February 14, 2019

Books that Inspired Tea Book Authors with Alexis Siemons

This review series brings you the books that have influenced some of my favorite tea book authors. Alexis Siemons is today's guest. Alexis is a tea consultant and writer, recipe developer, and photographer. Her latest publication is with tea journal ii.

with tea journal 1 is part of my cookbook collection. It is an elegantly designed recipe book. The recipes were created for the summer season. The ingredients are seasonal such as basil, mint and peas. The sips are cooling. Even the savories are refreshing with the focus on jasmine green tea. Alexis opens the recipe book with a story of her relationship with cookbooks and markets. She writes about her approach to using tea in cooking: "Throughout the years, I have coaxed out astringent flavors to cut through the fat of a whipped heavy cream, sprinkled steeped leaves on fresh salads as an unexpected garnish, ground the dry leaves to whisk into breads alongside flour, and subbed it in for water to brighten up a standard grain of rice." The recipes in with tea journal 1 rely on many of these techniques. The meat of the cookbook isn't a dry set of instructions. Alexis peppers the journal with stories about individual ingredients or about her first taste of a particular dish. One of my favorite recipes by Alexis is not included in this journal. It is Lapsang Souchong Tea-smoked Pickled Cauliflower. These pickles are incredibly flavor. I highly recommend this recipe.

Here are the writers and books that have influenced Alexis Siemons on her and tea and culinary journey.

An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

The style of this narrative cookbook inspired me to incorporate introductions to each recipe that lasted longer than a brief introductory headnote. She was also able to weave practical elements into such beautiful prose.

Ruth Reichl 

All books by Ruth Reichl.  Her tone and style of writing have always spoken directly to my soul. I have yet to find another writer who paints such alluring, evocative pictures that transport your state of mind and all of your senses.

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto edited by Joan Reardon

This book is quite influential for two reasons. One, I like to reach back in time to words from another era as I am an old soul. Two, as I worked to create two mini journals I was always inspired by the process/attention to detail that Julia had as she created her masterpiece.

Thank you Alexis for sharing your writerly inspirations with us.

What are the books that have influenced your tea journey? Share them in the comments.

Image sources: An Everlasting Meal // As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto


  1. Random question, but I LOVED Bencheley tea bags when they were around. Do you have a suggestion on a similar brand?

  2. Notes on Tea7/9/19, 11:25 AM

    Hi Linzi, I am not familiar with Bencheley tea but I can recommend Harney & Sons tea bags.


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