It’s a Sunday afternoon and you’re reclining with your favourite book. You could be reclining in the garden, curled up next to a fire, or still in bed enjoying a lie in. It’s quiet and everything is right with the world. Toes are scrunched into your favourite socks and the comfy jumper is thoroughly on – all you need to complete the picture is your favourite tea.
But what tea goes with a Zadie Smith? A J.K Rowling? An Iain Banks? Well we found out for you so that all that hard work you’re ignoring on your morning off can still be ignored. Sit back, get those feet comfy and transport your senses with our divine selection of tea and book pairings. Let us know which ones you enjoyed the most on Facebook.
Tea pairing: Redbush
Chosen because: Mma Precious Ramotswe is all about a good cuppa when solving a case in Alexander McCall Smith’s much loved series. It makes you want to start up your own agency, but only after an earthy cup of redbush tea.
Best time of day to read and drink: At first light, when all of the trouble starts and a detective needs her wits about her.
Tea pairing: Sweet ginger
Chosen because: In Katherine Heiny’s collection of short stories her characters always make difficult decisions, but often end up having a lot of fun in the process. Sweet ginger tea is for those that like a bit of pep to their day – a little perk – just like Heiny’s short stories.
Best time of day to read and drink: Your lunch break in the park – because you’re single, carefree and mellow.
Tea pairing: Fennel & liquorice
Chosen because: H is for Hawk is an epic tale of one woman’s journey back to self recovery, all with the aide of her hawk Mabel. When you’re going on a long hike you’re going to need some serious tea by your side. Fennel & liquorice tea is the perfect way to keep your senses awake, plus all of the ingredients come from around you – how complementary.
Best time of day to read and drink: 8am, when you’re faced with a huge forest.
Tea pairing: Popcorn tea
Chosen because: The Interestings is a long examination of what happens to the most talented people you knew as a kid. Beginning in a nostalgia-inducing summer camp, Wolitzer’s novel should be read alongside food and drink that reminds you of being a young teenager. Popcorn tea it is then.
Best time of day to read and drink: 2pm. A hot Saturday in your back garden, hidden under a canopy of leaves.
Tea pairing: Chocolate flake tea
Chosen because: One of the most talked about books of 2014 is an exploration of one woman’s coming of age. Dunham has explored her own experiences extensively, and this book was the icing on the cake. It’s a comforting book, so chocolate is the only way to go.
Best time of day to read and drink: 4pm, New York time, on a Sunday.
Tea pairing: Green tea
Chosen because: Set in Tokyo in the 90s, Norwegian Wood is another nostalgic read but this time set in an exotic land. Experience this group of teenager’s version of nostalgia and get lost for a while. Green tea is also good for cleansing – exactly what the main character needs to do in Murakami’s tale of love, loss and growing up.
Best time of day to read and drink: A Tuesday afternoon on a day off from work.
Tea pairing: Darjeeling
Chosen because: One of the most famous novels to be set in India, The God of Small Things, celebrates the serendipitous nature of childhood, the decisions made when you’re younger and how they shape you.
Best time of day to read and drink: Transport yourself on a busy tube ride, or on the back of the bus, 5pm.
Tea pairing: Thai iced tea
Chosen because: The Beach is set amidst Thailand’s beautiful islands, but with all that betrayal and murder going on you’re definitely going to need a brew to get you through the action of the book. The novel starts in Bangkok in the sweltering heat – best to opt for an iced tea and transport yourself away from the chaos.
Best time of day to read and drink: Sun down on a beach if you can manage it, or in a youth hostel in Thailand.
Tea pairing: Winter spice
Chosen because: The Snow Child is the extended retelling of a famous fairy tale; a couple struggling to have a child make a snow child in their back garden, instead of a snowman, and she comes to life, filling their lives with joy. Winter spice tea will keep you cosy when the Snow Child is running through the woods.
Best time of day to read and drink: 8pm in Winter next to the fire.
Tea pairing: Rooibos
Chosen because: In Angela Carter’s seminal collection of short stories she gives new tellings of classic stories with a feminist angle. It’s gory, gruesome and down right great. Team it with a warming Rooibos and you’re sure to have a bloody great time.
Best time of day to read and drink: When there’s a blood red sky, or in the depths of winter, the book is chilling, but your tea is sure to warm you up.
Tea pairing: Lavender
Chosen because: Another trip down nostalgia lane with Burnett’s much loved classic The Secret Garden. This, of course, has to be paired with a flower from her much loved garden, which in this case is lavender.
Best time of day to read and drink: 3pm in the garden so it’s not too hot, allowing you to potter and read, lavender tea in hand.
Tea pairing: Chamomile
Chosen because: If I was Claire sticking around when Henry was being thrown into another time dimension, I’d have a few sleepless nights. Definitely time for a chamomile tea then to calm the nerves.
Best time of day to read and drink: Anytime, as time is relative in the world of a time traveller’s wife.
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