I’ll confess that my collection of tea-themed cookbooks is dwarfed completely by my consumption of tea – Early Grey, hot.
Tea-Time At Liberty Cottage, Vol. 1 by Mary Ann Last. This small pamphlet contains a dozen or so handwritten recipes plus instructions for making a ‘proper’ pot of tea. There’s no indication of where Liberty Cottage is (was?) located, nor contact information for purchasing additional volumes. Googling revealed the appearance of Mary Ann Last in 1996 as the speaker for the Genesee County Herb Society’s “Victoria Herbal Tea” event. Recipes in the pamphlet include Plantation Tea, Crab & Olive Tea Sandwiches, Pull Apart Scones, and Pink Strawberry Butter.
Tea In The East by Carole Manchester. From teahouses in China along the tea caravan route through Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, into Japan, India, and Sri Lanka, this book is an historical and visual delight. There are recipes for each region visited including Marbled Tea Eggs, Taj Bombay Masala Sandwiches, Fenugreek Tea, Iced Ginger-Lemon Tea, and more.
Teany Book by Moby and Kelly Tisdale. Not strictly about tea, this cookbook is from the New York City tea cafe, restaurant, and beverage distributor owned by musician Moby and former girlfriend Tisdale. This is a charming and offbeat book; the recipes don’t look bad, either: Avocado, Beet, and Mango Salad with Blood Orange Tea Vinaigrette, Pan Bagna, Cashew Butter Sandwich.
My favorite tea book? The Agony of the Leaves: The Ecstasy of My Life With Tea by Helen Gustafson. In her 2003 obituary, the New York Times called her “tea’s ambassador at a time when diners sipped French roast and other strong coffees but thought tea was limited to Lipton.” The writing is passionate, the recipes equally intoxicating: Dorothy Calimeri’s Jam Cake, Motorloaf Nut Bread, Wilma Haufschild’s Sugar Cookies, and more. I have not gotten a copy of The Green Tea User’s Manual also by Gustafson, but absolutely must.