Price: $2.99 on Amazon
Reading Time: Approx. ~ 1.5-2 hours
Overall Rating: 4/5
Before reading 19 Lessons… I thought myself fairly knowledgeable about the fundamentals of tea. Not to say I’m anywhere near an expert, but I was pleasantly surprised that this book offered me some more insight than I had expected to gain.
In that regard, this book is a very fair starting read for anybody interested in learning a little more beyond the basics of tea – and I can guarantee all beginner to intermediate tea enthusiasts will learn a thing or two from this piece. Published by 27press, it offers a well-rounded starting point and brief look into the growing, cultivation, processing, sale, and proper preparation into the major categories of tea (green, yellow, white, oolong, pu-ehr, black and herbal).
It informs readers on some really pertinent facts about each type and presents brief histories, and sometimes trivia, at the end of each chapter. It covers the basics of brewing and steeping methods, accessories, rituals, rarities, and the like. After reading through the entire book, I found myself recognizing popular blends and regional teas while browsing different tea shops where before I had no idea what they meant (for example, gunpowder green tea or lapsang souchong).
Where the book falls a bit short is in the writing, which is somewhat elementary and dull, and its only very brief coverage of other popular tea types like rooibos and yerba maté. The plus side is that it’s a very quick read and well organized, packing a lot of information in a small amount of time, making it a great reference to carry around while looking for teas to try. The information presented in 19 Lessons… is fundamentally sound for anybody who wants a starting point to greater knowledge.
I snagged the book while it was free on Amazon, though given what the piece offers, it’s well worth the $3 to own.