What’s better than sipping your beverage of choice, be it tea or coffee? Reading about it while you’re having your favourite drink. In the current situation, it’s more than imperative to pick up a book and spend time productively. These books will help you enrich your knowledge regarding tea leaves and caffeine. Keeping that in mind, we’ve curated a list of books on tea and coffee that you can read and learn more about.
The True History Of Tea – By Erling Hoh and Victor H. Mair (2012)
This book will take you on a journey right from the inception of tea. From ancient times until the present day, this book has it all. The narrative takes the reader from the jungles of Southeast Asia through the grandeur of the Tang and Song Dynasties in China on to the tea ceremony aesthetics of medieval Japan to the fabled tea and horse trade of Central Asia before moving to the rise of Britain’s love affair with tea to the Boston tea party that sparked the American Revolution. The True History of Tea is a must-read for anyone fascinated with the history of tea.
The Coffee Dictionary: An A-Z Of Coffee, From Brewing & Roasting To Tasting – By Maxwell Colonna – Dashwood (2017)
Unlike tea, coffee is a complex drink. Coffee has a lot of depth when it comes to how it has to be roasted, how different beans taste and which beans are suited best for what type of coffee-making. Champion barista and coffee expert Maxwell Colonna has curated over a hundred entries on everything from sourcing, growing and harvesting, to roasting, grinding and brewing coffee. With the 5th wave of coffee hitting cafes across the world, getting to know and understand tasting notes is the current need of the hour. This book will easily sail your boat through everything.
The Big Book Of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, And Enjoying The Health Benefits Of Fermented Tea – Hannah Crum, Alex LaGory (2016)
Fermented drinks are all the rage in today’s health conscious times. None of them has captured more attention that kombucha, which is basically fermented tea. This book has around 400 recipes, including 268 unique flavour combinations for anyone looking to jump on the kombucha bandwagon. It also details the health benefits, kombucha’s history and other interesting details about this fermented beverage.
Uncommon Grounds: The History Of Coffee And How It Transformed Our World – Mark Pendergrast (2019)
This is the most authoritative book on the history of coffee. Right from how it was discovered on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the current Starbucks phenomenon, it covers everything. The book also covers how the coffee crisis changed the financial dimensions of the world. The evolution of coffee culture, including third-wave coffee, gets a due mention in this well-written book. A bit lengthy at times, but you’ll get through it, over many cups of coffee.
This book must be your go-to when you want to refer where you can procure the world’s finest teas, how do they qualify as being the best, how certain varieties must be infused, special precautions, etc. The book also has illustrations, maps, pictures that brings alive the world of teas for the connoisseur. From tea plantations in India to Kenya to the know-hows of a Japanese tea ceremony, The Tea Book has everything a tea lover aspires for.
Coffee Art: Creative Coffee Designs For Home-Barista – By Dhan Tamang (2017)
If the current lockdown has you bored out of your mind, why not try and make some creative art with your cup of coffee? This book is an extensive help guide on free pouring to etching, stencilling and more complicated designs, which will train you in becoming a pro barista. Be it a swan, an unicorn, or even a frothy 3D babyccino animal, it will teach you everything. And that’s not all, it even has nine stencil patterns for you to trace and try.
These books on coffee and tea will not only keep you engaged during the current lockdown but will also impart important knowledge about your favourite hot drink. Now that’s what you’d call a win-win, right?
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Gargi Shanbhag is a polyglot and bibliophile who is always up for discussing regional movies - preferably over many cups of filter kaapi.