Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New Tea Books

I recently received notification that Hoffman Media has two new tea books.  The first one is Jane Pettigrew's World of Tea.  

I've heard Jane speak several times, and she's very knowledgeable about tea.  I have seven of her books already, so I wondered how much new information this book would contain beyond what she's already written.  It's a pricey book - $59.95 plus shipping.

It was a topic of discussion on Facebook's Afternoon Tea Across America group, and those who had read it said it was different than her other books, so I decided to purchase it last week when Amazon Prime had a special.  I got it for $43.48 and there was no shipping charge.

It arrived in last Saturday's mail, and I was amazed at the large box it was shipped in and how much it weighed.  This is no small book that can be read through in a couple of days.  Jane has recorded and described all the tea-growing regions around the world. 

There was a time when the only tea growing area in the United States was South Carolina, but not today.  Below is a map in Jane's book that shows tea being grown in 17 states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Michigan.    

Yes, in Michigan!  It's true we don't have the climate that tea plants thrive in, particularly in the winter months, but registered nurse and horticulturist, Angela Macke, began growing tea on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1999 using a combination of Hawaiian and Darjeeling biodynamic tea seed.  Her tea farm - Light of Day Organics, in Traverse City - now grows more than 2,000 plants inside green house hoops.  She even plays classical music for them!

In the summer the sides of the hoops are covered with tarps for shade, and are rolled up for ventilation.  Ms. Macke makes white, dark oolong, green, and black teas during two seasons:  late March and early August.  

I have never been to the tea farm.  When I coordinated the Michigan Tea Tour in the fall of 2016, Traverse City wasn't included in the tour because of its location, but teas from Light of Day were included in the gift bags given to each participant.

There's a large section on tea growing regions of Japan, including Shiga, the area that owner, Lisa McDonald, of Tea Haus in Ann Arbor, MI recently visited and conducted a tea tasting on.  I think I'll begin reading there first since the tea tasting is still fresh in my mind.

The book is a very worthwhile investment and resource for anyone serious about tea.

Hoffman Media also has another book, Tea Time Parties Around the World that will be coming out August 1st.  I have pre-ordered my copy, and can hardly wait for it to arrive.

The 136-page hardcover book is by the editors of Tea Time Magazine and will highlight 12 different countries and cultures:  China; Japan; India/Sri Lanka; Russia; Argentina; France; UK; The Netherlands; Kenya; South Africa; Australia; and Morocco.  It will sell for $24.95 plus shipping.

Presentation topics for seniors are always in the back of my mind, so I couldn't resist purchasing two books at the train depot last Sunday.  I'm thinking the Orient Express has possibilities.  

Harney & Sons has a black tea based on Agatha Christie's 1934 crime fiction mystery book, Murder on the Orient Express, and the 1974 and 2017 movies of the same name.  I ordered the tin of tea and am going to watch the movie and read the book.

Belmond Trains currently operate the Orient Express, and they offer Afternoon Tea on the train as well as a mystery lunch.  It's pricey but sounds like so much fun if I ever return to London!

I knew Mt. Clemens had famous mineral baths at one time, but I've never researched them. I'm anxious to read up on those too in a booklet that was published by the Grand Trunk Railway System, and reprinted in 2009 by the Macomb County Historical Society.

What's the latest book you're reading while sipping tea?


  1. I love your suggestions, but I am doing some "light" reading. I am re-reading my Cackleberry Club mysteries by Laura Childs.

  2. Yes, indeed, Mt. Clemens did have mineral baths - the old Colonial Hotel and I remember it well. Actually did you know that on the other side of the state, in St. Joseph where I was born, there was also a very famous hotel that had mineral baths. It was called The Whitcomb and was on the shores of Lake Michigan and the St. Joseph River. Here is a link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitcomb_Hotel

    It still remains as a high rise senior citizen residence but had its own claim to fame back many years ago. Many articles on line about its place in southwestern Michigan.


Thank you for visiting my blog. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!