Tea: A Global History (Edible Series) by Helen Saberi

By Helen Saberi

From chai to oolong to sencha, tea is without doubt one of the world’s hottest drinks. maybe that's since it is a different and adaptable drink, fed on in lots of diverse types via cultures around the globe and in lots of varied settings, from the elaborate traditions of jap teahouses to the stylish tearooms of england to the verandas of the deep South.     

In Tea food historian Helen Saberi explores this wealthy and engaging background. Saberi seems to be on the financial and social makes use of of tea, reminiscent of its use as a foreign money in the course of the Tang Dynasty and 1913 construction of a tea dance known as “Thé Dansant” that mixed tea and tango. Saberi additionally explores the place and the way tea is grown worldwide and the way customs and traditions surrounding the beverage have developed from its mythical origins to its present-day popularity.

Featuring bright pictures of teacups, vegetation, tearooms, and teahouses in addition to recipes for either consuming tea and utilizing it as a flavoring, Tea will interact the senses whereas supplying a background of tea and its uses.

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Additional info for Tea: A Global History (Edible Series)

Sample text

The tea cere mony concludes with the drinking of usucha, a foamy infusion which is made using less matcha and more water. The matcha, which is kept in a lacquered tea box or caddy called a chaire, is scooped into the tea bowl (chawan) by a special teaspoon or scoop called a chasaku. Hot water is added and then whisked vigorously with a bamboo whisk (chasen) to produce a pale green liquid with a light surface froth.  What is the background history to this elaborate tea ceremony? The knowledge of tea was probably brought to Japan from China in the late sixth century at the same time as Buddhism.

Genmaicha is another kind of bancha. Grains of rice (genmai) are roasted until they pop and mixed with bancha. The resulting tea, made with boiling water, has an aromatic, nutty flavour.  Gyokuro, which means ‘drops of dew’, is the finest and most expensive of Japanese teas. It is made from the very young buds of old tea bushes that are protected from the sun by straw matting for three weeks before plucking in order to produce more chlorophyll and less tannin. Only the best leaves are used. After steaming the leaves are basket-fired and hand-rolled to produce beautifully shaped flat and pointed needles of an emerald colour.

Recently another kind of tea shop called quan hong tra (red tea shop) has begun to appear in major urban centres. They offer a kind of tea cocktail – a mix of tea with flower petals, sugar, honey or milk and grated ice which is blended until a froth appears then poured into a cup and served. Tea has grown ‘wild’ in northern Vietnam for a very long time and is still harvested by the local people. In the late nineteenth century the French paid a lot of attention to growing tea and set up the first tea plantations, but the industry suffered from the continuous conflict in the area and only recently has tea production developed both for export and the domestic market.

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