Diana Rosen, author of numerous tea books including The Book of Green Tea, Taking Time for Tea, Meditations with Tea, and many other books and articles, recently sent Roy her response to his book, Great Teas of China. Diana kindly agreed to let us share her opinions with Camellia Sinensis readers.
Dear Roy, I loved the anecdotal items, especially your travels and friendships made in China, and it was nice to be reminded of your stories of when you were a child in Hong Kong or when you towed cars at night. I also remember stories of how you would drink tea after a long night. The book not only sustains the credibility you have earned (with much effort) but invites us along with your quests to search out good tea, creating an intimate connection between writer and reader.
I appreciate very much learning more about the Chinese names and locations of these fine teas. The description of each tea, how it is grown and processed, gave me deeper insight and makes me appreciate your sourcing efforts all the more. I learned a LOT. It's a pretty book. The type is the right size and the use of the orange background for sidebars is good.
My suggestions for future editions would be to add more! More information on how your tea tastes have evolved, perhaps when you like to drink what and why. I'm a sucker for these types of anecdotal stories, such as realizing that by drinking your favorite oolong in a particular pot its patina glows and, perhaps, the oolongs of all those years have actually seeped into the clay. Certainly most American readers will want more information on brewing. You do not need to go into more detail about temperature, although I'm sure most folks would want that, but I stand by your position of encouraging people to experiment. It is their tea and their tea experience and once you convince them of that, they're on their way to the tea life.