One of my dear friends is a tea connoisseur, a title quite deserving because she happens to be a recipient of a Tea Masterclass diploma, which is an intensive tea immersion course that placed her credentials from a tea hobbyist to a tea expert. With her passion for tea, she has influenced quite a few of us who are close to her to have a liking to tea.
So it comes to no surprise when I was given an opportunity to do a book review of Caroline Dow’s The Healing Power of Tea, I was ecstatic!
Aside from the anecdotal tips given by my friend, I have been avid to know more about the different types of tea, its therapeutic value and health benefits, and even a lesson in the grade levels and types.
This book certainly delivered that, including how to blend, prepare, consume tea properly to maximize its ailments. In addition, there are bonus chapters on recipes and gardening tips to growing your own herbs for tea use.
Ms. Dow starts the reader off with the historical aspects of tea, to elicit appreciation from where this botanical drink was discovered and how long it has been used for medicinal properties. Then she adequately describes the types of tea and explains why they are different even though they come from the same plant. It is in the processing technique, such as the length of fermentation.
There are 5 main varieties:
- White Tea is actually made of buds that were hand-picked before they were even open. They have a smooth grassy taste and known for stimulating the nerve cells of the brain.
- Yellow Tea is very rare and only made in China. It is actually a type of green tea, but made in very few quantities. It is known for its subtle sweet and flowery, but not grassy, note.
- Green Tea is very popular among the masses, but the most preferred ones are hand-plucked leaves. They have a distinct grassy taste and is known to help facilitate weight loss.
- Oolong Tea is known as a partially oxidized type of tea that can be infused several times. It is mostly made from China and Taiwan, and has a lot of antioxidants that is good for the liver.
- Black Tea is usually associated with good health and energy. This is also the kind of tea most often served in restaurants.
There is also a 6th variety, but this is not actually real tea in its true essence. Red Tea, but popularly known as ‘herbal’ tea, actually comes from botanical bushes called ’tisanes‘. An example of these brews from flowers, leaves, stems, seeds, and roots.
Another interesting part of the book is Chapter 7, which is dedicated to how to brewing tea. It discusses the basic requirements, such as the best water to use, the vessel to heat the water, the cup that holds the tea, the saucer, the infuser or strainer, and my favorite the Teapot. Tea masters claim the perfect brewing vessel is a Yixing teapot made from Zisha clay, from the Yixing region of northwest Shanghai. But be forewarned that each teapot must stick to only one type of tea when in use because the porous clay seasons the flavor after repeated use.
On the other hand, the British claim the renowned Brown Betty (a teapot I really love!) is the best to brew tea! This teapot became popular after Queen Victoria declared it to be the pot that made the very “best cup of tea.” It is actually made of unglazed red clay from the Bradell Woods area in Stoke-on-Trent, and known to have maganese and iron in its materials that provide additional minerals to the tea.
Tea lovers will certainly appreciate the research and instructional materials compiled by Ms. Dow. It is also a perfect reference guide to look over from time to time to see what kinds of brews would be a natural fix for a certain type of ailment.
Here is the book info:
Title: The Healing Power of Tea
Author: Caroline Dow
For centuries, tea has been used for healing and improved wellness, and now you can learn to rejuvenate your health withThe Healing Power of Tea. Whether a new or expert tea drinker, Caroline Dow provides you with “tea-rrific” knowledge, including detailed explanations of different tea types and their advantages, as well as a list of ailments and what blends will alleviate them.
From black to green to oolong, enjoy many aspects of tea and tea culture. Discover the delicious ways tea will improve your life with extensive recipes and an easy-to-use reference guide. From the history of tea to growing a tea garden, this comprehensive book takes you on a fascinating journey into the world of teas and tisanes.
How about you? Do you like tea? What kind of leaf is your favorite?