Perfect Pairings: Books & Tea

Delving into a good book isn’t an event—it’s an experience. And, as we’ve learned, making an experience feel inviting can sometimes be as simple as calling our other senses into play. So, while your mind’s eye is swept away by the power of a book, let the added touch of a hot cup blissfully transport you… into an alternate reali-tea.

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Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly & Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is not as robust as black teas or as subtle as green teas, but is noted for having its own extremely fragrant and intriguing tones. Like oolong tea, the ladies of Hidden Figures are never obnoxious, but always strong. Though they are too often overlooked in favour of their peers, both are determined to make a statement. Bonus: Oolong teas are often compared to the taste and aroma of fresh flowers, and these women prove that despite the environment—and era—in which they’ve found themselves, nothing will stop them from blossoming.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson & Black Tea

The blunt, tough-love, but ever-honest narration of Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is your wake-up call in a book and, for those of you who haven’t taken up drinking coffee, the high caffeine content in black tea is your wake-up call in a cup! Whether as a mid-day pick-me-up or a morning jump-start, what better way to cut straight to the chase than by pairing this strong tea with honest writing?


Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth & Pu’erh Tea 

Veronica Roth truly tested our patience these past couple of years as we lived our lives in anticipation for Carve the Mark, the first installment in her new series. Carve the Mark is perfectly paired with Pu’erh tea, an aged black tea from China laden with earthy flavor, described as being the most mysterious of all tea (its process of production is a closely guarded state secret in China). Despite the obscurity of its origins, however, it possesses no bitterness—and no bitterness is exactly what you’ll need as you wait (not-so-patiently) for Carve the Mark’s sequel!


Transit by Rachel Cusk & Herbal Tea Infusion

In Transit, Rachel Cusk explores the longing to inhabit and flee life and the desire to feel real. As you will no doubt become wrapped up in her search for the harmonization of conflicting emotions, there’s no better tea to sip on than a blend steeped in a harmonization of contrasting flavors. And if you think that sounds like an oxymoron, then you’re right; but we’ll let Rachel Cusk tell you why the seemingly senseless is sometimes—in the right moment—the most meaningful.


Hot Detox by Julie Daniluk and Shannon Ross & Ginger-Lemon Tea

We’ve been caught one time too many watching the preparation of the most exceptionally healthy meals the Food Network has to offer—in the midst of chowing down on the most exceptionally unhealthy food that our cupboards do. So, this time, we’re giving a shot to this whole read-well, eat-well, feel-good thing by taking in the combo of both the best book and tea for optimal health. Since lemon is one of nature’s best detoxifiers, and Hot Detox is the book world’s equivalent, pairing the two for our next reading session will excuse us from our next running session… right?

The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo & Maté Tea

The Fire by Night is a powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight. A riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice and survival, The Fire by Night calls for a tea pairing deserving of its depth and substance. Though no worldly indulgence can substitute for the important work of keeping history alive, the alertness known to be an effect of drinking Maté tea can help you to be present, attentive and thoughtful as you absorb the powerful writing underlining Messineo’s moving story.


Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang & Green Tea

This pairing of book-and-tea feels simply meant to be. Not only will the earthy green colour of green tea beautifully complement the cover of Dragon Springs Road, but you’ll be paying tribute to the book’s setting by drinking a tea that originated in the very same culture. Set in early-twentieth-century Shanghai as an ancient imperial dynasty collapses, two girls—one a Eurasian orphan, the other a daughter of privilege—are bound together in a friendship that will be tested by duty, honour and love. Much like one of China’s best-loved teas, Janie Chang’s imagination will transport you elsewhere.

What’s your favourite tea to drink while you read? Do you have a perfect book & tea pairing suggestion for us?! Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader.


Follow me on Twitter @OnceUponASonnet

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Canadian publishing professionals and bloggers. Looking for savvy readers to talk books with us!

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