Henrietta Lovell, the author of Infused: Adventures in Tea, is the founder of London-based Rare Tea Company, a boutique tea business that sells a small, exclusive range of teas that it sources directly from tea gardens across the world.
As the title of Lovell’s book and its review in The New York Times suggests, she hates tea bags — a dislike that she announces in her Twitter bio: “Always loose, never baggy.”
In the preface of Infused, Lovell pitches it directly: “This is the story of my adventures in tea. I hope to seduce you, a little, into a love of loose leaves.
It’s a highly personal, partisan account rather than an objective treatise on tea in general. It’s my story of tea, not the story of tea. I want to tell you about the really good stuff that fuels me, and the places it takes me. There is so much I long to share, you could think of this book as an unburdening of my loves.”
The many short chapters in the 256-page book are named after important places in the author’s journey. There are Meghalaya and Sikkim in that list, and also Sri Lanka and Nepal — but neither Darjeeling nor Assam.