Friday, 3 January 2014

And the Mountains Echoed

And the Mountains EchoedAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini is now one of my favorite books. It is a story that I will read numerous times and each time I know I will read a different book.

Family, friendship, love, betrayal and the intimacy between humans is contained in this book. The reader travels from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island Tinos and the story spans generations within families.

The title of the book is based on the following poem.

The Nurse's Song:
~William Blake~

When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And every thing else is still

Then come home my children, the sun is gone down
And the dews of night arise
Come come leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies

No no let us play, for it is yet day
And we cannot go to sleep
Besides in the sky, the little birds fly
And the hills are all cover’d with sheep

Well well go & play till the light fades away
And then go home to bed
The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh’d
And all the hills echoed

View all my reviews

Monday, 30 December 2013

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

A History of the World in 6 GlassesA History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"A History of the World in 6 Glasses" is a journey into world history through six beverages: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola. This is an entertaining book that presents history in an intriguing way. My favorite topics were the chapters on tea and on Coke. My interest was kept throughout the whole book. It is enlightening and informative. What a fun book!

View all my reviews

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story

Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story: The History of a Painting Told in PicturesLeonardo and the Mona Lisa Story: The History of a Painting Told in Pictures by Donald Sassoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun book. It is a short history on the Mona Lisa from the very beginning to 2005. "Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story" is a visual journey through the life of Mona Lisa. Donald Sassoon tells the story of the painting through words and pictures. What a great way to tell an art story; pictures and words.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Classic of Tea

Classic of Tea: Origins and RitualsClassic of Tea: Origins and Rituals by Lu Yu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"The Classic of Tea" was penned by Lu Yu during the eighth century. It was T'ang Dynasty time during Lu Yu's time period. Lu Yu provides tea drinkers with practical and spiritual information about all aspects of tea. The book embraces philosophy, meditation, and everyday life functions all in their proper relation to tea.

"Every tea hour must become a masterpiece to serve as a distillation of all tea hours, as if it were the first and with no other to follow..the act of drinking tea must be attended by beauty."

This is a fun and informative book to read. I love the drawings and the value placed on the whole process of drinking tea. It is always interesting to read books that were penned many years ago and compare them to present time.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Book of Tea

The Book of TeaThe Book of Tea by Kakuz┼Ź Okakura
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book on the meaning and practice of tea. The art of practicing tea involves Japanese philosophy and aesthetic traditions. Kakuzo Okakura wrote this perceptive commentary "The Book of Tea" in 1906 in English and it has been in print ever since.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Perfection in a Cup...How to Steep Tea


Tea
Steeping time
Possible re-steeps
Bitter if over steeped
Water temperature
Water at temperature
Water, let sit and then use to steep
Darjeeling
2 minutes
0 to 1
Bitter
88 to 93 C
190 – 200 F
String of pearls
Boil and let sit 1 minute
Black Tea
2 to 5 minutes
0 to 1
Bitter
88 to 93 C
190 – 200 F

String of pearls
Boil and let sit 1 minute
Oolong Tea
1 to 5 minutes
1 to 3
Bitter
82 to 93 C
180 – 200 F
Fish Eyes
Boil and let sit 2 minutes
Green Tea Standard
And
Yellow Tea
1 to 2 minutes
1 to 3
Bitter
77 to 82 C
170 to 180 F
Column of steam steadily rising
Boil and let sit 3 minutes
Green Tea: Chinese spring and Japanese
2 to 4 minutes
1 to 3
Bitter
71 to 82 C
160 – 170 F
Calm
Boil and let sit 5 minutes
White Tea
1 to 2 minutes
1 to 3
Bitter
71 to 82 C
160 – 170 F
Calm
Boil and let sit 5 minutes
Pu-erh Tea
Rinse first, then 1st steep =
25 seconds, add 5 seconds for next steep
1 to 9
add 5 seconds to each steep
NO
96 to 99 C
205 – 210 F
Hottest water of any tea
Just off boil
Immediate
Yerba Mate
1 to 5 minutes
1 to 6
NO
79 to 82 C
175 – 180 F
Column of steam steadily rising
Boil and let sit 3 minutes
Rooibos
4 to 6 minutes
1 to 2
NO
96 to 99 C
205 – 210 F

Just off boil
Immediate
Fruit Infusion
4 to 7 minutes
0 to 1
NO
96 to 99 C
205 – 210 F

Just off boil
Immediate
Herbal Tea
4 to 7 minutes
0 to 1
NO
96 to 99 C
205 – 210 F

Just off boil
Immediate
Style of Tea
Weight
Volume
Water



Small leaf, semiball-rolled, small bud
2 to 3 grams
1 to 2 teaspoons
250 ml
1 cup



Medium size leaf or bud
2 to 3 grams
2 to 3 teaspoons
250 ml
1 cup



Large leaf
2 to 3 grams
3 to 6 tsp
250 ml
1 cup





The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook

The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to the World's Best TeasThe Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to the World's Best Teas by Mary Lou Heiss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mary Lou Heiss is a tea retailer and has traveled the world looking for teas. Her book "The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook" is a guide to help tea lovers understand tea and its beginnings.

This book covers six classes of tea: green, yellow, white, oolong, black and Pu-erh. It talks about how to buy tea, how to steep tea and how to store tea. It is a handy book to have.

I found it a bit overwhelming being new to tea and I would of appreciated a summary or chart comparing all the teas and how long to steep each of them and how to store them...all this information is in the book, it is just not easily accessible, if you want to brew a quick cup of tea...a chart would of been nice that included all the teas.

View all my reviews