Synopses & Reviews
Since Bodhidharma's legendary discovery of Camellia sinensis, tea has traveled around the globe, sparked rebellions, and spawned fortunes. This eponymous volume unveils the delights and mysteries to be found in the uncomplicated infusion of leaf in water, serving up a sophisticated brew of enticing photographs, evocative poetry and prose, history, myth, and tempting recipes. It explores tea's ability to awaken the body, refresh the senses, and soothe the spirit, whether the brew be black, green, or oolong; sipped hot or iced; steeped in samovar or teapot; served in heirloom porcelain or a simple clay bowl. Delving into the life and lore of tea, we visit Bombay, Beijing, London, Tokyo, and Paris, and hear from the likes of Marcel Proust, Paul Theroux, Amy Tan, and others. From tea house reveries to recipes for Orange Pekoe Compote and Tea Smoked Duck, Tea invites us to revel in the subtle bliss of the world's most popular beverage.
"Camellia sinensis" sounds like an exotic flower but it's really the botanical name for tea. In Tea: Essence of the Leaf Sara Slavin and Karl Petzke of San Francisco explore the diversity of this well-known delight. Essays and anecdotes about the rituals and lore of tea highlight beautiful photos and offbeat recipes. The book offers recipes for temptations such as Black Currant Tea Fruit Soup, Mint Tea Cookies Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate and Green Tea Salad. Don't forget, it was a tax on tea that helped spark the American Revolution. The Oakland Tribune
Fresh Cup Magazine
With the help of a gentle gust of wind, a few leaves from a nearby bush blow into a pot of boiling water, flavoring the warm liquid inside. Most people would dump the water and start again.
Not the health-conscious Shen Nug. Legend has it that some time around 3000 B.C. the Chinese emperpor sampled the infused water that had been darkened by the leaf and tea was born.
The single act of a leaf floating into a pot of boiled water and leaving behind its distinct essence has "sparked rebellions and spawned fortunes" said Sara Slavin, author of Tea: Essence of the Leaf. Slavin delves into a topic rich with history, lore and ceremony with the seeming simplicity of a good cup of tea.
Although brewing a proper cup of tea is never a simple act, rather a complex set of events, Slavin explores tea with a concise yet attractive volume that includes tea as a beverage as well as an integral ingredient in many creative and delicious recipes. Beautifully illustrated photographs by Karl Petzke punctuate the book and lend that air of tranquility often associated with tea.
Cooking with tea seems to be a trend spreading across the culinary front and Slavin offers many delicious ideas for cooking with tea. Whether using whole tea leaves as an ingredient or using a tea infusion to flavor a particular dish, the leaves from the Caemellia sinesis are finding their way into many kitchens.
The theme of this book boils down to: Tea soothes; it is sipped and savored until the last drop. Read how tea was first used medicinally in China but has since blossomed into a beverage for all occasions. Highlights of this paperback, illustrated with Carl Petzke's dream-like color photos, include poetry, prose and unusual recipes that send imaginary wafts of steeping cloves and rosemary into the air. Slavin and Petzke say brewing a "perfect" batch of tea depends on water temperature, steeping time and other details. But to keep it simple, basic tea supplies are: fresh water, a teapot, an infuser or strainer, a cup, and a storage canister.
Choose from green, black, or the rare white tea. Their tastes differ depending partly on their fermentation periods. Black teas are fully fermented, while green teas are not fermented at all.
Mix and match favorite tastes and smells for a unique brew. Drink tea hot or iced and add milk, honey, sugar or nothing at all. Cool down this summer with Green Tea and Rose Petal Popsicles or Thai Shakes.
This beautifully designed book will inspire even the most avid coffee drinkers to pick up a cup of tea in lieu of their treasured java. Full of charming anecdotes and historical tidbits, it weaves mouth-watering recipes throughout the text. You'll find a recipe for black currant tea fruit soup sandwiched between a description of how to brew a perfect cup of tea and an essay on how to demystify the often esoteric tea-tasting vocabulary. Sleek photographs accompany each essay and recipe, and topics range from how the mild elixir was first discovered to how it has impacted cross-continental cultures. Perfect for tea neophytes and aficionados alike, this book will motivate anyone to learn a little more about tea.
About the Author
Karl Petzke is the co-author, with Sara Slavin, of the award-winning book Espresso and is the photographer for Pears (both from Chronicle Books).
Sara Slavin is an art director and stylist who collaborates with photographers, designers, and publishers on editorial projects throughout the country. She has co-authored numerous books, including Espresso and The Art of the Bath (both published for Chron