10 Best Tea Books You Need to Read

Fascination with tea begins with a single cup, but true love is cultivated only through knowledge and experience.

It could take a lifetime to explore the world of tea, but why wait when you can share the wisdom of others?

These 10 tea books, written by experts and selected for their depth, are master classes in tea culture. From the origins and cultivation of tea to its history, stories, and spiritual practices, they’ll take you on a global adventure.

10 Best Tea Books Reviewed

Great for Beginners and Enthusiasts – The Tea Book

The Tea Book is the quintessential resource for all things tea. From the musings of a sommelier to proven recipes for your favorite brews, it contains enough information to satisfy the loose leaf enthusiast while giving the beginner a broad foundation of knowledge.

  • Pages: 224
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Author: Linda Gaylard

Highlights:

  • A comprehensive guide on tea
  • Great photos and illustrations
  • Learn how to brew different types of teas
  • Contains dozens of delicious and healthy tea recipes

Topics of this book include types of tea, the production process, and the health benefits of select brews. Readers will learn to steep, infuse and cup tea like a professional, embracing the cultural impact of this beloved beverage.

Author Linda Gaylard shares her personal thoughts in an insightful but practical way, never assuming the reader knows more than they may. The tone is chatty. Beautifully illustrated with colorful photos that pique the imagination, The Tea Book is visually stunning.

The novice will eagerly flip through the pages, getting a sense of the flavor, aroma, and textures of tea without lifting a cup. Connoisseurs will find themselves using it as a reference book to get back to basics or mentor the next generation of tea lovers.

The Tea Book can be the beginning of an odyssey, a rite of passage, or a journal, growing with you as you learn, sharing and reflecing on your experiences. It belongs on every tea lover’s shelf.

Become a Tea Expert – Tea Sommelier

Written by tea experts for the aspiring sommelier, this A-Z guide serves as a textbook for the detail-thirsty student. Each page is a distinct lesson in how to select, brew and serve tea.

From the best steeping temperatures to the physical effects of how different types of tea affect the body, the reader learns everything they need to know to build experience as a tea professional.

  • Pages: 224
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Authors: Francois-Xavier Delmas and Mathias Minet

Highlights:

  • Learn how to select and prepare tea
  • Pair the right type of tea with different foods
  • Plenty of informative illustrations

Authors Francois-Xavier Delmas and Mathias Minet offer in-depth analysis of tea-producing regions, discussing the effects of soil composition and climate on flavor. As professional tea tasters, they know what it takes to make a perfect cup.

Lessons are carefully crafted to be detailed without being overwhelming, coaxing the reader to experiment with different techniques. Illustrations are generic, reinforcing the content — the style is reminiscent of a cookbook.

The basics are covered in detail but the authors spend more time developing complex topics that may not interest the casual tea drinker. This book is not for the tea snob, but readers will glean more from its pages if they have a passing knowledge of tea.

Teas Around the World – The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook

The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook takes you around the world without leaving your kitchen. You’ll learn where tea is grown, how different varieties are developed, and how to make the most of their flavors.

The focus is on the pure, unblended teas that are foundational to tea culture. Readers will explore the production, purchase, and storage of premium cultivars from China, India, Sri Lanka, and more. A detailed storage and buyer’s guide are included.

  • Pages: 208
  • Format: Paperback (Kindle version also available)
  • Authors: Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss

Highlights:

  • Informative for both beginners and more experienced tea lovers
  • Provides in-depth information about teas cultivated around the world
  • Learn how to brew different types of tea

Retail purveyors of the finest loose-leaf, authors Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss share their 30-plus years of experience in a conversational tone, passing on insider tips.

The text is easy to follow and develops ideas in a clear, sequential order. illustrations are less effective, depicting scenery and brewing tools where tea is grown but with little context — a missed opportunity to both interest and educate. The glossary of terms is extensive and concise.

This is by no means a coffee table book. It’s a serious effort to entice people to learn more about the teas they love. A wealth of information, it balances the needs of the beginner and the advanced teaist.

Best Photos and Recipes – The Art of Tea: Recipes and Rituals

Brought to you by the editors of Victoria Magazine, maestros of gracious living, the Art of Tea is an immersive sensory experience packed with stunning photos and high-tea lore.

Rich in history, it includes novel recipes and serving ideas to make any tea party a success. From flowers to food pairings, it covers it all in fine detail.

  • Pages: 164
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Author: Jordan Marxer

Highlights:

  • Dozens of stunning photos to inspire you
  • Interesting and visually impressive recipes
  • Excellent gift for anyone interested in tea!

If you subscribe to the Victoria Magazine, you feel at home reading this book. The tone is similar with ideas gleaned from diverse sources past and present.

But the star of the show is the vibrant, glossy photos. The production value is extraordinary. If a picture says a thousand words, this book speaks volumes.

Created for the dedicated host or hostess who wants to impress guests, it’s more inspirational than informational. Leafing through its pages, you’ll feel your creativity flow. Part fantasy and part folklore, it’s an ideal housewarming gift for the imaginative entertainer.

Grow, Harvest and Blend – Growing Your Own Tea Garden

All tea is grown, so why not cultivate your own? Author and foodie, Jodi Helmer, shows you how in this comprehensive guide.

From selecting the best varieties to planting, harvesting, and storing your bounty, it covers the essentials of backyard growing with just enough history to bring the process alive. You’ll learn the art of blending and how to brew each type of tea for maximum flavor extraction.

  • Pages: 144
  • Format: Paperback (Kindle version also available)
  • Author: Jodi Helmer

Highlights:

  • Learn how to grow your own tea plants and herbs
  • Create your own blends and recipes
  • Design a beautiful tea garden full of healthy plants

The book is divided into four sections plus a plant index with details about the most popular choices for tea.

You’ll get practical advice on choosing plants, designing your garden, and making the most of your harvest. It’s a start-to-finish compendium that reads more like a heart-to-heart than a reference book but with the vital information readers need to be successful.

Color illustrations are succinct, purposeful and add visual appeal without being distracting.

Designed for the beginner, this book will appeal to both tea and gardening enthusiasts, melding two complementary sciences for the drinker and grower alike.

Best Book About Herbal Teas – Healing Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are a tradition at the table and the pharmacy. In Healing Herbal Teas, author Sarah Farr explains how plants are used medicinally to help manage stress, support the immune system and cure common ailments. It’s an ancient art with modern implications.

  • Pages: 272
  • Format: Paperback (Kindle version also available)
  • Author: Sarah Farr

Highlights:

  • Unlock the healing power of herbal remedies
  • Everything from growing and harvesting, to preparing herbal teas
  • Dozens of recipes to promote your well-being and combat various health problems

Divided into three sections, the book covers blending teas, creating health tonics, and starting an herbal garden.

From creating a good workspace to deciphering confusing recipes, you’ll learn to create custom blends to meet your taste and health goals. The aim is to introduce tea as a wellness tool while providing helpful tips readers can use to make the most of a fun and enriching activity.

Farr approaches the subject holistically. Her writing is thoughtful without being overly complex or preachy, but it would benefit from additional illustrations for the absolute novice. For the reader intrigued by herbal medicine, few books are as satisfying philosophically and practically.

Teas and Cocktails – Blackthorn’s Botanical Brews

A book of tea and cocktail recipes with a supernatural vibe, Blackthorn’s Botanical Brews appeals to readers’ spiritual side. Invoking the passionate and near-mystical dimensions of tea and libations, she blends the arts of mixology and ritual to bring out the magic in every cup.

  • Pages: 272
  • Format: Hardcover (Kindle, Audiobook, and Audio CD versions also available)
  • Author: Amy Blackthorn

Highlights:

  • Amazing recipes from teas and kombucha, to homemade liqueurs
  • Fun to read
  • Surprise your friends with drinks they have never tried before!

Eleven chapters, bookended by an introduction and her closing thoughts, examine topics for the beginner from tools of the trade to ingredients and serving tips.

You’ll find recipes for kombucha, tea-infused vodka, and homemade bitters. Yes, you can make your own vermouth and bitters at home.

Blackthorn’s writing style is somewhat tongue-in-cheek with a witchy reference on every page. Yet she brings an aspect of her spirituality and experience with witchcraft that shine on every page. The illustrations are vivid enough to drink.

A fun read that’s informational yet doesn’t take itself too seriously, its a boon for readers who want fresh cocktail recipes — there’s nothing same-old about this book. It’s a must-have for your next midnight get-together.

Best Fictional Tea Book – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Combine your love of tea and storytelling with this stirring read from best-selling author, Lisa See. A moving narrative about tea farming and the mother-daughter bond, it’s a bittersweet but enthralling glimpse into the life of a young Chinese woman, Li-yan, trapped by poverty and prejudice.

  • Pages: 384
  • Format: Hardcover (Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, and Audio CD versions also available)
  • Author: Lisa See

Highlights:

  • Interesting story from behind the scenes of tea cultivation
  • Learn about Chinese tea culture
  • A perfect companion for a warm cup of tea!

A work of fiction, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane portrays the importance of Chinese tea culture with reverence and accuracy.

See’s prose flows like a comfortable conversation, drawing the reader in. Within pages, you’ll hear the sights and sounds of Li-yan’s village.

By the end of the first chapter, she’ll be family. The character development is thorough enough for empathy with just enough left to the imagination that you can see yourself in her shoes.

The tenth of See’s eleven novels, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is steeped with both ancient and modern symbolism — you’ll cry and cheer. But from the heartbreaking beginning to the triumphant end — you won’t be able to put it down.

A Classic About Japanese Tea Culture – The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea examines the evolution of Japanese tea culture through the eyes of famed author, Okakuro Kakuzo. A new edition, it brings clarity to his original 1906 tome, adding another page to a complex and oft-forgotten story.

  • Pages: 104
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Authors: Okakura Kakuzo and Bruce Richardson

Highlights:

  • A deep dive into Japanese tea culture and Taoism
  • Provides an interesting perspective on art, beauty, and simplicity
  • Newly edited version with added illustrations and historical photographs

Redesigned for the modern audience, The Book of Tea chronicles Kakuzo’s fascinating life story and how he came to write the most influential book of its time on art, beauty, and tea.

His impressive journey from Yokohama to New York features prominent twentieth-century personalities, such as Henry James, Ezra Pound, and Henri Matisse. Kakuzo’s writings influenced the work of notable artists, including Frank Lloyd Wright.

Not for the faint of heart, The Book of Tea takes a deep dive into the history, culture, and spirituality of tea. This latest edition, however, enhanced by American Tea writer, Bruce Richardson, features delightful illustrations and historical photographs that bring renewed context to Kakuzo’s unique prose.

It’s not light reading, but there’s never been a better time to enjoy this timeless classic.

Learn About the History of Tea – For All the Tea in China

For All the Tea in China isn’t your average history book. More of an expose, it tells the dramatic true story of the world’s biggest heist — how Great Britain stole tea from China.

A page-turner, it’s brimming with international intrigue, corporate espionage, and political commentary appropriate in today’s changing geopolitical landscape.

  • Pages: 272
  • Format: Hardcover (Paperback and Audio CD versions also available)
  • Authors: Sarah Rose

Highlights:

  • An interesting and informative take on the history of tea, the opium wars, and more
  • Eye-opening and thought-provoking
  • A must read for history buffs

Author Sara Rose recounts the tale with a tea lover’s passion, tracing plant hunter Robert Fortune’s travails deep into Chinese territory to retrieve the finest tea plants. It was an act that changed the balance of world power as much as weaponry does today.

In relaxed yet urgent prose, For All the Tea in China reads like best-selling fiction and draws readers into making their own conclusions.

Fun for the tea savant and the beginner alike, it paints a vivid picture of life in the 19th century and how tea changed the economic fortunes of Western culture — its impact was profound. It lacks the citations scholars need to take it seriously, yet it serves as a launching point for both research and debate.

Pour yourself a cup on a rainy afternoon and enjoy this provocative read!

Best Books on Tea – Final Thoughts

The story of tea takes time to unfold. Each fact and insight builds on the next.

We hope that traveling through history in the pages of these best tea books, brings you a greater appreciation for the world’s most beloved drink.

If learning is a journey, these books are the map. Bon voyage!

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