In celebration of National Hot Tea Month (January), I thought I would share five of my favorite books and the teas I love to drink while reading them.
Let’s start with Dune by Frank Herbert. This is a book that I have been reading and rereading for over 20 years. After numerous rejections, this 186,000-word novel finally found a publishing home in 1965 in Chilton Book Company, known primarily for its auto manuals. In Dune, Herbert explored themes of politics, world ecology, religion, imperialism, mind-body connection, and much more. Although the world has changed since it was first written, I have found it to be just as relevant today and each time I read it I gain new insights and perspectives.
Like Dune, Moroccan Mint Tea by Stash is a staple for me. This green tea/mint combo is unique in that it uses both spearmint and peppermint and also includes lemongrass. For me, it can be soothing and refreshing as well as having enough caffeine to give me a gentle pick-me-up when needed.
Dream Work by Mary Oliver is a book of poetry that – like Herbert’s book – I have returned to again and again. One of my favorite poems in the book is Morning Poem. In this poem, Oliver manages to intertwine nature and hope in a truly inspiring way. Although the imagery in the poem comes more from the landscape of Eastern forests, I am always reminded of the awe-inspiring dawns of the Sandia Mountains that have captured my heart.
What better way to read and appreciate poetry inspired by nature than with a steaming cup of Twinings Peppermint Tea? This smooth yet jaunty tea sweetened with a bit of local honey is the perfect companion to a New Mexican morning reading of poetry.
Whether you are leading a company, a committee, a group of volunteers, or a start-up of one, you can find plenty of nuggets of wisdom in a Team of Teams by U.S. Army Retired General Stanly McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell. My copy is strewn with sticky notes and has been loaned out several times.
To help my brain absorb all of the information and lessons provided in this book, I turn to Refreshing Mint Vital Energy Tea by Yogi. This tea has both black and green tea as well as peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon bark, clove, cardamom, ginger, kola nut, guarana seed, and stevia. While the caffeine content reaches almost the level of a cup of coffee, I find this tea delivers a steady boost of energy allowing me to focus as opposed to the burst then crash I tend to experience with coffee.
Sheri S. Tepper, who lived in Santa Fe for a time, wrote A Plague of Angels along with many other novels. This fantasy book has always fascinated me and it is the perfect choice when I am ready to curl up with a good book on the weekend. Two aspects of the novel in particular that have intrigued me are her use of archetypes and the four families in the Place of Power. I have some theories on who/what the four families are based on, but I will keep them to myself. If you are interested in chatting about the families and my theories, let me know!
While I am indulging in a good fantasy why not indulge in a Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks. It is smooth, sweet, and allows me to combine my love of tea with my sweet tooth.
Last but not least on my list is Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell. This is a lovely, fantasy tale set in a time where horses and walking are the primary modes of transportation, clothes are handmade, and healing is done with herbs. One of the most interesting aspects is the protagonist. Good Reads reviewer Ann Schwader says, “Ravenwood is a pagan-themed tale featuring a rarity in in most fantasy: a woman protagonist over fifty (or at least close to it!).” If you need a break from the chaos of the world, crack open this book or listen to it on audio.
Keeping with the theme of times passed, I chose the Downton Abbey Estate Blend by The Republic of Tea to enjoy while reading Lowell’s book. This Earl Grey black tea with bergamot and vanilla is the perfect beverage to allow one to step back in time, take a sip, and pretend to be royalty.
What about you? Which teas do you pair up with your favorite books?
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