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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

'French Tea' & Other Tea-Themed Books

Among the books at Oak Rise Cottage are many books about tea and related subjects. First I would like to share one of the latest books I’ve read, French Tea: The Pleasures of the Table by Carole Manchester. New York: Hearst Books, 1993.

This book was a delight to read from cover to cover. It has a great format for introducing a topic and giving the reader a full and complete introduction to varied aspects of the subject. While there is much information about English style tea, not much is readily available about how the French use tea. In French Tea Carole Manchester gives an account of the history of tea, the history of tea in France and the development of tea salons. In the process she lets the reader into the world of the tea salon and the sweet and savory accompaniments to tea that are served there.
As a carefully-made guide, this book also provides glossaries to tea terms, to French pastries, and advice on taking tea. There are beautiful photos of interiors with tea settings in interiors from tea salons, restaurants, hotels and private homes. I found it interesting also, to learn about tea sets in French pottery of the early 20th century.
For more on this book click below:

One group of my tea books focus on entertaining with tea:
Tea Time Celebrations by Alexandra Stoddard
A Little Book of English Teas by Rosa Mashiter
Country Tea Parties by Maggie Stuckey
Taking Tea With Alice – This presents whimsical tea parties.

Other books focus especially on recipes to be used in a tea celebration:
Scones Muffins and Tea Cakes: Breakfast Breads and Teatime Spreads, ed. by Heidi Haughy Cusick
Having Tea: Recipes & Tablesettings by Tricia Foley
The Teatime Cookbook by Steffi Berne
Totally Teatime Cookbook by Helene Siegel

Several books in my collection are on afternoon tea. This came about when the spring receptions for our poetry lecture series was an afternoon tea served with lovely English teacups. The books provided inspiration to make the occasions lovely and pleasant for the guests.

Afternoon Teas: Recipes History Menus (A Between Friends Cookbook)
The Book of Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley
The Afternoon Tea Book by Michael Smith
The Perfect Afternoon Tea Book: A Collection of Teatime Treats (Perfect Recipes)

Special Teas by M. Dalton King is a beautiful book of themed menus and recipes.
A book which gives history and advice on entertaining with finesse is:
How to Serve a Proper Victorian Tea: Using Antique China & Silver to Bring the Past to the Present by Caroline Pichney. I enjoyed reading the author’s anecdotes of her experiences travelling to England and France and other tea topics.
Teatime Tales & Rhymes – Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Tea Party Book: With Menus, Recipes, Decorations and Favors to Make by Lucille Recht Penner
The Charms of Tea: Reminiscences and Recipes. Victoria Magazine

Time for Tea Mary Englebreit
If Teacups Could Talk: Sharing a Cup of Kindness With Treasured Friends by Emilie Barnes; Paintings by Sandy Lynam Clough

Tea and Inspiration: A Collection of Tea Celebrations to Share With Your Lord and Your Loved Ones by Mary Pielenz Hampton
The Book of Herbal Teas: A Guide to Gathering, Brewing and Drinking by Sara Perry

Little gift books found in bookstores include -
A Child’s Tea Party
The Little Book of Tea
Teatime: Tradition, Presentation, and Recipes

Another category of tea-related books are collector’s guides to teapots and teacups and saucers.

Christie’s Collectibles: Teapots by Paul Tippett
China Teapots (Antique Collectors Pocket Guides) by Pauline Agius
Collectible Teacups and Saucers: Identification & Values by Jim and Susan Harran

In yesterday's mail I received a free tea book from It is titled Teapots written by Tina M. Carter. The subtitle is The Collector's Guide to Selecting, Identifying, and Displaying New and Vintage Teapots. Flipping through it I see many fascinating teapot designs of porcelain, silver and other materials.

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave your much-appreciated comment.

{In the post that follows just below are links to detailed information on most of the books listed above.}


Esther Sunday said...

What a great collection of wonderful books. I especially love the last book here! Now, where's my tea cozy? Love, Esther

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Carrie, What a nice post this is. We are both tea drinkers and teapot collectors! Susan

nannykim said...

whoooweee-that there is a lotta tea books!!!! How bout we just sit down and have a cuppa!!

Alice said...

What a great list! You asked if I might add to it so here goes (forgive me if I accidentally list one already mentioned.):
Tea-Time at the Inn by Gail Greco
Tea Party by Tracy Stern
Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley
A Tea For All Seasons by Bruce Richardson
The Ritz book of Afternoon Tea by Helen Simpson
Taking Tea at the Savoy by Anton Edelmann
Tea with Patsy Clairmont

Thank you so much for inviting me here. You have a lovely blog and I'll be coming back for more visits!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I love this! Maybe I'll do a post like this sometime on my blog showing my tea books too. I have a whole lot, too many to list now! I've also just started a collection of children's tea books, I want to show those someday too.