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Insights to the World of Chinese Tea

Series of 6 books presenting different aspects of Chinese tea culture.

The purpose of the series is introducing Chinese tea culture in its entirety to the non-Chinese audience, each book focusing on subjects that are integral part of tea culture, without which Chinese tea culture wouldn't be what it is. 

1, Yixing Tea Pots. 
Explanation and background on the star of all Chinese tea table, the small clay teapot from Yixing.
These pots are highly sought after collector items in Asia, and indispensable tools for tea brewing. While the subject is presented strictly in relation to tea drinking, the book is equally useful for readers interested in pottery and ceramic art. 

(This book is completely finished, even the illustration and the lay out. I have received a review from a gentleman in China who was previously working for the Yixing Cultural Committee. Now he is working for the Zhuhai TV. )

By George Xu  
People's Republic of China

     Born and brought up in Dingshu Town of Yixing, I am very much amazed by Nur Suraya, the author of this book, who has such a deep understanding of Yixing tea pots. Her insights of the Yixing tea pots as a functional art form provide readers with not only useful practical knowledge of Yixing tea pots but with beneficial cultural and philosophical dimensions as well. It can be a very useful hand book for novices of Yixing teapot collecting as it covers complete processes of tea pot making, tea brewing and teapot collecting.

     Personally, I am more interested in the significant role this book plays in the prospect of bringing about more cultural exchanges between Westerners and the Chinese. I believe that Yixing tea pots are becoming a common platform for art appreciation, where Westerners and the Chinese enjoy and meditate upon the same object with possibly different cultural preferences. I assume that Westerners, brought up in a certain religion, occasionally need an escape from the journey to their subconscious and stressful final destination. Collecting Yixing tea pots can provide such an escape. Whereas, the Chinese, especially those intellectuals, brought up in an earthly world with almost no care for religion, might find from the artistic Yixing tea pots comforting to their souls as they are evident traces of China’s distant past that might have been religious.

2, Tea and Lifestyle.
Detailed explanation of the seemingly unrelated causes that culminate in the physical and emotional well being associated with tea drinking. The focus is on the social context, interpersonal relations, and the direct effect of proper tea drinking on the human psyche. (Not a so called self help book, nor is a pseudo medical mumbo jumbo, simply an introduction to a lesser known aspect of tea drinking, which is in fact one of the most important part of Chinese tea culture) 

3, Porcelain Tea Pots.
The history and evolution of porcelain manufacturing in China viewed and presented through tea culture. This book is of special interest to porcelain collectors as well as of course to those wishing to learn about Chinese tea culture.

4, Teas of China.
Description of the different types of teas grown in China, with brewing instructions, associated health benefits, history and lore. About 90% of the Chinese teas are virtually unknown outside of China, and there is a wide spread misunderstanding about the terms "green tea" "wulong" etc. This book provides a clear, easy to understand explanation of the brewing methods of different types of teas and the underlying reasons for these differences.

5, Gong Fu Tea.
Historical ,cultural overview and in detail description of Southern Chinese tea culture. (The funny set up with tiny cups) This book presents the various tools used in Gong Fu tea, with instructions on the different ways of using them.

6, Tea Pots Made of Precious Materials.
This book covers the age old art of the decorative tea pots made from different precious materials, jade, agate, silver, etc. Each material has different meaning and therefore different function in Chinese tea culture. Historical background and in depth information on the different materials and their use in Chinese tea drinking.

(Books 2-6 need illustration and lay out and I am still working on the manuscripts. Approximately 2 months is necessary for finishing this project)