Friday, October 5, 2007
"Aromatic Teas and Herbal Infusions"
One thing I enjoy about the tea world is that there is always something new to learn. I realize I am an absolute amateur in my knowledge of tea, but I do have the sense to know how much I don't know! And so I turn to books. I just finished reading "Aromatic Teas and Herbal Infusions" by Laura Fronty (Clarkson Potter, 1997), and it was quite an enjoyable read.
The author, a French journalist and stylist, has such a way of writing that I practically felt this was a scented book. I could smell the mint and the rosemary and the violets, and I also enjoyed the recipes she included. (My dream for next spring: my own little tea garden!) The lush photography is by Yves Duronsoy, whose golden-hued portraits recall Toshi Otsuki's lovely photos which ran during the glory days of Victoria magazine. There is something about capturing the light that very few of the lifestyle photographers seem to get just right. This one does.
A study of tea also tends to involve a little geography, and this book revealed numerous fascinating bits about tea around the globe. Such as? Lebanon has a tea known as "white coffee" which contains no coffee at all. Jesuit missionaries sent to Argentina became consumers of mate', which was then called "Jesuits' tea." Germany is partial to rose hip tea, which is high in Vitamin C and said to be good for fighting colds. I like to try natural remedies for things anyway, so I know I'll be re-reading this book and concocting some new teas of my own.