Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tea Readings: The Little Black Book of Tea

I just finished off a book called The Little Black Book of Tea. It describes itself as “the essential guide to all things tea”. To make this claim is a complete overestimate in my opinion. This “essential guide” is a basic reference book just shy of fifty pages. I wouldn’t call it the definitive go-to guide for tea knowledge. Hey, it’s a cute book, and I suppose a good starter for someone with a passing interest in tea or just getting into it. It is not a comprehensive book to refer to on a regular basis.

Nothing essential here!

The Little Black Book quickly covers the history of tea, what the tea plant is, characteristics of various teas, their health benefits, the tea drinking rituals in the many countries tea is consumed, some brewing basics, and of course, includes a selection of recipes. Whew! All in less than fifty pages!

The book lacks in information and also misinforms. It mentions the widespread availability of “Chai Tea” in India. The discussion of Afternoon Tea and High Tea neither explains where the concept came from and what the difference between the two are if any.

The writing style, too, seemed juvenile! (Not that I write for the mature audience!). I would not suggest The Little Black Book of Tea as a reference especially if you’re in the tea business or have some formal education on tea. Even the self-educated can avoid it!

The Little Black Book comes in a series on various topics such as Shots and Shooters, Beer, Poker, Sex, and the Kama Sutra just to name a few. I don’t know about you, but methinks an entire encyclopedia should be dedicated to sex and all its many art forms, not fifty pages! Just sayin’!

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