The Ultimate Tea Lover's Treasury

The Ultimate Tea Lover's Treasury by Norwood Pratt

Norwood Pratt's classic must-read for any student of tea!

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The third and "Ultimate" incarnation of JNP's labor of love over tea
Loose Moorings (Williamsburg, VA) 6/24/2016 11:48 AM
This is the third and "ultimate" version of James Norwood Pratt's Tea Lover's Treasury, the first version of which was originally published around 20 years earlier, I believe. JNP is one of the world's great tea lovers, authorities, historians, and writers--and this is clear in every page of this book. I was amazed at how much world history I learned from this one, modest volume. Entire empires were made and unmade around tea. One of the greatest joys of the book is how he weaves in excerpts and references to a large number of tea tomes, spanning thousands of years of writing and legend. The pictures are beautifully integrated, as accents to the beginning of each section of the book. You'll learn about hundreds of types of tea, production methods, terroir, drinking practices and lore from ancient China to Japan and throughout the New World. Did you know much of the mass-market tea in the U.S. comes from Argentina? I didn't! My only regret is that I read the entire book in 3 days of rapt attention and, alas, I came to the end. What a warm companion for every tea lover to have by his or her side!
Five Stars
Yaphett (United States) 6/24/2016 11:41 AM
Entertaining read. Will take on my next vacation.
Great resource.
TribalDancer2 (United States) 6/24/2016 11:29 AM
A must for tea lovers. Great resource.
Informative and Delightful
S. Walton (Kauai, HI) 6/24/2016 11:28 AM
This delightful book reads like a collection of fascinating short stories. At the same time, it's packed with information on every aspect of tea; its history, cultivation, harvesting, manufacturing, preparation and consumption. I can recommend it to any tea lover, without hesitation.
Enlightening and Insightful Read!
Silas Chastain (United States) 6/24/2016 11:27 AM
James Norwood Pratt delivers a gem as only he can do it. Informative and yet soothingly written with a bit of charm as warm as a fresh cup of Formosan Oolong! A must have for serious tea drinkers.
All about tea, and very readable, too!
Alice Johnson (Watertown, MA) 6/24/2016 11:15 AM
Wouldn't have believed that non-fiction about tea could be so engaging. Short chapters, VERY well written, full of historical and miscellaneous information relating to tea, always presented in a manner both charming and credible. We're so happy to have come upon this great book!
A book that opens the door to the way of tea
Reading (Rochester, MN) 6/24/2016 11:14 AM
This excellent book is obviously written by someone who loves and lives with tea. The author provides a broad stroke history of tea and then begins to focus on particulars, with a special focus on the great Chinese teas (I had no idea how great until using this book as a point of departure). Very useful details on the selection of teas, the various methods of preparing tea (the Gaiwan and Gongfu methods), the importance of using the right water and the importance of brewing temperature/time are provided with enough detail to enable the novice to start enjoying this amazingly nuanced beverage. Because the author is not a tea buyer/purveyor, he provides one of the greatest pearls to the novice, which is to find someone who is knowledgable about tea. This is not as easy as one might hope. There are many tea stores, but few real tea experts, who master traditional brewing methods and have relationships with tea growers rather than tea buyers. This makes a tremendous difference in what teas you will access and how you will enjoy them. One such resource the author recommended is Roy Fong at Imperial Tea Court. This is an excellent recommendation. Mr. Wong is arguably a national treasure for those seeking Chinese tea and I am indebted to the author for this wonderful recommendation. Did I mention that the book also reads well? I have read nearly everything in print (in English) and a bit that isn't about tea and I keep returning to Mr. Pratt's book for its concise and in depth insights.
Essential reading for the tea fanatic.
JBan (Lake County) 6/24/2016 11:13 AM
This is primarily a book on the story of tea. The history is fascinating and invaluable to the avid tea drinker. More than half the book Pratt dedicates to tea history. Here, I love his eye for the little things that count. Following this, the author describes the various teas throughout the world. This is more than just a list, but a detailed look at the regions that produce them, the technique and conditions that impart their unique characteristics. Part three concludes with the author's own advice on tea preparation, and a consise but adequate discourse on tea ritual. After reading this book my respect and adoration for tea skyrocketed yet again (see "The Tea Lover's Companion"). Most importantly, my enjoyment of tea drinking has increased after reading this book. That alone makes this book priceless.