Sen Soshitsu XV, the Fifth Grandmaster of the Urasenke School, wrote this account back in the 1970s. It sat comfortably beside Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book of Tea on my shelf, and I think picking up one is a good enough excuse to pick up the other. Neither are long reads. They’re not similar in content necessarily, but both are introspective looks on culture and East meets West. Continue reading
I’ll usually swing back around to this blog with a pretty dire opinion of my activity, but if I can manage four posts a year (in both 2021 and 2020!), then I’m pretty happy with myself. (Even if I did read months back)
Of the 2021 releases I talked about previously, this’ the only one I’ve gotten around to reading so far. This was the book I was most interested in (so the only one I put on pre-order–it was my birthday present to myself, but with turbulent pandemic delays, it didn’t actually get to me until the end of November), and I don’t think there’s really any other books out there that cover this specific topic to this extent and dedication.
Green with Milk & Sugar is about the growth and decline of Japanese tea in America, interweaving the cultural climates of America, Britain, China and Japan from the 1800s all the way up to the 1940s. It follows how these relationships and ideals shaped America’s tea tastes over the years, made them distinct from Britain’s, and how those tastes eventually declined during the twilight years of WWII.
I look forward to new releases, even if the sad reality is I only manage to read a couple of Tea Books a year–and usually half a decade after they’ve been published. But that doesn’t mean I can’t share what I’m looking forward to getting my hands on.
These are just a couple of the books that are slated to be published in 2021. There’s a lot of cooking, photo, and ‘mini guide’ books to slog through to find the gems, but after a lot of digging, I’ve started my ‘pre-order list’ for 2021. We’ll see what else crops up as the year progresses.
“Tea” as a word of the English language has enjoyed about four hundred years of use. It’s changed in that time, like most words in the English language; it wasn’t always pronounced “tee”. But that’s getting ahead of myself.