“The secret of a well balanced life is a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other.”
While I don’t know who first said this quote (it’s credited to The Tea Spot), it is absolutely perfect for this blog post. I’m going to be telling you about my line of herbal teas, which I have “blended” with my true love, classic literature.
Betsey Trotwood – Rejuvenate Tea.
In the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield, Betsey is David’s eccentric aunt. She comes in with a very foreboding attitude, but by the end of the book, I decided I wanted to be Betsey Trotwood when I grow up. Whenever she comes into the story of David’s life, she is like a “shot in the arm” no matter the struggle. She continues to be eccentric, but her warmth and love for David, or “Trot” as she calls him, softens her heart and blesses her life. This tea reminds me of her, with the tartness of rose hips and hibiscus, the sweetness of orange peel and the comforting flavor of peppermint throughout. Perfect for a mid-afternoon tea.
Becky Thatcher – Refresh Tea
Becky is Tom Sawyer’s young “love interest” in Mark Twain’s book telling of his adventures. In a book full of “boy” stories of battle and pirates, it is refreshing to see how Tom shows his affection, and works hard to gain her favor. His antics both delight and frustrate her, but after he saves the day in a dark cave, the closeness they formed in that adventure remains forever. And what can be more refreshing than chocolate mint and lavender? A great tea for any time of day.
Mercedes Herrera – Comfort Tea
My absolute favorite novel is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. I first completed this daunting work in 9th grade and have been in love with Edmund Dante ever since. Mercedes was the love of Edmund’s life. Following the betrayal that took him away from her, seemingly forever, she found herself in the position of needing to marry, and the most likely suitor was Edmund’s best friend, which turned out to be probably the worst choice she could have made. This poor lady needed a lot of comfort throughout her life. I have discovered that lemon balm has so much more going for it than I thought. This herb from the mint family is highly regarded as a de-stressor and comforting herb. Bee balm, as well as its antimicrobial and digestive properties, is also very soothing to the nervous system, making it a wonderful herb to pair with lemon balm. I think even Mercedes would have found some comfort with this blend.
Esther Sommerson – Soothe Tea
My first adventure in tea blending was with chamomile and peppermint. I drank this calming tea for many years in the evening, enjoying the simplicity of it. One day I was reading about calendula, cousin to the common marigold, that shares many properties with chamomile and decided to try it in my favorite blend. The bright yellow and orange petals looked so pretty with the green of the peppermint and the off white of the dried chamomile. And it gave a slight lift to this subtle tea that I didn’t even know I was missing. But what literary character to pair with this splendid tea? The main character in Dickens’ Bleak House is a young woman named Esther Sommerson. Much of the story is seen through her eyes. From the moment she enters Bleak House, its inhabitants fall under her calm and generous spell. She is without fault, giving friendship to the friendless and patient advice to the lost. She is seen as a soothing balm to those in stress, just as this tea is perfect in the evening after a stressful day.
Jean Louise Finch – After Dinner Tea
Better known as Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, Jean Louise is the narrator of this well loved literary work. After a Sunday afternoon meal complete with a serving of Miss Maudie’s Lane Cake, a cup of After Dinner Tea would have been just the thing. Chamomile, peppermint, fennel seed, and ginger root are all herbs known for benefiting the digestive system. The earthy flavors of fennel and ginger blend really well with the sweet chamomile and peppermint. You may find you like it any time of the day.
Elizabeth Bennett – Floral Tea
The beauty of an English garden is so reminiscent of the Misses Bennett and the love story between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. As they walk through the gardens of Pemberley Manor, perhaps they breathed in the fragrances of lemon balm, chamomile, roses (rosehips), calendula and lavender. I hope this tea brings all the joy of a morning in the English countryside.
Tess Derbyfield – Sleep Tea
The real name for the main character in Tess of the D’urbervilles, I can’t think of anyone who needed rest and sleep more than this poor, beleaguered girl. Her life became one difficulty after another after her father “got airs” and she learned that mans’ “love” was not to be trusted. Perhaps a cup of tea made with chamomile, lemon balm, catnip, and lavender would have given her some much needed rest.
Marion Halcombe – Wellness Tea
The picture of health and sound mind, although not of beauty, Marion is the brave, sensible sister to Laura Fairlie, the heroine in The Woman in White. This was one of the first classic literature books I read and it has remained a favorite. This blend consists of lemon balm, ginger, oregano and a bit of dried orange peel. It has calming properties, digestive support, an immunity booster, and an antiviral aspect that work well together all year, but especially during cold and flu season.
Scarlett O’Hara – Headache Tamer Tea
I have been asked several times to make a Headache Tea, but was so busy filling orders and completing other aspects of running a small business, that I hadn’t gotten around to it, until recently. I found a couple recipes I liked, modified them, as I almost always do, to suit my taste preferences, and came up with a very pleasing combination. Rosemary and oregano are often found in headache remedies, so they are, of course, included. Chamomile, peppermint, and lemon balm perform perfectly with these two savory herbs, and ginger helps with the occasional tummy upset that often accompanies a headache. The result is an earthy, yet sweet, blend that will relieve tension and help release the grip of those annoying headaches.