Detailed information here for those wanting to broaden their understanding of true tea (Camellia sinensis) and know where (exactly where!) it comes from. A little bit of history peppered throughout, but mostly this reads like a textbook for becoming a tea connoisseur and would make an excellent pairing with a tea journal for the serious taster.
Jul 18, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Straightforward and factual, it wasn't terribly interesting to read front-to-back, but is helpful as a reference source while exploring the world of tea. I followed the instructions in the book and finally managed to brew a decent oolong (fussy, fussy oolongs).

This review is based on a copy I got from my library, but I think I might pick up my own copy to refer to as needed.
Jun 03, 2017 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: tea
Nice concise guide about various tea types and examples of each. I wish there were more examples of teas that can be found outside the country being discussed but this does give a great overview of each of the tea classes.
Nov 02, 2013 Pauline rated it liked it
Mary Lou Heiss is a tea retailer and has traveled the world looking for teas. Her book "The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook" is a guide to help tea lovers understand tea and its beginnings.

This book covers six classes of tea: green, yellow, white, oolong, black and Pu-erh. It talks about how to buy tea, how to steep tea and how to store tea. It is a handy book to have.

I found it a bit overwhelming being new to tea and I would of appreciated a summary or chart comparing all the teas and how long to s
Fraser Sherman
Mar 27, 2016 Fraser Sherman rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
As the other reviews note, the authors come off as tea snobs, very insistent on getting things exactly right (even given that getting them wrong can spoil your cuppa)and as professionals able to contemplate devoting more time to sampling tea as it brews than I'm inclined to give it in the morning. Also as professionals their standards for what a tea shop should be able to tell me are much higher than mine. That said, this also has a lot of information on different types of tea, what seeming gobb ...more
May 13, 2013 Tara rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Short review: Informative, but pretentious. All you ever wanted to know about tea and more... much, much more.

That being said, I learned a great deal about different types of teas and their manufacturing processes.

The authors have a wealth of knowledge, which they share in meticulous, sometimes repetitive,
long-winded detail. One has to give them credit for their passionate enthusiasm about tea, despite the air of tea snobbery.

I did enjoy being able to see what all the different teas look like.
Jun 26, 2012 Saori rated it liked it
A comprehensive book on the tea. I am an avid tea lover, so I didn't learn much of new information, but it was still well written. If you are a beginner to the world of tea, this will give you an overview and more on how to enjoy the tea time from start to finish.

I gave only three stars because 1) the style of writing was too textbook-like for my taste and 2) I wanted to see more visual cues included (photos, illustrations, charts, etc.).

I thought about buying this book if I felt it was worth o
Jan 03, 2013 George rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, book
Really liked the size of the book because it made it easy to hold and read. Didn't like the tight spine binding that prevented the book from laying flat.

Very good descriptions of the different kinds of teas. I think I learned something on every page. Can't wait to try some of the tea varieties mentioned in the book that I have never had before.
Amy Thompson
Aug 31, 2011 Amy Thompson rated it liked it
This is a neat guide to 'pure' tea. It is something that I have dog-eared and will take with me shopping at a tea store. Interesting factoids and history. If you don't really care about the details - you should pass on this one. If you really want to learn about tea, then pick up a copy.
Dec 03, 2014 Carol-Anne rated it really liked it
A factual book on tea to help people understand tea and helpful to those looking for information on the six classes of tea: green, yellow, white, oolong, black and Pu-erh. It is a handy book to have when perusing the tea stores.
Tempest Devyne
Dec 23, 2014 Tempest Devyne rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-drink
Excellent reference book, though I'm such a pleb I mainly got excited about the black teas.
Nov 11, 2011 Jordan rated it really liked it
Shelves: tea
This book is only for tea lovers, but it is a really reat book for people in to tea. Great descriptions and all the information about tea you'd ever want.
James Parrish
Nov 19, 2010 James Parrish rated it liked it
A refreshing guide to all things tea.
Helpful and smart!
Jan 22, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about tea, and that's what I was hoping for!
Robin Miller
Jul 03, 2014 Robin Miller rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I love tea and while I did not take in all of the detail I was able to look more attentively and ask better questions at the next tea shops I visited.
Dec 03, 2014 Kari rated it it was ok
This book is brimming with tea facts, too bad they are delivered in a way that ends up reading dry and pretentious.
Lashawnda Summers
May 20, 2014 Lashawnda Summers rated it it was amazing
Very informative !! I feel I understand so many things about tea that I never could have imagined. It even explains what material cup to consume your tea out of
Nakul Shenoy
Sep 23, 2015 Nakul Shenoy rated it really liked it
Teaches all we may need to know about tea, and to be a tea snob - if you like.
I liked this book and found it informational and interesting.
May 19, 2015 Josiphine rated it liked it
Interesting and a little snooty. I learned lots about tea but since I drink mostly blends and this book is about mostly single teas, not much of it is immediately helpful.
Aug 01, 2014 Summer rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-books, foodie
A good resource for tea lovers. I liked how I learned about how companies and countries code their tea.
Aug 17, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
Wonderful book and I just happen to connect
deeply with Mary Lou's style of writing. I
will be adding this book to my home library.
Laura rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2012
Andrea Marcialis
Andrea Marcialis rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2016
Gavin Cox
Gavin Cox rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2012
Christopher Chadd
Christopher Chadd rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2015
Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2016
Àlex rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2015
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“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 story in the cup about the soil and air that nurtured it and the tea-making skills that transformed and shaped it.” 0 likes
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