Happy World Book Day! In honor of the occasion, we’re sharing a list of literary inspired tea pairings. Sure, books/tea is a time-honored power couple, but how intentional are you when you select a tea to go with your latest read? The type of tea you decide to brew can go a long way in enhancing the reading experience, in our opinion. Below we’ve compiled a few literary tea pairings just for you, dear reader.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pair with: Florida Orange Blossom
In a letter to her sister, Cassandra, Jane Austen once referred to Pride & Prejudice as “rather too light and bright and sparkling.” While Austen meant her comment as a critique of her well-loved novel (we’re always our harshest critics, aren’t we?), that light and bright and sparkling quality is partly what has made her satirical look at class and romance in Regency England one of the most famous books in western canon.
We believe Florida Orange Blossom has that same joie de vivre as Pride & Prejudice. Fragrant and invigorating, it is as vivacious and popular as Elizabeth Bennet herself. We recommend sipping it hot with a little honey for the full effect. You’ll feel like you’re walking through the gardens of Rosings Park on a brisk spring afternoon.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Pair with: Earl Grey Rose
My favorite moment in Like Water For Chocolate is when Tita makes quail in rose petals for dinner. It is one of the most evocative scenes from a book I can think of, and I can almost smell the scent of lush garden roses as I read it. The only logical tea pairing, in my opinion, is our Earl Grey Rose. It is heady and intoxicating, and pairs wonderfully with magical realism.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Pair with: Limoncello (rooibos)
I love to dip back into Young Adult fiction sometimes, and since To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is having A Moment due to the wonderful Netflix film adaptation, I felt compelled to include it in my lineup. The book is just as charming, and if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it!
Lara Jean Covey is a warm, complex protagonist and I love her relationship with her sisters, Kitty and Margot. I have a “just one more chapter” problem when it comes to page turners like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I will stay up reading far past my bedtime because I just can’t stop, and so I would pair a book as engaging as this with something warm and cozy, like our Limoncello. Notes of vanilla and orange and something a bit floral pair with the predominant lemon flavor, and it reminds me a little of fresh baked sugar cookies (not quite Lara Jean’s snickerdoodles, but close!).
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Pair with: Oolong Nirvana
Prefer nonfiction? Roxane Gay’s series of essays on feminism, pop culture/society, and imperfection is a fascinating read that requires a tea with depth and nuance–balanced out with a hint of levity. Which tea fits the bill better than Oolong Nirvana? Notes of lemon myrtle and vanilla paired with a quality pouchong create a blend that is both sophisticated and sweet. It reminds me of buttercream icing, but fancy. Perfect for settling in for an illuminating read.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Pair with: Blackberry Royale
Yes, I 100% chose this tea because it reminds me of the famous raspberry cordial/currant wine disaster in Chapter 16 of Anne of Green Gables. Blackberry Royale is as lush and intoxicating as Marilla Cuthbert’s currant wine, but it would leave Diana Barry in far better shape!
Blackberry Royale is also a bit like Anne Shirley in drink form. Because it has a base of hibiscus and berries, the first thing people notice about it is its vibrantly red color, much like our dear Anne’s red hair. It is a little tart, sweet in the finish, and deceptively complex. You may think it’s a little bold and over the top at first, but it is a tea that grows on you with each sip.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Pair with: Darjeeling First Flush
For a book that encourages readers to keep what sparks joy and say goodbye to that which does not, I can only pair one tea: Darjeeling First Flush. It is the tea that sparks joy like no other, and if I had to clean out my entire tea cabinet, it would be the first and possibly only thing to stay (depending on how hardcore I was going with the whole decluttering thing).
Darjeeling also possesses a clean, gentle, nuanced flavor. It is restorative and centering. The perfect fortification for diving into a day of KonMari-ing my house—or a welcome reward for afterwards.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Pair with: Lapsang Souchong
Too on the nose to pair a smoky tea with a novel that features a tragic fire? Maybe…
However, Lapsang is also a quintessentially English brew that would most assuredly be served at Manderley. I also think of Lapsang Souchong as a moody, almost sinister tea, especially if served in the right conditions (say, by a terrifying Mrs. Danvers). Serve it with a plate of crumpets for a literary snack worthy of the first Mrs. de Winter.
What are you reading and drinking these days? We would love to hear about your own literary tea pairings in the comments!
And if you’re looking to explore new authors, Oxford Exchange is hosting their 5th Annual Book Fair on May 5! And we will be featuring a literary-inspired specialty drink for that weekend only. We hope to see you there!