Sunday, August 4, 2013

THE TEA COMPANION by Jane Pettigrew

The Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew
Jane has written 13 books on the many and varied aspects of tea, its production, history and culture, and she writes for tea related magazines and journals.
I was working on getting my tea certification with Tealightful.  In the certification process this book by Jane Pettigrew was referred to many times, so I decided I needed to read this book.  I went on Amazon and purchased a used book for around a $1.00 plus shipping. 
I am only part way through the book, but I am really really enjoying it.  I love learning about the history of how tea got started and how it traveled to other countries.  I am finding it an easy read.  I would recommend if you want to learn about teas that you pick up this book.  The book is in two parts.  Part one- The History of Tea, Production of Tea, Tea Equipage, and Tea Appreciation.  Part Two- A Guide to the Teas of the World, Africa, Indian Sub-continent, The Far East, Other Tea-producing Countries, Addresses, and the index.

More and more people are turning to tea as their primary hot beverage, and connoisseurs are discovering the wondrous range of flavors to be found in different varieties from around the globe—some of which command fantastic prices and are in great demand. This comprehensive, authoritative guide to understanding, purchasing, and serving the world’s finest teas is beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs of a variety of tea leaves and herbs, as well as their countries of origin. Learn how to store tea so its aromas last, brew it properly for fullest enjoyment, and appreciate the many nuances of flavor to be found in this extraordinary drink. 

What do some bloggers say about this book?? 

 Justin says...This little guidebook is an informative and fairly comprehensive (for its slim size) map to the subtleties and minutia of choosing, collecting, and purchasing tea. It has a dry, matter-of-fact tone, making it a tough sell as an enjoyable read, but I learned so much from reading it cover to cover that I did find it enjoyable, and I'm sure I'll refer to it again in the future.  The first half of the book is divided into sections that cover things like the history of tea, production, vocabulary, decoupage, etc. The second half gives a rundown of major tea-producing nations and areas, describing the history of tea production in that region and giving examples (complete with recommended gardens) of the region's fine teas.   I have to admit that I found parts of the book (especially the detailed descriptions of decoupage and the somewhat disparaging remarks about tisanes) a little snooty, and speaking as a history buff, the historical sections were anemic and begged for more interesting details. However, the guide certainly expanded my appreciation for a drink that I already obsess over (and am a little snooty about, myself

Jewell says...This is an excellent guide to tea and the best guide I've found so far. There are many wonderful sections about different types of tea, the tea industry, how to make certain teas and even information about different ways of serving tea. The graphics in the book are also very tasteful. Highly, highly, highly recommended. The only thing this book didn't really have was information about "healing" tea but Pettigrews' book's other aspects outshine this flaw.

Kay says...This book was not as comprehensive as I would have liked it to be. I wish there was a section on common varieties--Pu-erh, Earl Grey, Yerba Mate, etc.--in which you could look up teas and get the skinny on them. Instead, Pettigrew includes a list of gardens. Does she really think that would be helpful to the average tea drinker?   The pictures are great and the section on tea "equipage" was helpful, but I'm still looking for my ultimate tea book.

Serri says...If you love drinking tea, this is a great book to have! The owner of a tea shop I visited in Boston makes each of his employees read this book. In his view understanding and better appreciating the history and production, "equipment", numerous varieties of tea, and how to properly make it, enables them to best assist his customers. The book has great information with lots of photos and is an easy read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you are a tea connoisseur or aspire to be one. I also think it is a great gift idea.

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