“So I must warn you of two things. Firstly: be careful of drinking good tea; you might get hooked and be unable to stop. If the tea is really good, you might indulge deeply drinking and drinking until your heart feels close to exploding with pleasure and caffeine. Even those habituated to hard drugs and amazing tastes get swept away.
And secondly: the pleasure might take away your inhibitions. Above and beyond the caffeine, the exquisite beauty of tea can turn your head and rob you of your normal control. Intensely delightful experiences are so out of the ordinary that our response to them can be similarly unexpected.” – Henrietta Lovell (Chapter 13, page 99.)
A Book to Reignite your Tea Flame
By Kyle Whittington | Tea Book Club
Wow! What a book! From start to finish Henrietta had me captivated, excited and enthralled by her world. A tea book unlike most, this is the very personal story of Henrietta’s adventures with tea, in tea, and all around tea. From her first fledgling sips out of dainty China Cups at Diana’s House as a child, we are taken along on a ride of reminiscence. With trips to far flung tea fields swathed in mist via the odd lightning strike or two, we zip off to tea tastings with chefs at some of the best restaurants in the world, accompanied by her little yellow suitcase and strange meetings on trains. To mention but a few of her adventures.
The extreme highs of Henrietta’s life in tea (which could otherwise have felt like so much name-dropping) are balanced by her battles with cancer. And yes, she really has been struck down by lightning. The realness and personality of Henrietta and her book comes through in these juxtapositions, making the book expressively and genuinely human. You really feel like you are sitting over a cup of tea with Henrietta as she regales you with her stories, the highs, the lows, and the off on a tangent. Oh, and the recipes! Dotted throughout the book are her teas and recipes, each connected with its own story.
This is not a book with sections on different teas, recipes, growing and history like most other tea books. But all this and more is woven throughout the stories that Henrietta tells. Like real life, we learn as we go along, picking up useful tips, ideas, and inspirations.
If you ever find yourself in a bit of a tea rut, drinking the same thing every day, then this book is sure to reignite your tea flame and get you trying something new. It certainly did for me.
And here is what some of the book club members had to say:
I opted to get the audio book. It was so fun to hear her voice and her telling the stories. It was like I was there having tea with her! – Shawn, USA
It’s about her story and the experiences she has with those teas, and with these people. It absolutely gets you excited and interested in all these teas. – Nadine, UK
She makes it all sound so delicious. – Alison, UK
I really enjoyed it, Henrietta is such a storyteller. I could hear more of her stories any day, she is just a very interesting character. – Laura, UK
I think it was very brave of her to share that part of her life, about her illnesses, that wasn’t easy. And she shared how it was in the beginning of her company and how it has transformed to what it is today. It’s really inspiring. – Kristine, Sweden.
I like the way that she makes it fun as well. What she’s doing is a really noble cause, but she doesn’t make it heavy or preachy. It’s more a joyful experience and trying to celebrate and have joy. – Tran, UK
Made me want to try different teas again. – Saunders, UK
I really liked when she wrote about Malawi Antlers. As I grow tea myself, I have to try this; Swedish Antlers. – Greta, Sweden
Usually I’m not interested in blends, and I found it fascinating. The way she talks about how she creates these different blends for different chefs and different foods. With her little yellow bag. – Nadine, UK
I connected a lot with this book. – Sean, USA
When I read her book, I thought I would like to write my own stories or adventures with tea. – Brigette, Canada.
Rare Tea Co.
Henrietta Lovell is perhaps best known as the Rare Tea Lady, after her company “Rare Tea Co.” rareteacompany.com. Sourcing directly from farmers since the very beginning Henrietta has traveled the world and searching for rare and precious harvests of teas and tisanes. Her quest has taken her on many adventures, from the far flung and bizarre to those closer to home. She has worked with some of the most prestigious restaurants and hotels around the world, pairing teas and creating bespoke blends. Henrietta founded Rare Charity, which works to bring educational opportunity to young people in tea growing areas.
— Kyle Whittington
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