My birthday is on the 29th, but I’ve already got a very Mary-specific post for next Monday, so here we are celebrating early! This weekend, we’re having a tea party, and whatever you’re thinking of, amplify the hell out of that. I got a gorgeous polka dot dress for it, white lace gloves, and my best friend sent me a truly beautiful porcelain & gold-rimmed tea set that I can’t wait to use. I’ll have tons of pictures in my wrap-up, but, for now, let’s get to the tag! It was created by Lu Ann @ The Cup of Life, who has the most adorable blog ever!
First, let’s start with how you were introduced
& fell in love with the wonderful beverage of tea.
My mom has always been a tea drinker, though we’re very different tea drinkers. We often joke that hers are just warm milk with a splash of tea, and I don’t put anything but a bit of sugar in mine. I wish I didn’t put sugar, either, but I grew up with a very poor understanding of healthy foods, so I do put artificial sweetener in mine. I was mostly a Lipton person from the beginning, which I shudder at the idea of now, and it wasn’t until college that I finally started to step away. Predictably, I was swayed by a character, and when Ben Whishaw was cast as Q in Skyfall, I was over the moon in love. Whishaw was already one of my favorite actors, and his Earl Grey-drinking ways quickly made me want to try a cuppa, which led to my first journey away from Lipton and, slowly but surely, into the world of loose leaf. Now, it’s a bit obnoxious.
What was the very first tea blend that you ever tried?
Oh, probably a Lipton green either flavored with lemon or pomegranate. I truly can’t imagine drinking either right now, and just the thought of it is making me reach for my current cup of Jolie’s Madeleine–Sri Lankan black tea, Chinese green tea, jasmine, bergamot oil, rose petals.
When did you start your tea blog
& what was your hope for creating it?
Given that this is a book blog, I don’t actually talk about tea all that often, but I do have a few posts that I’m rather pleased with. I’ve reviewed the following Jolie teas: Wonderland collection, Harry Potter collection, Versailles collection, Rhapsody & Glenburn Earl Grey, Secret Garden & White Christmas. I also wrote a whole post dedicated to tea, and given that it’s from 2018, I don’t actually have any idea what’s in it. Probably my history with tea?
List one thing most rewarding about your blog
& one thing most discouraging.
I’m just going to take this as a general one rather than a tea-specific one. The most rewarding has easily been the amount of people that I’ve swayed into reading The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. Heck, not even just The Silmarillion, but Tolkien in general. There are quite a few people that have told me they’ve picked up his books because of my posts, or even just enjoy learning more through the posts, and it makes me so happy that I can bring more Tolkien joy into the world.
The most discouraging is a bit harder to pin down. I have a lot of fun blogging, and I generally like interacting with everyone while I’m blog hopping. Something that does get under my skin a bit, though, is the level of superiority I still see happening around series like Shadowhunters. There are plenty more that it happens to, but Shadowhunters is the one that’s near and dear to my heart, so it’s the one that aggravates me. It was a while ago, so I’m not going to hunt it down, but I wrote a post about why I hate the term guilty pleasure because we shouldn’t feel guilty about any of our pleasures (unless they’re, you know, murderous), and I’m certainly not going to sit by while someone tries to make me feel lesser because I love something like Shadowhunters.
What type of tea are you most likely to be caught sipping on?
Probably something with roses in it. Black is my favorite, and I’ll always go in for bergamot, but if it’s got roses, I don’t even need to hear the rest of the ingredients, I know I’m going to love it.
Favourite tea latte to indulge in?
Oh, the vanilla chai latte at Jaho is to die for. My teeth feel so gross after from all the sugar, and sometimes I’ll even go really hard and grab a maple soy chai after, too, if I’m on a roll with writing, but I haven’t done that in ages due to everything. But I wrote most of sister witches at Jaho, and that vanilla chai is forever going to remind me of it.
Wait, this is going to be hilarious.
WHY AM I SO PREDICTABLE
Favourite treat to pair with your tea?
Macarons! With these times, I go to Jolie once a week on Saturday, grab six macarons, and split them up for each day of the weekend. When I was working from home, I liked to have my tea with a buttered & toasted English muffin. Most days, I just drink it alone, but if I can sit for a bit with it, I like something sweet.
If there was one place in the world
that you could explore the tea culture at,
where would it be & why?
This is so lame, but London. I know, I’m such a square, but I was supposed to go a Wonderland-themed high tea for my birthday in London, among many other amazing things last year, and we never got to go, so I’m just going to keep crying about it until I can go.
Any tea time rituals you have that you’d like to share?
I have a very specific setup for work–I brew the tea while I’m making my breakfast, leave it to sit while I’m eating, pour it into my travel mug right before I’m about to leave, and speed drink it on the way there. It’s not ideal, and it makes me sad every time, but we’re wearing masks in the office and have to step outside to drink/eat, so, this way, I get the caffeine and flavor, just don’t get the enjoyment of sitting.
On the weekends, though, I almost always have three cups–9AM, 3PM, and 9PM. I save my beloved Earl Grey for weekend mornings, and I’ll sit with a book and a macaron while I drink it in my Mount Washington mug. At 3PM, I usually grab another two macarons, settle in with either Madeleine or Ravenclaw, and read some more. The 9PM is almost always their White Christmas blend, and I switch between a purrmaid mug from Jen and a you’re my person mug from Erin.
My only other tea ritual is that I always drink floral teas in my maid of honor mug from Erin’s wedding because it’s got this gorgeous floral design all over it, I only use my Peter Pan mug for hot chocolate because it’s huge, and the there their they’re mug is specifically for writing first chapters. Oh, I’m lying, I think I have more? I only use my black Jolie mug for their Rhapsody blend, the wild and free one is my biggest, so I use it for work mornings before I switch it to the travel mug, and I usually drink the Daisy Buchanan out of the grumpy but gorgeous one from Jen. Okay, I think that’s it, haha.
Time of day you enjoy drinking tea the most:
morning, noon, night or anytime?
Anytime! I drink one in the morning every day without fail, and I would drink a 3PM one at work if I could. I want to say four out of seven days, I drink a nighttime one, too, but it depends on what my afternoon’s been like. Ideally, I’d just drink it all day long.
What’s one thing you wish for tea in the future?
I want more books tea and cats merch! It’s always freaking coffee! I’d also like coffee places to stop trying to do tea because Starbucks tea? Actual trash. Much like coffee is an art form, tea takes a skilled hand, and it’s terrible when one or the other tries its hand at either/or. I’m not even trying to rag on coffee, either, because tea places also shouldn’t offer coffee. Let’s just stay in our own lanes.