How are you? Wherever you are this summer, I hope you are enjoying the nice, lazy lull this time of the year.
It has been about three weeks since we got back to HK from Italy, but man, I am still in full swing summer vacay mode ( aren't we all?). I have been spending any free time I have in the evenings with many pots of herbal tea, aromatherapeutic candle (pictured here is the Orange Blossom by Slow Living ) & books!
If you are looking for some summer reads inspiration along with suggestions on tea pairings,
1. Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel (contemporary fiction)
By far my favourite read of the summer (for now, at least).
Teatime for the Firefly is a story of Layla, a young girl growing up in India, supposedly born under an unlucky star. By a turn of ordinary events one spring day in 1943, Layla falls in love unexpectedly and her newly married life takes her into the jungles of Assam. Layla soon finds herself amidst the world's finest tea plantations in Assam and into the world of tea. Her new life takes her on adventures - happy, sad & mostly comedic in an English tea plantation during the 1940's .
Recommended tea pairing : Assam tea, cardamom pods & topped with a couple of dried rose petals.
To make one cup /one serving: one teaspoon Assam tea, 2 cardamom pods, 6-8 rose petals.
2. Whole Beauty : Daily Rituals and Natural Recipes for Lifelong Beauty and Wellness by Shiva Rose
A relaxing bedtime read for inspirations on daily rituals, and natural, mostly plant-based recipes for beauty & wellness. A beautiful book.
Recommended tea pairing: our Radiance blend, with a hint of hibiscus
To make one cup/one serving: one teaspoon Radiance blend, 1/2 teaspoon hibiscus, 3/4 cup of alternative milk (suggest Oatly's unsweetened oat milk).
3. The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki (historical fiction)
The year is 1853, and The Accidental Empress takes us on the love story of "Sisi", the Autro-Hungarian Empress, well-known for her beauty, the captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph. I enjoyed this book immensely, Pataki gives a captivating glimpse into Sisi's personal life which was beautiful, sometimes happy, sad but most of all, interesting.
Recommended tea pairing: iced brewed peach tea
To make one cup/one serving: in a glass jar, add two whole peaches (sliced into cubes), add a teaspoon of your favourite loose leaf tea (suggest black tea). Add water, leave in refrigerator overnight. Voila, cold-brewed peach tea.
4. The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport (history)
A compelling, fascinating portrait of the Romanov sisters - Tatiana, Olga, Maria & Anastasia. The Romanov Sisters captures the everyday lives of these young lives & their family against the backdrop of the dying days of the late Imperial Russia. Beautifully written & also so very tragic, I found myself googling the Romanov sisters for many days after finishing the book.
Recommended tea pairing: Earl grey & lavender tea
To make one cup/one serving: One teaspoon Earl grey & a pinch of lavender.
5. The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon
A heart-warming easy read for summer afternoons. I am still reading this and I am enjoying the joys and adventures of the Kate, Leila and Elizabeth - a witty novel about love, friendship infused with bergamot, Indian spices,rose. Hmm, I am not sure how the novel would end but I would surely be enjoying this on most afternoons with many pots of tea (& cookies!).
Recommended tea pairing : Rose Radiance tea
To make one cup/ one serving: 2 teaspoons of edible rose petals. For an added twist, a teaspoon of our Radiance blend.
What tea are your pairing your summer reads with this year? Do share with me, I'd love to hear from you !
If you do try any of the tea pairings above, and if you'd like us to share the moment on our IG gallery, please tag us at @zippysparkles #myteamomentwithzippysparkles
Sending love & many happy pots of summery floral tea!