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Synopsis

An illustrated version of Okakura Kakuzo’s classic ‘The Book of Tea’ with an introductory biography of Okakura and a chapter on ‘Tea - The Serviceable Herb’. 22,000 words, 75 images

Perhaps the most universal of all drinks but water, tea enjoys a unique popularity around the globe. From the Patagonian Pampas in Argentina, to the high plateau of Tibet, it serves as a restorative, an aid to digestion and a warming “pick-me-up”. In the refined chanoyu ceremony of Japan, tea-drinking has attained an apex of cultural sophistication, whilst half a world away in Great Britain high tea, generally taken at mid-afternoon, distinguishes the drawing rooms of the rich and influential, royalty and commoner alike. No doubt about it, people everywhere hold tea in high esteem – but where did it originate, and who first thought of plucking the leaves of this sturdy shrub, and then infusing them in boiling water?

According to oral tradition, tea has been grown in China for more than four millennia. The earliest written accounts of tea making, however, date from around 350 CE, when it first became a drink at the imperial court...

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