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Coffee fuels the Western world, while tea defines the East and is the second-most consumed beverage in the world, outgunned only by water itself. In this everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-tea-but-were-afraid-to-ask volume, a husband-and-wife tea-merchant team covers all aspects of tea-its growth, cultivation, and curing and how it's sold as well as its vast cultural and historical significance in China, Japan, Korea, and beyond (including the Colonial United States). Not simply used to jolt your brain awake with a caffeine infusion, tea and its traditions date back centuries. Although hundreds of different varieties exist, there are six basic classes of tea all stemming from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). This book functions as an encyclopedia, a history, a travelog, and a recipe guide to both properly brewing and steeping all varieties of tea in addition to using the leaf as an ingredient in many dishes. An absolutely exhaustive yet readable study, the Heisses' book is at once the best and only one you'll ever need on the subject. It's a well-brewed and tasty pot indeed.