Friday, February 22, 2008

Book Review - The Tea Companion

This review is about The Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew. When I first saw this book, I was rather intrigued by it. I thought it had some pretty good potential as a book on Tea. The most unique portion of this book was the areas of focus on it.

The book is divided into two main portions, The story of tea and a Global Tea Directory. The first section in my opinion was the better of the two. Like most tea books it covers the origins of tea in China and then the interaction with the British and the following development of tea in other countries. This book however has more detail regarding the sale of tea in Europe and the role tea played with the Americas. This book also has a good overview of a lot of other aspects of tea that are often overlooked. This includes drinking tea with milk, assorted tea equipment and certain blends and flavorings. This section is short, but filled with quality information.

The second section is very focused on different sources of tea and types. This is unique from other books on tea in that it pays a fair amount of attention to African teas. A lot of attention is paid to black tea in this section, with glances over the Chinese and Japanese teas. This is counter to most of the books on tea that I have read recently. The small blurbs on each individual teas are beautifully photographed with both samples of the dry and wet leaf.

Rating: 7/10

Conclusion: This is a good introduction book as advertised. It has a uniquely European accent in regards to tea which makes it stand out. This focus is where this book lacks though. It should at least hit on some more of the points in reference to the Asian brewing equipment or teas.

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