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Monday, January 2, 2012


TEA; history, terroirs, varieties (Firefly Books, 2011, 270 pages,
ISBN 978-1-55407-937-7, $24.95 CAD paper covers) is a heavily
illustrated compendium on non-herbal tea, rich in anti-oxidants and 
with proven medical benefits. It was originally published in French in
Quebec in 2009, and here is translated into English. The four writers
of this book own The Camellia Sinensis Tea House in Montreal and work
as tasters, traveling the world looking for teas. Jonathan Racine who
works for the Tea House did the editorial work. Topics include a primer
on tea, varieties, processing, cultivars, making-serving-tasting tea,
tea ceremonies, and tea in cooking (with 15 recipes by Quebecois
chefs). Reference material includes a bibliography, scientific tables
for the biochemical properties of 35 teas, and a directory of teas.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Throughout the book, there are profiles of tea growers.
Audience and level of use: travelers, tea lovers, food reference book
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: The source of all non-herbal
teas is the plant Camellia sinensis, which is processed three different
ways to produce the major classes (black, green, oolong, white, yellow,
Pu er, scented and smoked. Terroir imparts unique character to a tea.
The downside to this book: nothing, really – it is a very comprehensive
The upside to this book: great pictures and layout.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.

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