These days, I find tea and cozy British (and Australian…and Canadian) mysteries are my ultimate comfort pairing. My coworkers and I have always loved these shows, but have been watching them more than ever during social distancing. I wonder why watching a terrible event cause upheaval and chaos in a community only to have a hardworking detective solve the problem and tidily resolve everything in a tight 45 minutes could be supremely satisfying right now… Anyway, today we’re here to bring you our recommended pairings for tea and mysteries. Over the course of the last year, all of our TeBella Approved cozy mysteries have migrated to AcornTV, which has become my most used app these last two months. We reached out to Acorn, and they’ve offered our customers the chance to try Acorn FREE for 30 days! If you are interested in watching any of the shows below, sign up & use code: TEBELLA for a free 30-day trial.
Ideal viewing for: Gilmore Girls fans who also love My Favorite Murder If you wondered what Stars Hollow might be like if the townspeople were regularly meeting untimely ends in mysterious ways, look no further than Agatha Raisin. Agatha is a former high-powered PR woman from London who has decided to leave her former life behind and settle in the beautiful Cotswolds. However, she soon finds herself solving mysteries on the reg, assisted by her part-time housekeeper, her former PR colleague, and a handful of quirky villagers. What I enjoy most about Agatha Raisin is that it’s a bit saucy. Agatha has a flair for the dramatic, and zero verbal filter. Like Agatha, the show itself is colorful. It feels a bit like someone turned the saturation levels up to 100%, and I like that Agatha’s intense personality is reflected in the show’s aesthetic. A show as energetic and frothy as Agatha Raisin in turn needs a tea that can keep up. Our Blackberry Jasmine is a bold blend of hand-rolled Jasmine Pearls, hibiscus, and blackberries. It brews up a brilliant fuchsia, and to really enjoy it, I recommend steeping it concentrated and mixing it with a touch of sugar and lemonade to make our famous Blackberry Jasmine Lemonade. Like Agatha Raisin, it’s a brilliant drink that will leave you wanting more.
Ideal viewing for: people who watched Downton Abbey for the fashion and the soundtrack For me, Father Brown is the quintessential cozy British mystery. Set in the early 1950s, Father Brown is a Catholic priest solving crimes in…you guessed it…the Cotswolds! What I love most about Father Brown is that it’s very gentle, and very pretty. It’s a bit like if Agatha Raisin were set in the 1950s and filmed through a gauzy curtain. Father Brown is nosy but kind, the villagers are all rather quirky, yet proper (until they’re suspected of murder), and the women often wear fabulous full circle skirts and their hair is always perfectly pin curled. It’s the visual equivalent of being wrapped in a warm blanket, and pairs wonderfully with a steaming hot cup of something more traditional, like our Earl Grey Lavender (with milk, naturally). In fact, everyone drinks heaps of tea on Father Brown, so you’ll be in good company.
Ideal viewing for: everyone who says the Carousel of Progress is their favorite ride at Disney WorldMurdoch Mysteries is my current bedtime show. That is to say, I cannot fall asleep unless I have had my nightly Murdoch and my sleepy time tea. Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian mystery series set in Toronto at the turn of the 20th century. Detective William Murdoch is also an inventor ahead of his time. Throughout the series, he’s essentially inventing forensic science in real time (Murdoch uses a brand new technique called “tracing finger marks” to catch murderers…among other innovations). He solves his crimes with the help of his constabulary and Dr. Julia Ogden, the similarly brilliant-and-ahead-of-her-time city coroner. This show is wonderfully campy and takes great liberties with re-writing historical moments, and that’s why I love it. Famous figures like Nikola Tesla and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle just…show up and help Detective Murdoch solve mysteries. Like, multiple times. And as mentioned previously, Murdoch’s quite the inventor, producing innovative new devices such as: the “trackizer” (aka a GPS tracker), bulletproof vests, and my personal favorite, the scrutiny camera (a prototype of CCTV). The entire show is reminiscent of period drama version of Forrest Gump. At first I was tempted to pair Murdoch Mysteries with something bold and forward-thinking. But really, my ideal pairing is Moonlight Magic. This show is the television equivalent of our popular “sleepy time” blend. Murdoch Mysteries helps my brain unwind and relax for bed. It’s silly, it’s soothing, and it’s guaranteed to give me weird dreams. Of course, the weird dreams could be from the valerian root in Moonlight Magic. Who’s to say? I recommend giving both a try the next time you have trouble sleeping. The best part? There are currently 13 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries on Acorn, so you’re set for months!
Ideal viewing for: lovers of costume history and those Architectural Design house tour videos I have watched the entirety of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries at least three times through. It is a perfect show. It has everything: a thrillingly modern lady detective (who works with other brilliant women to solve her cases), beautiful 1920s costumes, a will-they-won’t-they romance that drags on forever, and the most gorgeous historic house that I will covet for eternity. Phryne Fisher is everything one hopes for in a lady detective: stylish, sophisticated, daring, and obscenely rich (I mean, that’s a prerequisite, right?). She is also a woman who loves a strong nightcap, and I think Phryne would prefer her tea spiked with gin than with a lump of sugar. At TeBella Tea, we also love crafting tea-infused cocktails, and believe Phryne would approve of pairing Miss Fisher with a Jasmine 75. Gin, champagne, Jasmine Silver Needle tea, and a touch of sugar. A sweet, heady drink with a bit of a kick, much like Phryne herself. If you’re not a floral fan, you could also substitute our Lemon Drop herbal for the Jasmine Silver Needle. Now that should add quite a kick to your cocktail.
Ideal viewing for: amateur sourdough bakers If you prefer more modern mystery procedurals, then you’ll love My Life is Murder. This Australian show has a breezy, sunshine-y quality to it that speaks to me as a Floridian. Set in present-day Melbourne, My Life is Murder stars Lucy Lawless as retired police detective-turned-private-investigator Alexa Crowe. Lawless shines in the role, she exudes steadfast, quiet confidence, and has impeccable comedic timing. I love her. I also love Alexa’s house, her obsession with baking sourdough (extremely prescient), and her IT wiz assistant, Madison. Because this Australian show screams “summer” to me, an iced tea pairing is only appropriate. Summer Melon, an herbal blend of honeydew, hibiscus, pear, and gojiberries, is the perfect tonic to go with murder in modern Melbourne. It is a little tart, a little sweet, and wholly refreshing. If you are interested in watching any of these shows, sign up & use code: TEBELLA for a free 30-day trial. What’s more, you can also gift a subscription for the mystery lover in your life, if you’re looking for last minute, unique Mother’s Day gift ideas (we recommend pairing that subscription with a few of the teas mentioned in today’s post)!