I used to be adamant about my distaste for Romance novels. I knew them as the Harlequin Romance novels my mom used to devour alongside Junior Mints on a quiet Sunday afternoon or the bodice rippers one of my friends used to have her nose buried in during high school lunches. I thought they were an inferior literary genre– simple, formulaic, and full of smut, which I did not want to read; in hindsight, I think that perspective was deeply rooted in internalized misogyny. Then a few years back, I read the Flat Share by Beth O’Leary, and my appreciation for Romance literature started to blossom. I’m still learning my preferences when it comes to the genre, so my experience is hit and miss, and unfortunately, my most recent venture into the genre with Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade was a big miss.Continue reading Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
Tag: Geeky Teas
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
Like many folks, or at least like the folks in my liberal echo chamber of the internet, I spent a fair amount of 2020 in lockdown unlearning everything I was taught in U.S. History class. Then I was, at some point, struck with the desire to take a somewhat-chronological deep dive into U.S. History and read nonfiction books from an array of perspectives. So, I started my journey with Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick. It’s a nonfiction novel that explores the national myth of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and the first Thanksgiving, the relationship between Native Americans and English colonists that degraded over time, and inevitably the deadly wars such as the Pequot War and King Philip’s War.Continue reading Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Ever since I read My Best Friend’s Exorcism a few years back, Grady Hendrix has topped a very short list of Authors Whose Books I Instantly Buy Hardcover Copies of Upon Their Release, While Simultaneously Reading Their Backlist Books. The list of authors is shorter than the title… So, when the Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires was released, I told multiple people I wanted it for Christmas. It was the only thing I asked for, last year. Thankfully at least one person listened to me, and the book didn’t disappoint!Continue reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
I Failed Adagio’s communiTEA
While re-organizing my tea cabinet last week, I discovered a bag of communiTEA teas from Adagio Teas. It was dated the week of March 8th through March 14th, and each single-serving packet within was still sealed shut. I remembered I kept putting it aside with the intent to film YouTube videos or take Instagram glamour shots because if a tea is not showcased across social media, was it even consumed? The goal of the CommuniTEA is to bring people together over the same cup of tea on the same day, and I did not show up. I just never made the time for it.Continue reading I Failed Adagio’s communiTEA
Back to Hogwarts with THE BOY WHO…tea from Adagio Teas
It’s September 1st, which means the Hogwarts Express departed without fail from Platform Nine and Three Quarters today. I can’t help but reflect on how this magical story has been in my life for TWENTY years, now. I never could have suspected the impact this series would have on me the day I pulled this book* randomly from one of the shelves at Walden Books. I held it in my hands, staring at the artwork almost debating whether to spend my allowance money on it or not. A mother passed by me, and seeing the book in my hands, told me the book I held was an incredible story. That was enough to convince me to bring it home with me, so thank you Random Mother who convinced me to buy Harry Potter back in 1999.
*This book actually being Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. My experience with book series back then was the Boxcar Children, Fear Street novels, and the Time Warp Trio. I had no idea there were series that were meant to be read in order!
Today couldn’t be a more perfect Back-to-Hogwarts day here in Michigan either; 67 degrees, overcast, and occasionally drizzly. The perfect day to cozy up and enjoy the Harry Potter marathon on television while sipping THE BOY WHO…tea from Adagio Teas. THE BOY WHO… tea is one of the fandom teas blended by Cara McGee. It is a blend of Black Tea, Ginger, Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Natural Caramel Flavor, Marigold Flowers & Natural Cinnamon Flavor.
I can easily see black tea leaves, ginger pieces, cinnamon pieces, and cloves. I don’t see cardamom as I expected despite it being high on the ingredient list. The dry tea smells warm and inviting and most prominently of clove and cardamom.
I brewed this tea a little differently this time. Typically, I would steep the tea leaves in hot water and then add milk and sugar, but this time I steeped the tea leaves directly in milk. I put two teaspoons of tea into one cup of milk in a saucepan, brought it to a boil, and then steeped for about 3-4 minutes. I added sugar to taste.
I find that this tea isn’t as spicy as one would expect considering the ingredient list, and I’ve steeped it both in water and in milk. That being said, I still find this blend enjoyable and appropriate for Autumn. The black tea and the pumpkin flavor were the most prominent flavors, followed by cardamom and ginger. I much prefer steeping this tea in milk (as opposed to steeping in water and then adding milk). It adds a creaminess and mouthfeel that cannot be achieved if this tea were to be steeped in water. It has me reconsidering how I steep any of my spiced chais.
Already tried THE BOY WHO…tea? Check out these other tasTEA recommendations:
If you love Harry Potter, what is your favorite book from the series? For me, it’s hard to choose. It’s a toss-up between books 1, 3, and 5! It’s possible I love those three equally, albeit for different reasons.
For the Loyal: a Harry Potter Fandom Tea
I believe I’ve never sipped a tea more tempting than the For the Loyal tea, a fandom blend by Aun-Juli Riddle, which can be purchased from Adagio Teas. And when I say “tempting”, I mean I could barely resist throwing aside all of my reading obligations just to re (re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re) read the Harry Potter series. I stayed strong though.
I don’t care what the relaunch of the Pottermore Sorting Hat quiz suggests. I am not a Gryffindor (I’m afraid of the dark among most other things in this world); I am a Hufflepuff! So, without a doubt, I knew I had to have this tea. For the Loyal is a blend of black tea, white tea, apple pieces, natural apricot flavor, apricots, natural peach flavor, marigold flowers, natural vanilla flavor, and cinnamon.
If For the Loyal could be turned into a candle, I would buy all of them just so I could make my apartment smell like the Hufflepuff Common Room. At least, I assume it smells sweet vanilla and fruit anyway. What I’m trying to say is, the scent of this tea is so warm and inviting (two characteristics of most Hufflepuffs, amiright?).
For the Loyal is another tea that I prefer cool-to-cold instead of hot (like the coconut tea) because the flavor is more pronounced. The scent of the dried leaves was vibrant, so I expected layers of bold flavors, but when hot, the flavors just sort of run together– it’s not particularly fruit or creamy or spicy. When it cools down though, you can taste a hint of fruity apricot and apple. I also taste hints of something floral, but I think that might be the cinnamon playing tricks on my tastebuds.
Have you tried any of the Harry Potter fandom teas? Which one is your favorite?