Japanese Tea – A Comprehensive Guide by Simona Zavadckyte is the first book dedicated to Japanese tea available in English.

Tea is popular. With the rising popularity, there is also a rising number of authors publishing their insights, thoughts and facts about tea.

About Simona Zavadckyte

I was quite excited when I first saw this book. In fact, I bought it immediately in November 2017. This was the first time I heard about Simona Zavadckyte, and got quite interested after seeing she used to be an intern at the Obubu Tea Farm. Simona’s journey started about 5 years ago in Wazuka, where Obubu Tea Farm is located. This farm is one of the rare Japanese tea farms offering tea internships and education on Japanese tea, from growing to selling. Is there a better guarantee that this book will be a well researched and interesting addition to the world of Japanese tea?

Simona is currently organizing tea workshops together with Obubu Tea Farm and actively promoting Japanese tea culture.

Japanese Tea – A Comprehensive Guide

Japanese tea is much more than matcha or regular sencha and gyokuro. Unfortunately, matcha still gets the most attention, and usually in a completely wrong way – with copy-paste articles on hundreds of websites about health. I hoped this book was here to change that. I love matcha, and I love introducing people to matcha. But, is it fair we completely ignore unique kyobacha, fermented Japanese tea types and wonderful black teas? It is fair as long as there are no appropriate reading materials.

Japanese Tea – A Comprehensive Guide follows a clear structure. It starts with introducing tea varietals, provides growing and harvesting, gives a short introduction to tea types, some information about Japanese Tea Ceremony and an overview of the basic teaware and utensils. I really enjoyed this book and was happy to see the first guide dedicated to Japanese tea. This book might use some more content and an in-depth information to be really “comprehensive”. However, with no doubt, it is the most comprehensive book in English on this subject. This is a great step forward in sharing knowledge and passion about Japanese teas, and might be the most suitable to those still new to tea.

Chapters are well structured, including information about tea farming, tea processing, basic tea types and chemical composition, best practices in brewing and tasting, an overview of the tea ceremony, some facts about history and an overview of essential teaware. Some chapters are only a paragraph long, which might be enough to explain the basic vocabulary and definitions, but not enough to really dive into the exquisite world of Japanese tea.

Conclusion

Japanese Tea – A Comprehensive Guide is a great book, giving real knowledge from a real author. This is rare nowadays, having so many articles and books written by ghostwriters unfamiliar with even the basic terminology. Simona Zavadckyte did a great job and a great contribution in sharing tea knowledge. She says in the introduction, “I hope you will find this guide useful as you embark on the Japanese tea journey.”, and she is right. This guide is definitely the best read for someone starting out. I hope Simona has more guides in plan as there is undoubtedly a lot of interesting experience and facts she gathered while being an intern in Wazuka. What I also appreciate are the bibliography and index, helpful for those wanting to learn more.

  • Name: Japanese Tea – A Comprehensive Guide
  • Author: Simona Zavadckyte
  • Paperback: 101 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (10 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1973236311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1973236313

 

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