The New Tea Lover’s Treasury
by James Norwood Pratt
First published by Tea Society, San Francisco in 1999, this is one of the first tea books to hit the mainstream market and has earned it’s way into the classics of tea books published in English. Now revised and enlarged, it is more easily found as “The Ultimate Tea Lover’s Treasury”. The author, James Norwood Pratt, has been a personable spokesperson and proponent for the tea industry in the U.S. by continuing to write, speak and teach and inspire tea lovers to embark on a lifelong adventure of discovery. For more about James Norwood Pratt, you might want to visit our Video Gallery of interviews with JNP.
Amazon Editorial Review:
The Romance, Wonder & Practice of Humanity’s Favorite Habit. “Thirty years ago it felt like being knighted for M.F.K. Fisher to praise my writing in her introduction to The Tea Lover’s Treasury. This book is a descendant of that distant ancestor. Because I am a better writer than before, it is better organized, better written, and shorter. Because I know vastly more than before about a vastly greater array of teas, it is more useful and interesting. I return to the subject like a simple, healthful habit I enjoy and enjoy sharing the language and lore of an age-old global trade that links tea producers, dealers and consumers in a single world-wide community. And because I do not hope to return again to this subject, my hope is you will make The Ultimate Tea Lover’s Treasury your starting point and carry on.”
Tea Blogger: My Japanese Green Tea, Ricardo Caicedo
The book is divided in three parts. Part one takes up about 75% of the book and it talks about the history of tea, all the way up to recent times when the specialty tea industry began to grow in the US. . . .I read the whole book in two days and there was never a dull moment. Instead of pages of dense history, it feels like following a story. The second part of the book deals with the major tea producing countries and a few of the minor ones. Some of the better known teas for each country are also covered in detail. The final chapter is about the different ways to brew tea, like for example how to prepare tea in gongfu style.
You’ll be surprised how much of the world’s history was changed because of tea.
This book has been unique to me in a couple of ways. For one thing, the author is quite personable. You feel, while reading, that you know the author quite well. He’s funny and invites you into the book as though it’s a club and you are a member – one of a fairly small group of people so enthusiastic about tea that you’d invest the money and time in reading a big book on the subject (in fact, he even states that in the preface). Another aspect of this book that has completely drawn me in is that he broaches the topic of tea in a way that illuminates it as being one of the trade commodities in the world, like sugar and tobacco and a few other notables, that has fundamentally changed the way the world works.