Brews and books with Booths
Anyone that knows me will know that tea and books feature pretty heavily in most of my days…
So, when Booths got in touch and asked if I wanted to sample some of their teas, I was completely over the moon. They sent over a generous selection and I couldn’t wait to try them.
If you follow this blog, you may know that at the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to read 50 books this year. I’m currently halfway through my 33rd book, and I’m proud of how well I’m doing. I’m actually considering trying to read 75, but we’ll see! When I sit down with a book, I have to have a cup of tea by my side, so I thought these samples provided the opportunity to try and find the ideal book to go with the perfect cup of tea…
The comfort brew. The tea that gets me up every morning, and keeps me going most days. This tea is like a comfort blanket, a favourite book, an old friend. Whether you take it black, or prefer to drink it with milk, sugar or both (mine’s a milk and pinch of sugar) it’s the timeless drink that you’ll always return to. For me, this tea makes me want to reach for Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling), or The French Lieutenant’s Woman (John Fowles), both stories I can escape to time and time again.
Earl Grey is a tea blend which has been flavoured with oil of bergamot, which is a type of orange. I was never a huge fan of Earl Grey when I was younger, and I was never totally sure if you were supposed to add milk to it or not. It was always a drink I associate with sitting outside in the sunshine with my family for some reason! When I brewed my cup of Earl Grey, I added a slice of lemon to it. This really brings out the flavour, and now I am a complete convert. Earl Grey is a drink that is said to have been around since the 1800s, and so I think this is the perfect accompaniment to some of my favourite classic literature – Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Wuthering Heights…
Apple and Bramble Fruits
This was possibly my favourite of all the teas I was sent. Fruit teas are really infusions, and can sometimes be a bit bland. They usually remind me a little of hot squash that my Dad used to make me when I was ill! This infusion is perfectly flavoured, and just sweet enough to not need any sugar or honey. It is made up of apple, hibiscus, rosehip, blackberry leaves and raspberry pieces – perfect for summer. When I made a cup, I left the teabag to infuse in the boiling water for around four minutes. I’ve been drinking this in the warm evenings on the balcony, wrapped up in a blanket reading feel-good books, like A Hundred Pieces of Me (Lucy Dillon) and Lost for Words (Stephanie Butland).
This loose leaf tea is a blend of Indian, Ceylon and China black teas. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I brewed it for four minutes, and then I added a drop of milk, and it was absolutely delicious. It was sweeter than I expected, even without sugar, and, as the name suggests, I drank it for afternoon tea (with biscuits. Lots of biscuits). A light-hearted read is required for this cup, something like Why Mummy Drinks (Gill Sims) or Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella).
This definitely had the most powerful of the flavours I tasted. It’s a large leaf blend of teas from the Assam region of North East India. This kind of tea deserves a powerful, thought-provoking book as an accompaniment. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini) immediately sprang to mind, an incredible story of two Afghan women, and A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara), which I’ve recently read, and is an unbelievable novel – I would highly recommend.
A loose leaf green tea from China, I thought this would be really strong, but it was actually much lighter than I expected, and it had quite a fruity flavour. I brewed it for just over two minutes before settling down with it on the sofa. No doubt triggered by the name of the tea, I found myself reaching for a crime book. These tend to be my go-to reads, usually psychological thrillers, although my absolute favourite crime book is I Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes).
I had the best time trying out all these teas, and finding what books I thought would complement them perfectly. I feel I should also mention that no books were harmed in the taking of these photos. I’ve read The French Lieutenant’s Woman so many times, the pages have started to fall out…
Are you an avid tea-drinker? What are your favourite books to read when you’re curled up with a cup of tea?
*Booths kindly sent me a selection of teas, but all opinions are my own.