Book Review: The Tea Drinker’s Handbook by Francois Xavier Lelmas, Mathias Minet, Christine Barbaste


This book is amazing. It’s printed on high gloss paper and filled with beautiful photographs. It covers enough about tea that you could write a thesis paper on it!

It is all about tea – kinds, places it’s grown, how it’s harvested, the colors of tea, how to brew it, how it tastes, and what sensations it gives you. Don’t forget to consider what sort of teapot you are going use…
Who ever thought drinking tea would be a way to calm yourself, to cleanse yourself, to taste sensations you never imagined? Who thought that the smell of tea would have so much impact on the pleasure you take from drinking it?
There is also a section on the world’s best teas – and they aren’t grown in America. China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have the best. This book covers the history of tea, how it’s consumed, and what zones are under cultivation.
If you would like to make drinking tea as complex as tasting wine and checking how it feels on your palette, this book is for you!
Learn its place in history, and learn how to make a cup of tea that even rabid coffee drinkers would like.
I know I like some of the fruit flavored teas, and this book has shown me that there is a whole other world out there in tea drinking opportunities. After all, there are black teas, green teas, Wu Long or semi-oxidized teas, yellow teas, white teas, dark teas, and scented, smoked and flavored teas.
This is a really good resource book for someone interested in tea and would make a very nice gift book.
Book review written by JoAnn Hakola, The Book Faerie, © 2009

Editorial note: JoAnn has been a constant supporter of She chooses to support our site through the advertising program and guest writing for us. She truly loves books of all kinds, and I find her to be a wonderful person, but also an assett to our site. If you have not dealt with her, or her store….check it out! -Christine
ps– I LOVE tea, I love the taste, the warmth, and the calm it brings me– buy this book for a friend who may feel the same way!

  • Would love this book! I come from a long line of tea drinkers and even my 12-year old would rather have a cuppa at the end of the day than anything else. Will definitely look for it. Thanks!

  • I’m an avid coffee drinker feeling I’m missing out on something with the ‘tea-thing’. It seems like a sub-culture and i love sub-cultures. I think your book moves me towards exploring new delights!

  • I’ve known many tea drinkers who’d love this book, my daughter among them. Thanks for a great review!
    My first thought was that I wouldn’t be interested in it because I’m a coffee drinker. Tea has to be black strong tea and is a substitute because it’s lower in caffeine. It’s all right, but it’s second place to coffee — and I’m not into coffee like a wine taster either, more used to cheap coffee as long as it’s copious.
    My second thought was But I am a writer and some of my characters may be gourmets rather than gourmands, tea drinkers rather than coffee drinkers, this could be one useful resource!
    Thanks for a great review.