The best book on China’s history of tea I read is actually the Swedish. It translates into “tea art” and was written by Mette Siggstedt 1996 in connection with a very nice exhibition on tea in the East Asian Museum in Stockholm.
The book is small, black, fairly insignificant and not so easy to read but who cares when it summarizes China’s entire history of tea in 127 pages. The author is no expert on tea but she has access to an outstanding amount of Chinese literature and also has an excellent ability to summarize and draw conclusions. She is also critical and perceptive when it comes to the Chinese and European literary sources. The fact that she has a very good knowledge of Chinese history and culture course contributes to the book’s qualities. What is objectionable is the lack of maps and that it requires fairly extensive knowledge of China’s history.