17 January 2015

Weekend Cooking: The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca Stevens

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The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca StevensSometimes I look at the title of a book and think, "OK, that sounds like it would work well for Weekend Cooking." That's what happened when I was asked if I'd like a copy of Becca Stevens's The Way of Tea and Justice. I'm sure that if I had read the full description, I would have passed this up. And truly that would have been my loss.

Although this little book does indeed talk about tea and even includes recipes for tea blends and suggestions for serving tea, it's really more about Becca Stevens's work with troubled women, the founding of the Thistle Stop Cafe in Nashville, and the way that tea--as a drink and as a symbol--brings the world together.

Stevens is an Episcopal priest at Vanderbilt University and has made it one of her missions to help and empower women who have faced adversity and have survived acts of violence. Besides founding a shelter (Magdalene) and a small shop (Thistle Farms), she, with the help of many others, opened the cafe, which provides much more than solace to its customers. It's a women-owned and run business that operates under fair trade practices for tea pickers around the world.

copyright cbl for www.BethFishRead.comStevens uses tea as a springboard for musings about a number of things from meditation and ritual to politics, history, and workers' rights. Throughout, we hear directly from the women who have sought shelter and help from Stevens and those who have been instrumental in furthering the principles of the Thistle Stop Cafe. The blending of the history and production of tea with the importance of working for social justice is thought provoking.

Although Becca Stevens's The Way of Tea and Justice is a bit more Christian than my normal reading, it made me grateful for the people who devote their lives to helping others and for giving hope and new life to women who would otherwise be lost. Brew yourself a cup of your favorite blend and spend an afternoon with Stevens.
If we knew which cup would be our last, we would sip it differently and taste it with all that we are.
Published by Hachette Book Group / Jericho Books, 2014
ISBN-13: 9781455519026
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Tina 1/17/15, 7:00 AM  

I like that quote, "If we knew which cup would be our last"
Growing up in a tea drinking family I learned that tea solved many things. If we were having a bad day, let's have a cuppa tea. Sick? Tea again. Lots of good news at school? Let's have tea and talk about it!

Stevens mission is a good one.

Tina 1/17/15, 7:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jama 1/17/15, 8:43 AM  

What an interesting title! Will add it to my TBR list :).

Sarah's Book Shelves 1/17/15, 9:04 AM  

I love when a book ends up being about something totally different (and better) than you expect! I'm not a big tea drinker, but it sounds like she does great work.

bermudaonion 1/17/15, 9:20 AM  

I know what you mean - people like that are so inspiring!

rhapsodyinbooks 1/17/15, 9:22 AM  

This sounds like a great gift book (already half way through January - almost Christmas again!)

Katherine P 1/17/15, 10:17 AM  

I'm a firm believer in the value of tea so this does sound interesting! I've had this happen a few times where I would've passed a book up if I'd looked closely at it but I'm glad I didn't!

Belle Wong 1/17/15, 10:29 AM  

This sounds like an inspiring read. It's great that you liked it even though it turned out to be a different kind of read than you'd initially thought it would be.

Les 1/17/15, 11:01 AM  

This book reminds me of one I read many years ago. It's called The Sewing Room by Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton. It a collection of essays and was published in 1993. I thought it was very good and plan to re-read it this year. I'm going to add The Way of Tea and Justice to my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous,  1/17/15, 11:40 AM  

What a lovely review! I really appreciated your statement: "Although Becca Stevens's The Way of Tea and Justice is a bit more Christian than my normal reading, it made me grateful for the people who devote their lives to helping others and for giving hope and new life to women who would otherwise be lost." It makes me think that this might be a book slightly out of my comfort zone that I really might enjoy.

Booksnyc 1/17/15, 12:35 PM  

I am always impressed by the good that people do in the world with ingenuity and hard work. The book sounds interesting.

Peaceful Reader 1/17/15, 1:29 PM  

This sounds like an interesting read. I've heard of her work and this is a perfect book to highlight for the long weekend leading up to Dr. King's national holiday/birthday.

Esme 1/17/15, 11:44 PM  

what an interesting book-a cup of tea can always fix everything. I do like the saying.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 1/18/15, 8:48 AM  

Tea and Justice sounds like a great read. I also enjoy a book that is different than originally thought and yet adds so much to my life, from the thought process found in the pages.

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