The book Tea: History, drugstore Terroirs, medicine Varieties is written by Kevin Gascoyne, medical Francois Marchand, Hugo Americi, Jasmin Desharnais, and edited by Jonathan Racine. I really enjoyed this book, primarily because it provides an all-encompassing overview of tea. For avid tea drinkers or for those with a particular interest in history, this book will be of interest. I would describe it as a comprehensive guide to tea, but organized in a way that keeps the reader engaged and doesn’t feel too academic at all. A particular highlight of this book is the beautiful imagery/photos and illustration. Also of note — this book was chosen as a finalist for the 2014 World Tea Awards (best tea book category).
Book Review — Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties
The book starts out by setting the scene to demonstrate the reach and influence of tea — and illustrates, as many of you likely already know, that tea is in fact second only to water in consumption worldwide. The authors also provide considerable evidence and details on the many health benefits of tea.
The book’s main focus is a discussion Camellia Sinensis — i.e., non-herbal teas — so don’t expect any details on herbal teas like chamomile and berry teas here. I found this to be a comprehensive guide into the world of tea, and the text is accompanied by engaging photos and imagery. Reading this book is almost like going on an escorted tour of tea growing regions and countries such as Nepal, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, and China.
Deeper into the book, I enjoyed how the authors compare tea to fine wines, in the sense that it’s the “terroir