Friday, June 20, 2008
Tea table book: "The Book of Tea"
Now here's a book that has been on my Wish List for a longggg time. I started to say it was a high-end "coffee table book," but that just wouldn't be right, would it? So we'll just say it's a nice "tea table book." At any rate, "The Book of Tea" from Flammarion was $60 when I first came across a copy at a bookstore some years ago, and I just knew I'd find it on sale one day. And I did. A few weeks ago, I was looking for tea books on eBay and came across this one for 99 cents. It's quite a large book (9-3/4 x 12-1/2 inches), and I am so enjoying reading through it and looking at all the amazing photography.
Chapters in the book are titled Tea Gardens, Tea Barons, Time for Tea and The Taste of Tea. This spread is from the chapter on tea gardens. The photo at right shows the inside of a factory in India. There are lots of photos showing the growing, plucking and production of tea. I've seen such photos before, but rarely are they as beautiful as they are presented here.
I really like the book's historic photos, including this one of ladies at tea time in New England circa 1900. There are also lots of images of tea-themed art through the ages, and it is so lovely to have this much "tea beauty" in one volume. If you're looking for a copy, Alain Stella wrote the first chapter but often seems to be listed as the author of this book. Anthony Burgess wrote the preface, so you might try searching with his name as well. This is definitely one of my favorite tea books of the year!