Pairing the right book with the right tea: an adventure in itself
Here at Geek Steep, we have made it our business to pair the right teas to the right fandoms. We have some hits (Mastic Black Tea with Dune) and some misses (Coconut Milk Chai with Dune), but the real joy of the pairings is figuring out why they work so splendidly when chosen correctly and the delicious analysis into what went wrong when somehow, in spite of your best intentions, it all falls apart.
Pairing a tea with a novel was not something I was worried about when we prepped our outline for Season 1 of the podcast. I was more concerned with how to find a tea for the X Files and V for Vendetta than I was this week's fandom, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Pairing movies, tv shows and graphic novels seemed more innovative, definitely requiring more conscious effort on my part to make it work. But a book and a tea? Please. Working in the tea business for close to 20 years and having studied English Literature at University? I was built for this. Besides, even without my credentials, modern mega bookstores like Indigo and Borders have a made a successful business model of selling books alongside large mugs, tea bags and loose leaf tea, all adjacent to their in-house coffee shop. Book and tea pairings was obvious, I wasn't going to waste any time overthinking it.
Nothing like being hoisted by your own petard, huh?
Having spent hours trying to pair a tea with this geek (to a piece of lit I had already read BTW) was one of the most difficult pairing work I have done since we started Geek Steep. I kept telling myself that Frankenstein is also the oldest fandom we have explored, having been published a little over 200 years ago. Modern teas sensibilities weren't even entirely comparable to what was being drunk in England in 1818. So, I mean, it was normal that the exercise was proving difficult when you take the historical facts into account.
It is truly amazing what bullshit the human brain is able to come up sometimes.
The simple fact is, you spend so much more time with a book that you do a movie or comic. You have to get comfortably seated, find the right blanket, and in many cases, the right cup of tea. I was so blinded by the exercise of finding the perfect pairing that I forgot the main point behind why teas and books pair so well: they both force you to pause, take a moment, and reflect. Slow down. Think. Enjoy the journey and stop focusing on the destination. Just flow with the universe baby, stop trying to force things to come to pass. Kumbaya and all that jazz.
Making a cup of tea, a proper cup, is an incredibly meditative and mindful exercise that takes only a few moments, but always adds a positive vibe to my day. Taking the time to read a great classic of English Lit is also incredibly meditative and allows for reflections on how society has changed, language has changed yet stayed so much the same, and a thousand other ideas that come to mind as you become more and engrossed in a well spun tale.
Books and teas go together like peas and carrots. Finding the perfect pairing? I believe dear readers, I have found a new dragon to chase, and I could not be more delighted.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (novel)
Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly: David's Tea Stormy Night
Marika: David's Tea Magnolia Oolong
Teas drunk while geeking: :
Marika: David's Tea Monster Mash