Book and Tea Pairings to Elevate Your Reading Time

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If you enjoy a cup of tea with your book, try out one of these book and tea pairings–as recommended by Tea and Ink Society readers. Whatever kind of tea you love–strong black teas, spicy chai, or soothing chamomile–there’s a perfect novel to go with it!

Tea cup and saucer with book

Why does tea pair so well with books?

You can sip anything while you read and thus elevate the experience, but there’s something especially apt about drinking tea with your book.

I think it’s because reading is already so comforting and comfortable. And there is no drink for comfort like tea! Put tea and books together, and you have a superlative start to your day…a refreshing afternoon break…a supremely pleasant evening.

Tea and Ink Society members have good taste in books as well as tea, so I asked in our private Facebook group what pairings they’d recommend. They had some delicious suggestions! Combine these novels and teas for yourself, or perhaps send a pair in a care package for a fellow reader. Enjoy!

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Favourite Teas and the Books They Complement

“I love Darjeeling for a spring afternoon. I would pair it with a classic detective novel like Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, or even Dr. Fu-Manchu, because it is a refreshing, slightly tannic tea that is cozy and familiar but retains exotic notes of its origin.” – Kathryn H.


Twinings Extra Bold English Breakfast with two sugars and cream. Pair it with any ‘Poison Pen’ mystery. Any book set in England is teaworthy. And in these mysteries, crises or shock requires strong sweet tea. I always want to join them.” – Beverly H.


“Citrus and spicy Constant Comment and a quilt (snowy day or stormy night optional) to go with a cozy mystery like Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight Mysteries, Anne Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series or Ellery Adams’ The Secret, Book & Scone Society. Come to think of it, a raisin scone with that tea wouldn’t be bad either.” – MaryAnn S.


“I drink Bengal Spice with all books I read but I think it pairs especially well with the Flavia de Luce series because the tea is strong and spicy with moments of sweetness just like Flavia! Also Tazo’s Lemon Loaf tea pairs with all Jane Austen novels – so British and full of romance.” – Ashley G.


Tea with books and candles

Tazo’s Calm Chamomile in a very large mug with 2 tsps of local honey! This tea soothes the edges off of a rough day. I would drink that while reading Maeve Binchy’s book Evening Class. The main character’s name is Signora and as the story unfolds she uncomplicates the lives of her complicated adult students. Traveling through this book feels like a lot of knots are being untied just like I feel when I drink this tea!” – Valerie B.


“The Buckingham Palace tea they serve at The Pink House in Belvidere Mansion in Claremore, Oklahoma. Favorite book to read with tea is usually one that’s a rewrite of Pride and Prejudice where they switch the story around in different ways.” – Shannon M.


“I love an Earl Grey tea latte, also called a London Fog. I’d drink that while reading Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity cosy mystery series, or else Rosamunde Pilcher. Irish Breakfast with milk and two sugars is good with a Louis L’Amour, or a fantasy novel. English Breakfast with milk and two sugars goes with Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver mysteries, Dorothy L. Sayers, or really any Golden Age mystery novel.” – Lee S.


Irish Breakfast for me and a great Wilkie Collins book. I am reading Poor Miss Finch right now.” – Laurie R.


Fast Lane by Celestial Seasonings with a bit of milk in the morning for Bible study, Kava Stress Relief tea by Yogi during homeschooling, and a ginger tea as a digestif after dinner with my current read.” – Shannon J.


Irish breakfast tea with milk and sugar. Any novel set in regency period England works for me!” – Betty F.


Matcha green tea with Anne of the Island, they’re both so cozy feeling, and they just remind me of the color green” – Ro R.


I love a tea called Hot Cinnamon Spice. I enjoy it with a cozy mystery (like Ellie Alexander’s)—the coziness of it. I also love it with a splash of cream and The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, or Unmarriageable where cinnamon and chai are mentioned often. It’s also good iced so I think it may pair well with a spicy beach read.(; ” – Stacie H.


Orange and Spice (preferably loose but Bigelow if it’s bagged) with Pride and Prejudice. I think they make a good pairing because the tea has a nice country flavor that fits the long walks through the countryside and the country dances, and the subtle spice is emblematic of Elizabeth and Darcy’s snide banter.” – Raven G.


Fancy tea cup with a book and violets

Earl Grey tea with vanilla served with a splash of milk and a hint of honey. It’s best drunk with a Jane Austen romance or an Agatha Christie mystery.” – Rachel G.


Chai latte! It’s spicy but the creaminess of the milk makes it so lovely. I would pair it with a good cozy mystery. Nothing too dark or heavy. Dirty Chai Latte (shot of espresso) if I’m reading something darker like Martha Grimes or Anne Perry.” – Trish H.


My own suggestion: I love Lady Grey tea, and I think the perfect pairing for it is Jane Eyre. It’s a feminine tea for one of literature’s best-known heroines; seemingly delicate, but shot through with bold and bright flavors. Black currant tea is another favourite, which I would pair with a Mary Stewart romantic suspense.

I have a couple of tasty tea recipes on my other blog: Caffeine-Free Cinnamon Vanilla Tea (sip with Little Women, Afternoon Energy-Booster Tea (perfect while you read a chapter book with your kids), and a Hot Toddy (good with a Dickens novel).

What’s your favourite tea, and what book do you think it pairs well with?

Book and Tea Pairings to Elevate Your Reading TimeBook and Tea Pairings to Elevate Your Reading TimeBook and Tea Pairings to Elevate Your Reading Time
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9 Comments

  1. I highly encourage you to try Simpson and Vail’s Literary Teas along with reading the appropriate authors. Our family favorites so far are the Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Beatrix Potter, and William Shakespeare blends. The Emily Dickenson (possibly appropriately) was too flowery for us.

  2. In Southern California, I mostly drink iced espressos with milk. They are fast too, although I would love the taste and comfort of tea 99% of the time.

    My favorite tea they have changed!! I am so sad. Whittard’s of Chelsea made Russian Caravan where it was just ever so slightly smoky, not like the other brands, and now they have changed it to very smoky like a campfire so I will have to find another favorite!

    I also love the suggestion of someone above, who mentioned London Fog and Irish or English Breakfast tea. I am almost 100% a black tea drinker. Harney & Sons has Scottish Morning and Scottish Afternoon and I was gifted those and love their strong, malty black tea taste!

    1. Such a pity about the Russian Caravan! It’s always sad when a favourite of anything changes its formula. I am not familiar with the Scottish tea series. English and Irish breakfast I love, but I didn’t know Scottish Breakfast/Afternoon was a thing, so I will have to find some of those and compare!

  3. Have you ever tried ginger tea? I am sure you haven’t. I love a cup of ginger tea while reading books in the morning and evening.

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