James Norwood Pratt, Tea Industry Who's Who, who is james norwood pratt
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Tea Industry Who's Who - Bio, photo, audio/video intro, contact information.

March 2010 Posts


James Norwood Pratt
Blog Entry

James Norwood Pratt - Tea Industry Who's Who Bio

Tuesday, March 30th 2010 @ 3:27 PM







WHO IS. . .


Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and brought up on land which has been in his family since before the American Revolution, James Norwood Pratt was educated at Chapel Hill and abroad and published his first book on tea in 1982.

Whether as Honorary Director of America's first traditional Chinese tea house or as International Juror of India's first-ever tea competition, James Norwood Pratt has served the cause of tea around the world for thirty years as author, instigator and teacher. He is America's acknowledged Tea Sage and quite possibly the world's most widely read authority on tea and tea lore.



In California he wrote his first book "The Wine Bibber's Bible" (1971). He is best known for his books on tea "The Tea Lover's Treasury" (1982), "The Tea Lover's Companion" (1995), and the whimsical "Reading Tea Leaves" (1996) authored as "by a Highland Seer."

In 2000 he brought out "James Norwood Pratt's NEW Tea Lover's Treasury," a complete re-casting of his earlier work in the light of increased information. This book has been translated into German with the title "Tee fur Geniesse" and is often used as a training manual in the US tea trade.

Newly available (2010), James Norwood Pratt's TEA DICTIONARY---"designed as a handbook for the international tea trade but intended to be accessible and useful to tea lovers of every description"---is the culmination of his lifetime's work. He lives with his wife Valerie Turner in San Francisco.



He was named Honorary Director of Imperial Tea Court, a traditional Chinese teahouse which opened in 1993 in San Francisco. Mr. Pratt has played a major role in disseminating China tea information and tea ways in America and the West. He first anglicized the name for the Chinese covered cup, for example, as “gaiwan” and on second thought changed the spelling to “guywan.” Both spellings are now found in English, French and German.

Also a speaker and teacher, Mr. Pratt has addressed audiences from Zurich, Switzerland (Le Club des Buveurs de The Suisse) and London's Kew Gardens to Hangzhou (China Tea Research Institute). He served as International Juror at India's first-ever tea competition, The Golden Leaf India Awards 2005, in Coonoor, India. He also serves as a consultant, teacher, taster or spokesman for numerous tea companies.

Profiling him as "The Renaissance man of the tea industry" in Fresh Cup magazine's "1999 Tea Almanac", Michelle Williams wrote: "Parts historian, connoisseur, and world-traveler…he has carved out a reputation as the consummate spokesman for US tea consumers. His wit and dedication to the beverage have helped spread the gospel of tea to tens of thousands of people."

In 2007 he helped stage a Festival of Tea for Santa Fe Opera's premier production of "Tea: A Mirror of Soul" by Chinese composer Tan Dun.



 * Pratt, James Norwood; James Norwood Pratt, Jacques De Caso (1971). The wine bibber's bible. 101 Productions. ISBN      0-8928-6182-7.
    * Pratt, James Norwood (1982). The Tea Lover's Treasury. 101 Productions. ISBN 0-8928-6191-6.
    * Pratt, James Norwood (1999). The NEW Tea Lover's Treasury. 101 Productions.
    * Williams, Michelle (December 1998), "Profile - James Norwood Pratt", 1999 Tea Almanac 7: 60


For more information about James Norwood Pratt, his books, services, or events, please visit www.JamesNorwoodPratt.com


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