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Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties
Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

* Book Type:

Publisher: Firefly Books

Edition Notes: Second Edition
Author Statement: Kevin Gascoyne, François Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais and Hugo Americi
Audience: Trade
Specs: full color throughout, charts, graphs, insets, appendixes, index
Pages: 272
Trim Size: 8 1/2" X 9 1/2" X 7/8"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20131212
Copyright Year: 2014
Price: Select Below


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Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

Beautifully illustrated... this definitive guide will appeal to die-hard tea enthusiasts.
-- Library Journal

The reference work we've been waiting for has arrived: a comprehensive but not-too-weighty, one-volume coverage of the world's teas, abundantly and beautifully illustrated with photos of exceptional quality.
-- TeaTime

2014 World Tea Awards - Winner - Best Tea Book

This second edition has improved and refined tasting notes with updated content about non-herbal tea, the plant Camellia sinensis. The book's elegant design is a complete guide to the world's second most popular beverage -- only water exceeds tea consumption.

This book is now clearly the best book on this topic, concise and authoritative with dozens of photographs and images of the teas themselves, revealing the surprising variety of color and opacity of each variety.

The book is an escorted tour of the world's tea-growing countries -- China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam and East Africa. Readers discover how like a fine wine, it is "terroir", e.g., soil and climate, that gives a tea its unique characteristics.

The book includes varieties of black, green, white, yellow, oolong, pu'er, perfumed, aromatic and smoked teas. Other topics include:

  • An overview of the history of tea
  • Tea families, varieties, cultivars and grades
  • How tea is grown, harvested and processed
  • The tea trade worldwide
  • Timeline of the world history of tea cultivation
  • Profile interviews with tea industry personalities.

The special features legions of tea drinkers will especially enjoy are:

  • Local tastes and methods of preparing tea (e.g. macha)
  • Tea ceremonies
  • Tasting notes and infusion accessories
  • Teapot recommendations
  • Caffeine, antioxidant and biochemical properties of 35 teas
  • 15 gourmet recipes using teas
  • A directory of 42 select teas.


Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais and Hugo Americi are professional tea tasters from Montreal, Quebec, who own the Camellia Sinensis Tea House and travel the world working with growers of the best tea.



Tea is the ultimate universal beverage. Whether in a Mongolian yurt, a Berber encampment in the middle of the Sahara, a house in Azerbaijan, admiring a verdant Irish landscape or in the heart of the mountains of New Zealand, it is tea that warms us when we are cold and cools us when we are hot. It welcomes the arriving guest and is a promise from the departing guest to return. From China, where it originated, tea has crossed all the borders of the world. It is known and respected for its virtues and appreciated for its taste.

Celebrated by poets and adored by emperors, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world today and forms an integral part of the diet of millions at all levels of society. With its history that spans several millennia, a wealth of cultures that have influenced it and traditions that have raised it to its noble stature, the world of tea is so vast that it can never be completely known.

Whether it comes from the precious first harvests of spring, the sacred mountains of China or the highest gardens of Darjeeling, every cup of tea tells a story, reveals knowledge and conjures up a landscape. If we add in the expertise of master craftspeople who have passed on these traditions over several centuries we have a vast diversity of unique and exotic products.

For many years now, our approach as tasters and importers has led us to discover the terroirs of tea, the way in which it is grown and processed, the role each plays within its own culture and the economy of the country where it is produced, the evolution of the rituals that accompany its serving, and the reasons it came to be considered such a noble beverage. These discoveries have enriched our enjoyment of tea as well as our knowledge of it. This book reflects a progression that we hope will accompany you on your future taste travels.

What we offer you here is naturally a Western approach to tea, but we attribute as much importance to the plant and the places where it grows as to the master producers who devote their lives to its cultivation. For we must not forget that, just like wine, tea represents one of humanity's most fabulous achievements, using precious knowledge inherited over generations and taking advantage of the most distinct properties of its specific growing environment.

-- Hugo, Jasmin, François, Kevin and the team at Camellia Sinensis Tea House


Table of Contents


Part One: From Garden to Cup

    The Cultivation of Tea
    Tea Harvests

Part Two: From One Terroir to Another

    Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam and the East African Coast

Part Three: From Cup to Plate

    The Art of Preparing Tea
    A Short Tasting Guide
    Tea in Gastronomy

Part Four: Tea and Health

    The Chemical Components of Tea
    The Virtues of Tea
    Biochemical Analyses of 35 Teas

Photo Credits

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