An extraordinary book dedicated to all tea lovers. A new perspective in tea appreciation, a search for pure pleasure. Tea is so much more than a simple infusion: it is a sign of taste, an excuse for a get-together or a spiritual moment. Drinking tea is a symbol of conviviality and great hospitality, a pleasant way to be sociable, to share time with one or more friends, and to create peace and harmony. But it can also be a real form of meditation: sipping this noble beverage alone is a way to reclaim time; it envelops you in a warm embrace, bestowing a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. This volume offers a modern vision of a drink that has been with us for millennia, describing the ritual instruments to make this perfect infusion and how to prepare it, taking you from its remote origins to its present fortunes, through a 5,000-year-long history. The chemical composition of this beverage endows it with qualities recognized all over the world and in use for thousands of years. Moreover, tea is a refined product that today is considered a true gastronomic delicacy at all levels: it is a drink possessing a range of aromas as rich as that of wine, and as a product of the territory it also has its crus and names. Through an introduction to sensory analysis, tea enthusiasts will discover the bouquet of different aromas, and the grammar of flavors, unveiling the emotional enjoyment that tea savoring entails. This richly illustrated guide is an initiation to the art of professional tea tasting with a description of its rules and of the tea sommelier tools. Through a careful examination of the data sheets of 50 grand cru teas, some of the best known varieties on the market today, you will understand the chemical transformations that produce the colors of this beverage, and this will enable you to understand better the properties of each family of teas. This drink also blends wonderfully with good food, as it can match magically with everyday cooking or be served on special occasions: a selection of some exclusive recipes, together with many useful recommendations for ideal tea and food pairings, will help to establish the basic rules for matching tea with savory or sweet dishes. At the end of the book, a rich and exhaustive glossary summarizes everything you have to know on the language of tea, and on the professional tasting vocabulary. Preparing and appreciating tea is an experience that involves all our senses, from the sound of the bubbling of boiling water to the tactile pleasure of perceiving the texture of precious ceramics, from the visual experience of seeing the green tea leaves unfurling to the enjoyment of savoring infusions of celestial goodness: the way to paradise really passes through a teapot.