Did you know that tea is the most widely consumed beverage on the planet after water? Or that all of the world’s tea originates from only three varieties of a single plant? While a cup of tea may be a simple pleasure for most of us, there are a dizzying number of tastes from which to choose. And every tea, whether a delicately sweet green tea from Japan or a bracing, brisk Darjeeling black, tells a story in the cup about the land that nurtured it and the tea-making skills that transformed it. In this authoritative guide, veteran tea professionals Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss provide decades of expertise on understanding tea and its origins, the many ways to buy tea, and how to explore and enjoy the six classes of tea (green, yellow, white, oolong, black, and Pu-erh). Additional advice on steeping the perfect cup and storing tea at home, alongside a gallery of more than thirty-five individual teas with tasting notes and descriptions make The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook a singular source of both practical information and rich detail about our favorite beverage.