National Novel Writing Month starts today!!! For those who haven’t heard of it, every November NaNoWriMo provides an online community for aspiring authors. The goal is for each writer to finish a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month. When I did it last year, it was a lot of hard work but super rewarding!
I decided not to do NaNo this year, but it was a REALLY tough decision. I’m already itching to take part, and it’s only day one! Still, I promise I have a good reason for tapping out. I’m actually working on a HUGE blog project right now (which I hope to be able to tell you more about soon!), and I knew I wouldn’t have the extra time to devote to NaNo.
Since I can’t participate this year, I thought I’d show support for the other participants by doing a NaNo-themed post series. Lots of NaNoers use tea and coffee as a reward for reaching their daily word counts, so I thought it would be fun to share a special book-themed tea each week of NaNo. Thus the 5 Teas of NaNo were born!
When it came time to design a tea for my Edgar Allan Poe menu, Adagio’s Earl Grey Moonlight immediately came to mind. It’s a twist on the traditional Earl Grey blend, adding creme flavor to the original. But how to make it my own? Blackberry tea is an old favorite of mine, which I thought would complement the creme well and add some dark, sweet notes that would tie in with the Poe theme. All that was left to do was add cornflowers for color, and my Edgar Allan Poe tribute tea was complete!
Time to premiere our Sherlock Holmes tea! I had a lot of fun developing this blend. As I’ve stated in the past, Adagio Teas already has a TON of unique Earl Grey blends, so I decided not to make an Earl Grey, even though it was the first flavor to occur to me.
Plus, Sherlock actually isn’t the biggest fan of tea in the books—he prefers coffee! So I decided to make a coffee-inspired tea blend. It’s been a long time since I played with Adagio’s mocha-flavored teas (the last time was when I made a Hercule Poirot tea), so I got to step outside my comfort zone a little bit. I knew I wanted something smoky and intense to evoke the feeling of a wood-paneled Victorian study, a roaring fireplace, and pipe smoke. Adagio’s Mocha Nut Mate with a little Gunpowder Green tea did just that! 🙂
Considering I couldn’t choose just one Studio Ghibli movie for my menu this month, it’s not that surprising that I couldn’t make just one tea either. I mean, I felt I HAD to make a Totoro tea since Totoro is so awesome, but I also couldn’t stop thinking of how fun it would be to make a tropical Ponyo tea…or a tea based on the cake from Kiki’s Delivery Service! But which one to choose?
All of them. I chose all of them. And I’m not even a little bit sorry. 😉
I actually designed this tea almost a year before I read the book A Little Princess. I’ve loved the movie for ages, so I thought it would be fun to make a tea inspired by it!
Masala chai originated in India, so I knew it would be the perfect starting point for my tea. But how to make it unique? I decided to blend it with chocolate chai to add some sweetness to the spice. Then I added a touch of vanilla to even out the flavors, and voilà:a chai reminiscent of spicy hot chocolate, perfect for a little girl like Sara Crewe! 🙂
Today we’re continuing our Star Trek menu with a trio of Trek-themed teas. Anyone familiar with the show might be expecting Captain Picard’s signature “tea, Earl Grey, hot,” but Adagio Teas (the site were I blend my teas) has ten versions of Earl Grey that are all super delicious. I honestly didn’t think I could improve them, so instead I decided to make three teas, each dedicated to one of the three service divisions in Star Fleet! The flavor profile of each tea is themed on its division’s signature color: Command Red, Sciences Blue, and Operations Gold.
Ready to boldly go where no tea drinker has gone before? 😉
Arrietty’s cherry tree has always stood out to me as one of the most iconic objects from The Borrowers. It’s in full bloom when she goes outside for the very first time, and it’s where she meets her first friend, the Boy! Of course, I knew as soon as I started planning a Borrower tea that it would be cherry tree themed. I think Arrietty would approve! 🙂
It’s time to premiere our Series of Unfortunate Events tea! When brainstorming ideas for this tea, my first thought went to Esmé Squalor, the Baudelaires’ guardian in the 6th Unfortunate Events book. Esmé is obsessed with all things “in,” and this obsession leads her to drink crazy concoctions like parsley soda and aqueous martinis—all in the name of fashion. Of course, there was NO WAY I was making a parsley tea, so I set my sights on the martini. In truth, the aqueous martini isn’t really a martini, since alcohol was “out” when it was created Instead, it’s simply ice cold water in a martini glass with an olive. I liked the idea of something crisp, simple, and classy, so I used that as my inspiration. Channeling the cucumber and mint infused waters I’ve been seeing at parties lately, I went with a white cucumber base and added spearmint to make it extra refreshing. The results make a perfect iced tea!
You may recall I had trouble deciding what flavors to use in my X-Files tea last month, but with this tea I had no such problem. A tea based off The Three Musketeers book HAS to taste like a 3 Musketeers candy bar, right? I’m sure there’s a law about it somewhere. So I combined Adagio’s Tiger’s Eye, Chocolate, and Caramel teas with cocoa nib and cinnamon inclusions to make the ultimate chocolate caramel tea. You’re welcome. 😉
All for One and One for All Tea
Seriously, guys, this is the tea equivalent of a 3 Musketeers bar, and it’s AWESOME. Tiger’s Eye tea is a chocolate-caramel blend from Adagio, and I used that as my base, adding extra chocolate and caramel flavored teas until I reached the desired balance of the two. Then I kicked it up a notch with cocoa nibs to intensify the chocolate flavor and cinnamon…because cinnamon makes everything better! The final result is rich and sweet, which I think is fitting. With some milk and sugar, it makes a perfect dessert tea!
Making an X-Files themed tea can be tricky. Should I stick with something green in honor of little green men? Go with a blend meant to encapsulate the personality of one of the characters—but if so, which one do I choose? In the end, I decided to make a tea inspired by Fox Mulder’s perpetual tendency to keep an eye on the sky. I combined two aptly named Adagio teas, Lemon Cloud and Foxtrot, into a tea fit for everyone’s favorite spooky FBI agent. 🙂
The Truth is Out There Tea
This blend brings the delicate flavors of chamomile, mint, and lemon together in a flavorful yet soothing rooibos-herbal tea. Rooibos is a red tea with a taste all its own (warm and slightly earthy, brightened by its natural sweetness). It’s ideal for mixing delicate, herbal flavors that would get lost in a strong black tea. In this tea, I combined Rooibos Lemon Cloud with Foxtrot. Lemon Cloud is a straight rooibos with a lemony twist, and Foxtrot combines rooibos with chamomile and peppermint. I love the way the faint lemon undertone complements the gentle mint flavor. It’s also caffeine free, which makes it a perfect bedtime tea. I can just imagine Mulder and Scully sipping this during a stakeout!
P.S. I’m curious how this would taste with just a little more lemon flavor, so I’m going to make a test version that includes lemon grass. If I like the change, I’ll make it a permanent addition to the blend. 🙂