Third Edition of Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties Hits Bookstores

François Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, Hugo Americi and Kevin Gascoyne. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Gascoyne)

Tea enthusiasts and entrepreneurs have a comprehensive resource for tea education in the Third Edition of Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, which was released by Firefly Books in December 2018. Written by the four co-owners of the World Tea Award winning Camellia Sinensis teahouses in Quebec, Canada: Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, and Hugo Americi, it covers every facet of tea.

“Until the early 2000s, tea books were based on the sameoriginal tea book, they were all based on each other,” Gascoyne said. “So whenour book came out, it was a bit of a different approach because it was verymuch based on first-hand experience with buyers in the field.”

The four authors regularly travel the world tasting teas fortheir teahouses and prior to writing the book, they had amassed copious informationand photos that they decided to compile and share with the public. Each of theauthors knows several tea producers and has solid networks in the countriesfrom which they source tea. They were interested in the historical, socio-economic,botanical, and manufacturing sides of the tea industry. ‘We wanted to write a basicreference book for the general public—for people who knew nothing about tea,and also to interest people who already knew a lot about tea,” said Gascoyne. “Andit really does cover all audiences.”

Another distinguishing characteristic of the book was itsinclusion of lab testing on antioxidants and caffeine.

The First Edition of the book was published in 2009 inFrench, then translated into English in 2011 and won the Canadian CulinaryAward. The Second Edition, published in 2014, won the World Tea Award for BestTea Publication. It has been translated into Korean and Russian and the ThirdEdition will also be available in Italian.

Manufacturing techniques in the book inspired tea companiesto use it as a training manual.

The Third Edition contains 20 additional pages, which mainlycover the popular topics of pairing tea with food, and tea mixology. Camellia Sinensishas been offering workshops on pairing and mixology for 15 years. “We thoughtthese topics were quite relevant because more and more people seem to beinterested in them,” Gascoyne said.

The book is comprised of four parts, with 17 succinct chapters.Part One, From Garden to Cup, covers the cultivation of tea and the teaharvest. Part Two, From One Terroir to Another, covers China, Japan, Taiwan,India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam and East Africa. Part Three, From Cup toPlate, goes into the art of preparing tea, has a short tasting guide, and talksabout tea’s contribution to the world of gastronomy. Part Four, Tea and Health,explains the chemical components of tea, the virtues of tea, and presents thebiochemical analysis of 35 teas.

The English language version of the book is being distributedto bookstores across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. TheFrench version is available in France, Luxemburg and Belgium.

“We get so much good feedback about the book,” said Gascoyne.

Kevin Gascoyne will be a Speaker at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, June 10-13, where he will speak at the following Sessions:

Tea Business Boot Camp: Beginners; Monday, June 10, 2019, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tea Business Boot Camp: Advanced; Monday, June 10, 2019, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The World's Rarest Teas: An Exclusive Tasting Event; Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.