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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Korean Way of Tea Book Review

The Korean Way of Tea

by Brother Anthony of Taize and Hong Kyeong-Hee

This book was one of the first books to come out with its intended purpose, and really it remains the only one. Korea as a Tea producing nation often is overlooked in the grand scheme of things quite possibly because their tea production is incredibly minimal compared to the major nations of China, Japan and India. But that being said Korea being located basically right between China and Japan has had its fair share of influence from both nations, and this book shows how Korea's tea culture is a hybrid of both, but still incredibly unique to itself.

This book is an incredibly quick read, and if you are the least bit interested in learning the basics of Korea's tea culture, it will be hard to put down. Not only is it full of amazing information, it also has a wealth of interesting and eye catching photographs.

The only real flaw I have with this book, is the section on the Brief History of Tea in China. The fault is not with the authors' presentation, but rather with the fact that as I have been reading many tea books lately, when ever a book gives a run down of Tea in China they all focus on the same people and their contributions. While I do not doubt the featured figures influence on Chinese tea, I just wish this book hadn't devoted a chapter to Chinese tea, as it is "The Korean Way of Tea." I say that because every book on Chinese tea culture and history will include just as much if not more on those figures.

But as a whole this book is incredibly informative and enjoyable. For days after I read it I would pick it up and sit down and read through a section or two, or just look through the photographs again, simply because I found it that wonderful.
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