The Story of Tea is a beautiful piece of work, valuable to all tea lovers. Many gorgeous photographs suggest the cultivative art, while a strong discussion of production methods in various regions is the real heart of the book. For those interested in a description of production down to the village level, this is one of the few works that will provide it. This section is followed by a longish chapter called "Journeying along the tea trail," which is both meandering and somewhat redundant, while at the same time providing many interesting vignettes. By the finish of these two parts, the reader will have a decent knowledge of which regions produce the more famous teas, and why. With that said, I was disappointed by the rather spare, even perfunctory, history of tea, trade and the tea trade's role in the world economic system. As for the "drinking guide" section of the book, I much prefer the author's better known "The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to the World's Best Teas." Moreover, the structure of the book lends itself to overlap, leading to duplication of information. Even given these deficiencies, I consider The Story of Tea to be a must read for anyone seeking knowledge about the worlds most popular beverage. It remains the best single volume concerning all things tea-related.