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The Art and Craft of Tea: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Brewing, and Serving Exquisite Tea

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Let Joseph Wesley Uhl be your guide to the entire world of tea; from peeks into tea production around the world to brewing your own blends at home. "Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher." -- Chinese Proverb As one of the most consumed beverages in the world, a cup of tea is a common shared experience across cultures and traditions. Companies Let Joseph Wesley Uhl be your guide to the entire world of tea; from peeks into tea production around the world to brewing your own blends at home. "Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher." -- Chinese Proverb As one of the most consumed beverages in the world, a cup of tea is a common shared experience across cultures and traditions. Companies and consumers alike are reawakening to the benefits of high-quality, unprocessed, natural beverages, and tea is a perfect obsession for anyone interested in artisan food and healthy eating. In The Art and Craft of Tea, entrepreneur and enthusiast Joseph Wesley Uhl brings to the story of tea its due reverence, making its history, traditions, and possibilities accessible to all. If you want to go beyond reading and enter your kitchen, Joseph offers "recipes" for creating your own tea blends using natural ingredients. Inside you'll find: - A detailed overview of tea's history and origins - Thoughtful descriptions of global brewing methods - Innovative ideas for iced tea, tea cocktails, and DIY blends.


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Let Joseph Wesley Uhl be your guide to the entire world of tea; from peeks into tea production around the world to brewing your own blends at home. "Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher." -- Chinese Proverb As one of the most consumed beverages in the world, a cup of tea is a common shared experience across cultures and traditions. Companies Let Joseph Wesley Uhl be your guide to the entire world of tea; from peeks into tea production around the world to brewing your own blends at home. "Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher." -- Chinese Proverb As one of the most consumed beverages in the world, a cup of tea is a common shared experience across cultures and traditions. Companies and consumers alike are reawakening to the benefits of high-quality, unprocessed, natural beverages, and tea is a perfect obsession for anyone interested in artisan food and healthy eating. In The Art and Craft of Tea, entrepreneur and enthusiast Joseph Wesley Uhl brings to the story of tea its due reverence, making its history, traditions, and possibilities accessible to all. If you want to go beyond reading and enter your kitchen, Joseph offers "recipes" for creating your own tea blends using natural ingredients. Inside you'll find: - A detailed overview of tea's history and origins - Thoughtful descriptions of global brewing methods - Innovative ideas for iced tea, tea cocktails, and DIY blends.

30 review for The Art and Craft of Tea: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Brewing, and Serving Exquisite Tea

  1. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    I recently read A Guide to Tea and that short book made me want to delve further into this topic. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Art and Craft of Tea is an excellent next step for those who “can’t get enough.” "Tea is but the mixing of water with leaves. However, reducing tea to such basic and primitive elements fails to capture the mystery and poetry that is the keystone to tea’s history and culture. Mention the word tea and open a psychological door that transports you to rainy da I recently read A Guide to Tea and that short book made me want to delve further into this topic. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Art and Craft of Tea is an excellent next step for those who “can’t get enough.” "Tea is but the mixing of water with leaves. However, reducing tea to such basic and primitive elements fails to capture the mystery and poetry that is the keystone to tea’s history and culture. Mention the word tea and open a psychological door that transports you to rainy days, long meandering conversations, family picnics, romantic dinners, or nights with a book and a fire. Tea triggers such emotions if you come from a country imbued with a strong tea culture or if you come from the United States—a country in which the word tea is rarely found qualifying the word culture. But, how can the mixing of water and leaves unleash such strong memories and emotions? Surely there must be more to tea than a quick steeping of a leaf with warm water." It all depends how deep you care to delve and how much information is sufficient before you hit the overload point. Try the following to determine where this falls on your scale. "In addition to the chemicals naturally found in tea, there are sets of other chemicals that are formed during tea’s various manufacturing processes. Perhaps the most important of these chemical changes takes place during the oxidation process. Although the oxidation process is quite technical, understanding what takes places during this process goes a long way in understanding how oxidation drastically affects the taste, aroma, and qualities of tea. Tea leaves contain the polyphenol oxidase enzyme known more accurately as polyphenol oxidase or PPO. The PPO enzyme contains copper ions that react with oxygen in such a way that they transform a tea leaf’s aromatic compounds known as polyphenolic compounds into organic compounds called quinones. When the cellular structure of a tea leaf is intact, the PPO enzyme’s copper ions cannot react with oxygen. If the cellular structure is ruptured by physical means or heat, then the PPO enzyme becomes exposed and the tea leaf’s polyphenolic compounds will begin to transform into quinones as the PPO enzyme begins to interact with the oxygen." (And) “What does a discussion on the proper aeration of water mean to a chai wallah in Mumbai who was naturally taught to pour the hot masala chai from one container to another at two to four feet? On one hand, by pulling the chai he creates a more enhanced body and, thus, a better mouthfeel, making the tea actually taste better. But, on the other hand, if you try explaining mouthfeel to the chai wallah, he will probably look at you like you are drab and uninteresting. If asked, the chai wallah will invariably tell you that he goes through such ceremony because people enjoy it. It provides a moment of magic for someone’s otherwise routine morning. More important than improving the taste of the tea, the chai wallah focuses on creating an experience, a moment that elevates a simple morning tea into something greater than merely a caffeine and sugar rush. In this way, it is prudent to appreciate, to respect, and to be cognizant of the mysticism and magic associated with tea and its culture whenever we begin technically analyzing tea.” For me this book is a wonderful find that I will keep handy and return to frequently. It has a rich load of detailed information coupled with an understanding of how tea, handled properly, can elevate friendship, contemplation and conversation. Many thanks to Carol for reminding me to search out this book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Awe, this was so lovely! It's definitely a surface look at so many aspects of tea and tea culture and tea production and enjoyment, but I really loved how approachable and readable it was. I especially loved the section where it talked about specific regional teas and talked about how they are made and why the came to be. So so fascinating and I can't wait to try out some of the recipes and preparations. Awe, this was so lovely! It's definitely a surface look at so many aspects of tea and tea culture and tea production and enjoyment, but I really loved how approachable and readable it was. I especially loved the section where it talked about specific regional teas and talked about how they are made and why the came to be. So so fascinating and I can't wait to try out some of the recipes and preparations.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    A book at times dazzlingly, swoopingly, hilariously pretentious -- vascillating between deep dives into historical and chemical knowledge and bits that felt like a precocious high schooler padding a rather thin essay. (She says, as a lover of tea and a former teacher of precocious high schoolers.) But also an informative, interesting read accompanied by gorgeous photography. THE ART AND CRAFT OF TEA was one of a stack of coffee table books I was lucky enough to have taken home from the library on A book at times dazzlingly, swoopingly, hilariously pretentious -- vascillating between deep dives into historical and chemical knowledge and bits that felt like a precocious high schooler padding a rather thin essay. (She says, as a lover of tea and a former teacher of precocious high schoolers.) But also an informative, interesting read accompanied by gorgeous photography. THE ART AND CRAFT OF TEA was one of a stack of coffee table books I was lucky enough to have taken home from the library on a caffeinated whim one morning in March 2020... and which fortunately became my cellmates as the COVID-19 pandemic closed the libraries, and all of the rest of us, down for 3 months. In a time in which travel was limited and loneliness rampant, this stack of beautiful books became a genuine gift, allowing me to pace through worlds and subjects (5,000 Years of Textiles, Creating and Living with Flowers, The Joy of Lettering, the Art of Magic the Gathering) that were new and bright and strange. These books created open roads for my mind to wander in a time when everything was very fearful and very stagnant, is what I am saying. So though Uhl is occasionally ridiculous ("Therefore, water indubitably plays an important metaphorical role in our worldviews and likely imports emotional content into our subconscious" is a sentence that can only TRULY be written by a man who needs to write 850 more words about water to fill out a chapter), I owe this book a debt of gratitude for being in my trenches in this strange time. I will be fond of it for life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Luciana Vichino

    Simple If you are just starting to study tea this can be the book to start with. From the basics and taking a general approach, it goes through the main points for beginners and shares lots of different recipies that are nice to try.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan Wollet

    Throughly enjoyed!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I know I just started my quest for a good introductory tea book but I think I've found it! (I will still continue to look for and read books about tea though... I could be wrong after all). The Art and Craft of Tea is one of the best introductions to tea that I've read so far. Chapter 1 is the obligatory history of tea. It was very short, but I thought that the point about how "Asians [...] often conceptualize tea as a way of life" while "most in the West have historically viewed tea as a commodi I know I just started my quest for a good introductory tea book but I think I've found it! (I will still continue to look for and read books about tea though... I could be wrong after all). The Art and Craft of Tea is one of the best introductions to tea that I've read so far. Chapter 1 is the obligatory history of tea. It was very short, but I thought that the point about how "Asians [...] often conceptualize tea as a way of life" while "most in the West have historically viewed tea as a commodity." It's definitely food for thought. Chapter 2 was about the basics of tea and basically took the reader through the processing of the tea leaves. It was short but easy to understand, which was good. I also liked that the book mentioned cultivars, although I could do with a bit more information in this section. Next, the book moved on to types of tea and this is where I decided that this book was the best I've seen so far. Because not only does the book cover all the types of tea (yellow, green, white, black, oolong, and dark), the book also differentiates between Pu-erh and dark tea. Not only that, the section on dark tea was actually quite extensive, something very different from The New Tea Companion. Out of all the books that I've read so far, The Art and Craft of Tea has the best section on dark tea, what it is, and its history. Chapter 4 is on terroir and focused on the main growing regions. I think that if you want something more detailed, The New Tea Companion has more information (they focus more on teas but the origin of the teas are very clear), or if you're looking only at black teas, The Black Tea Bible's section on where black tea is grown is more extensive as well. This was really more of an overview of the world of tea rather than a deep dive. All that was Part 1. Part 2 is on technique and in 6 chapters, the book covered: - Water - Preparing to make tea - Making tea - Different types of teas around the world - Contemporary teas - Cold tea Personally, I found the chapter on water to be the most fascinating one in this section because the author went into the mythology connected with water and made an argument that this is why tea can invoke strong memories and emotions. Like the way he presented the history of tea, this is not something I've considered and it definitely made me think. The chapter on preparing to make tea was also well-written because of the discussion of the different types of accessories and their pros and cons. It was more of an overview than an in-depth discussion, but it's more than what I saw in other books and I especially appreciated the section on how different materials (glass vs metal vs ceramic) can affect the taste of tea. The last three chapters were really different tea recipes but the note before each recipe was interesting. When talking about Persian Rose Tea, the book said that "if you carefully document the tea-drinking habits of people around the world, you will uncover the trading patterns of the past two hundred years", which made me want to read an in-depth book on the history of tea. Any recommendations? The third and last part was on tea cocktails and pairings. This was very brief and I didn't spend much time on it, but it did round out the whole book. Overall, I think this is a fantastic book for people looking to understand more about tea and how to make it. It's got the best explanation of the types of tea that I've read so far, and the book manages to deliver lots of information in a succinct, easy to understand manner. This review was first posted at Eustea

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    In my house you will find a whole stack a various tea books that I’ve acquired over the years. Some of them were given to me and others I picked up along my travels. Most of them have been skimmed, not fully read. There are a few that have been mostly-read. That trend has changed. Upon receiving a copy of “The Art and Craft of Tea” by Joseph Wesley Uhl, I started skimming it to look at the beautiful photos and see if there might be an interesting chapter or anecdote. The first things that intere In my house you will find a whole stack a various tea books that I’ve acquired over the years. Some of them were given to me and others I picked up along my travels. Most of them have been skimmed, not fully read. There are a few that have been mostly-read. That trend has changed. Upon receiving a copy of “The Art and Craft of Tea” by Joseph Wesley Uhl, I started skimming it to look at the beautiful photos and see if there might be an interesting chapter or anecdote. The first things that interested me were the two sections at the end of chapter one: Tea’s Chemistry and Change to Chemical Composition. something you don’t typically see in a book about tea. So I started reading and didn’t stop until I got to the end of chapter two! Then it hit me – I need to read this book! Actually read it. So I went back to the beginning. I certainly wont call myself a tea expert, but definitely a tea enthusiast, so there was a lot of content I already know of have seen before, but there was a lot of new stuff too! I learned a few new things and gained a new or different appreciation for somethings too. I found this book to be both interesting and entertaining. It doesn’t get bogged down with dates and facts, and moved quickly and easily from one subject to the next. I found the last chapter to be particularly fun because it brings tea to current trends, including pairing and recipes. This book would make a great gift for any tea-lover on your list. The content is worth reading and the book had a good weight and feel to it. Its beautiful whether it is sitting on the shelf or being read from cover to cover.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sean Leas

    I really enjoyed this book about tea in a coffee table book format, although my coffee table holds far less coffee than tea but that is another discussion. I really enjoyed reading about the history and all of the work that goes into making tea the beverage that we enjoy today. I learned some things, reinforced some knowledge and enjoyed the recipes. If you love tea and love everything behind tea culture this is a book for you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I felt that this book was more European than American because first of all how many Americans drink tea (I wish it said)? But it went into a lot of detail on things like water and tea pots that were kind of interesting. I wonder if tea is really big in England still and if the majority of tea is still grown in Asia? Even though it's a faux pas I will still drink tea with milk. I felt that this book was more European than American because first of all how many Americans drink tea (I wish it said)? But it went into a lot of detail on things like water and tea pots that were kind of interesting. I wonder if tea is really big in England still and if the majority of tea is still grown in Asia? Even though it's a faux pas I will still drink tea with milk.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Hamon

    If you're a tea enthusiast who is interested in learning more about the world of tea read this first! This book is quick read, well written, and responsibly separates opinions and facts. The unique way the author contextualizes the proliferation of black tea and commodity tea in the West is a particularly interesting presentation and treatment of the history of the spread of tea for those who don't want to read through all the dates, facts, figures, and personalities involved. Unfortunately, the If you're a tea enthusiast who is interested in learning more about the world of tea read this first! This book is quick read, well written, and responsibly separates opinions and facts. The unique way the author contextualizes the proliferation of black tea and commodity tea in the West is a particularly interesting presentation and treatment of the history of the spread of tea for those who don't want to read through all the dates, facts, figures, and personalities involved. Unfortunately, the ebook version of this book did not include captions for the many beautiful photographs that were showcased. Many of these photos would add wonderful context for readers. Hopefully, the hardcover edition of this book includes those. This book's guide on water, learning to brew tea, seasonality of tea, teaware, and tea utensils is extremely approachable and sensible for a tea enthusiast at any level. The tour of world tea traditions (including recipes!) is especially fascinating and at times touching, including personal stories of how some of these tea traditions have played out in the author's life. I give this book a five star rating omitting the final chapter. It was a bit extraneous and came across as a tourist plug for the ongoing but struggling Detroit renaissance.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hernandez

    This book dives into the different mythes, cultures, and broad history that tea has endured from its early documented times, to the recent trends of tea with alcohol. It does great to respect and demonstrate the artistic nature and beauty that comes with tea, and how treating it as a commodity literally washes out the significance of tea. I would imagine since this book focused on its roots, it did not explore to the amount of labor tea is being done in other countries such as Vietnam, Africa, C This book dives into the different mythes, cultures, and broad history that tea has endured from its early documented times, to the recent trends of tea with alcohol. It does great to respect and demonstrate the artistic nature and beauty that comes with tea, and how treating it as a commodity literally washes out the significance of tea. I would imagine since this book focused on its roots, it did not explore to the amount of labor tea is being done in other countries such as Vietnam, Africa, Columbia, and others that I wish to find in recent tea books, but it does explore different cultural tea concoctions that are made in the region. For that sole reason alone its not a five, but it does great to bring someone up to speed what Tea is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Olga Kovalenko

    This book would be a great addition to any tea library - it is recently published and is up to date with research, it has gorgeous photos, and presents information unconventionally and up to the point. I liked how the author described the six tea types and their processing. The chemistry section was also understandable. I also liked the section on various tea traditions and local recipes, like Iranian, Russian, Indian (three ways of making an Indian tea!) ways of preparing tea, etc. The book us n This book would be a great addition to any tea library - it is recently published and is up to date with research, it has gorgeous photos, and presents information unconventionally and up to the point. I liked how the author described the six tea types and their processing. The chemistry section was also understandable. I also liked the section on various tea traditions and local recipes, like Iranian, Russian, Indian (three ways of making an Indian tea!) ways of preparing tea, etc. The book us not as detailed as, say, Tea Terroirs that I reviewed earlier, but it is different and explains some processes in a new and more comprehensive way. Recommended. Would make a great gift to a tea person or a newbie. A good introductory book with lots of inspiration.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert Heckner

    This is a very good book about tea; it is both a technical and poetic look at tea and the surrounding history and cultures of tea. It may be a little uppity at times about only tea quality (sadly not all of us have access and/or money to the highest quality teas of vast varieties). But, overall, it is a delightful book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    The best tea book I have read so far on the process of producing and making tea! I especially liked all the connections with chemistry and the possible oxidizing/drying/heating/fermenting steps. Definitely going to try those chai recipes when I figure out where to buy the spices!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mariah

    This was an interesting read and while I only give it three stars this book was quite informative. I do admit to not understanding much of the technical sections about how tea is picked and then processed I do like that it was added.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allie Z.

    Learned a lot about tea! I especially loved the artful way the book was designed and how he talks about the science and art of tea. Full of really good information in bite sized chunks as well as visually stimulating.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    This is a good book for sure but I could not handle the author's narration he sounds like a giant douche and I couldn't really focus on the tea when all I could think about was how badly I wanted to smack him This is a good book for sure but I could not handle the author's narration he sounds like a giant douche and I couldn't really focus on the tea when all I could think about was how badly I wanted to smack him

  18. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Jenneman

    Nice to look at and had some good information in it. Not necessarily what I was expecting. Some of the terminology is not geared toward tea beginners.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Good information with fantastic pictures. Easy to understand. I liked the recipes at the end for both the traditional tea preparations and some new ones.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I really enjoyed this book. It was informative and it had some good recipes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    This is a very comprehensive guide to the history, ceremony, and science of tea, and I learned quite a lot about my favorite beverage!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Noel

    The author clearly is passionate about tea, and it really shows in this lovely book. Everything you need to know about tea from the history of tea, to selecting, brewing and serving tea is covered here. Beautiful photography fills the pages and draws you into the warmth of tea. Whether you want to learn about your favorite kind of tea, or you just desire a thorough education on tea, you can find it here. Growing regions, cultivating, processing, the chemistry of tea and more are found in the page The author clearly is passionate about tea, and it really shows in this lovely book. Everything you need to know about tea from the history of tea, to selecting, brewing and serving tea is covered here. Beautiful photography fills the pages and draws you into the warmth of tea. Whether you want to learn about your favorite kind of tea, or you just desire a thorough education on tea, you can find it here. Growing regions, cultivating, processing, the chemistry of tea and more are found in the pages of this jewel. Do you crave a classic English 'cuppa', a rich cup of Russian tea, a Persian Rose tea, or an Indian spiced tea? All these and more are covered here. There are delightful recipes in the back of the book for such delicacies as Cinnamon Cream Tea, Basil Peach Tea, classic Iced/Sun Tea and more. Though this could be considered a reference book more than a cookbook, it's really much more. I highly recommend this for tea lovers everywhere. I received a copy of this book from Hachette Book Group for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David

    Generally, a good introduction to tea although some regions get surprisingly little attention (e.g. Taiwan) and even India receives but a few short paragraphs. In some places the design of the book with its many photos leads to odd sequences in the text and although the book boasts 160 total pages the liberal (and welcome) use of photographs means the the amount of written text is actually quite modest.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    A beautifully photographed book, this volume reviews briefly but from unusual perspectives the history of tea, kinds of tea, economics of tea, how to prepare and savor it, how to combine it with different flavors and use it also in mixed drinks. Learn about tea pets, why particular tea vessels are shaped the way they are, the role of water and its quality. Rare teas, green teas, white teas, black teas, red teas--why are they colored that way and how are the leafs handled to produce them. Serving A beautifully photographed book, this volume reviews briefly but from unusual perspectives the history of tea, kinds of tea, economics of tea, how to prepare and savor it, how to combine it with different flavors and use it also in mixed drinks. Learn about tea pets, why particular tea vessels are shaped the way they are, the role of water and its quality. Rare teas, green teas, white teas, black teas, red teas--why are they colored that way and how are the leafs handled to produce them. Serving tea is an art, and tea masters are artisans crafting our teas. Learn more about the craft and art and you will appreciate even more this healthful beverage.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marcella Bongiovanni

    A very good starting point for beginners. It touches all important aspects, and it has beautiful pics. It's passionate without being new agey. You'll find here facts, not claims that tea is a cure all nor the mysticism some add to this drink. It has one very big nit, there are no notes nor bibliography. It would be a problem even without the couple of "controversial" (or maybe never heard before) points which I'd really like to know the source of. A very good starting point for beginners. It touches all important aspects, and it has beautiful pics. It's passionate without being new agey. You'll find here facts, not claims that tea is a cure all nor the mysticism some add to this drink. It has one very big nit, there are no notes nor bibliography. It would be a problem even without the couple of "controversial" (or maybe never heard before) points which I'd really like to know the source of.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Part reference book, part recipe book, this book is chock-full of beautiful photographs and more details about tea than I even realized existed. My only complaint is that sometimes the details got a little dry and my inclination was to jump ahead to some other interesting passage. Still a fantastic book for tea-lovers everywhere!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    A beautiful and elegant book. Blends a scientific and romantic examination of tea and tea culture. A great read for anyone who is already serious and passionate about tea or anyone wanting to learn more.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Good information but lost my enthusiasm half way in and skimmed the rest. Thus three stars for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I really enjoyed this book. It inspired me to try some new teas, and I learned a bit about tea's history and culture across several nations. I really enjoyed this book. It inspired me to try some new teas, and I learned a bit about tea's history and culture across several nations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    A lot of book with many pictures but really not too much information. This book just touches different subjects and isn't complete. A lot of book with many pictures but really not too much information. This book just touches different subjects and isn't complete.

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