We want to help nourish your happy this summer with the perfect summer reading list to pair with your tea. Lucky for us, we have book and tea experts within arms reach of both locations. The Front Range Village makes a trip to Council Tree Library a breeze — just cross the street and walk in. We’re practically roommates with our Downtown friends at Old Firehouse Books, so a Tea + Book list practically writes itself. Katie Auman, Communications Assistant at Poudre River Public Library District gave us a list of tea infused reads, and Renee Becher at Old Firehouse Books gave us employee favorites for July. After the Leafsters read the synopses and let the plots steep, this is what they have to say:
Old Firehouse Books
Reviews are written by Old Firehouse Books Employees
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
“This hilarious book is the 3rd in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Asians series. It follows a cast of kooky Asians as they try to deal with problems that only plague the ultra-rich. It’s absolutely outrageous and endlessly entertaining to read” – Melanie
Synopsis: A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dance floor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan’s gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia’s most privileged families” (Goodreads).
Pair with: China Da Hong Pao “Big Red Robe” Oolong Tea – “Drink China Da Hong, a classic tea for sure,” said Oliva. Commonly known as “Big Red Robe”. It is on the extreme end of oxidation for an oolong, being 80-90% oxidized, enough to give the appearance of a black tea. The subvariety tea bush used for its leaves are often pruned to being a single trunk, and the leaves used are amongst the largest in tea production. The flavor is rich, just like the characters in this novel.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
“This book is amazing! It’s one of the most wonderful books I’ve read so far this year. Dimple is a strong, smart young woman who takes no nonsense from anyone, and Rishi is the most heart-warming hopeless romantic character I’ve ever fallen in love with.” – Melanie
Synopsis: Traditional Indian values of “finding the ideal Indian husband” don’t really appeal to Dimple, a recent graduate and ready to start a summer camp for web developing. But her parents and her husband to be are attached to traditional arrangements. “Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.” (Goodreads with edits by Rebekah)
Pair with Fire Chai Black Tea Blend: When you think of an Indian love story, the initial thought is chai. But this book has a non-traditional twist, so Whitney chose a non-traditional chai to pair it with. It has “Fire Chai has extra heat and passion,” he said. Containing black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, licorice, fennel, anise, and our proprietary blend of chilis, this blend can help you warm mind, body, and soul.
The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi
“Beautiful artwork that will be sure to delight readers young and old. Miyakoshi’s charming characters create an adorable, fuzzy feeling that get little ones ready for bed.” – Liz
Synopsis: This beautiful picture book captures the magical wonder a child feels at being outside in the night. Award-winning author and illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi’s softly focused black-and-white illustrations with just a touch of neutral color have a dreamlike quality, just right for nodding off to sleep with. The book is intriguing in that it contains twice-told stories, once as they are observed and second as the bunny imagines them. This offers a perfect prompt for young children to create extensions of other stories they have read or heard (Goodreads).
Pair with Peppermint Pat-Tea Herbal Blend:
We chose Peppermint Pat-Tea because we wanted to pick something that kids would enjoy. A classic pairing of chocolate and peppermint with the addition of ginger, slippery elm bark and marshmallow root come together for an incredibly tasty delight. This brew has some medicinal benefits as well, soothing sore throats and upset stomachs, helping digestion, and combating nausea.
Hunger: A Memoir of my Body by Roxane Gray
“This book was SO hard to read. I cried, I raged, I cried more. Roxane Gray is a powerhouse who continues to make me look at myself in a completely new way (and sometimes I don’t like what I see). Read this book now – you will be better for it. – Teresa
Synopsis: “A searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself” (Goodreads)
Pair with Be Well. Take care of yourself whilst reading this with a cup of Be Well. Composed of ginger root, linden leaf and flower, lemon myrtle, french vervaine, lemongrass, orange peel, echinacea purpea tops and roots, nettle leaf, rose hips, pao d’ arco bark and lemon peel. It’s designed to warm the body and bolster the body’s immunities, to ward off colds or help you get over them quickly.
Poudre River Library
Tea for Two by Jane O’Connor
Synopsis: “[In this children’s picture book] Nancy joins her friend Bree for a tea party and her friend’s teapot is broken. Nancy worries that their friendship may be ruined” (Poudre River Library).
Pair with Rooibos Strawberry Sunshine Herbal BlendWhenever kids are involved, we tend to steer away from traditional caffeinated teas. That’s why Rooibos is the perfect drink to pair with this children’s book. Strawberry Rooibos is a refreshing, clean, and crisp flavor sure to please parents and children alike. Green Rooibos is blended with orange peel, marigold petals, dried strawberries, and peach flavoring harmonize together. This is living proof that health and taste can and do walk hand in hand. This brew is delicious hot and amazing iced– a great pick for your child’s tea party!
The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault
Synopsis: “Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is…eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old book about reading tea leaves and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real… until suddenly the readings seem real… and increasingly dangerous” (Goodreads).
Pair with China Royal Phoenix “Dan Cong” Oolong Tea: Tasseography, predicting the future by reading tea leaves, is traditionally done with pure, loose leaf teas. Fruit bits and twigs are thought to skew the shapes meant to appear in the bottom of the cup, which may obscure your reading. That’s why we chose China Royal Phoenix “Dan Cong” Oolong Tea. It comes from the Phoenix Mountains in the Guangdong province, China, where there are wild tea plants that remain a source for some of the best oolong teas in the world. Leaves from these old tea trees are prized for their flavor and aroma. Making Royal Phoenix oolong involves precise rolling and baking techniques to fully develop their texture, toasted aroma, and taste of nectarines and peaches. After you savor tea with a rich past, let it give you a glimpse into your future.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
This title is “super popular, and always has lots of holds”, said Katie Auman from the library.
Synopsis: “Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her remote Yunnan village, has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. The daughter grows up in California, but she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations. A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance” (Provided by publisher, edited by Rebekah).
Pair with: China Tuo-Cha Shou Pu-er Tea: A good Pu-er should be in your cup while reading this book. Pu-er is a tea full of history and complexity. After aging, the leaves are molded into small bowls, or “bird’s nests” and individually wrapped with paper., so it takes a few brews to get them to open up. The first time you brew this tea you throw out the water, similar to how the young girl in this book was abandoned by her mother. This pu-er is made from the large leaf ‘Da Ye’ tea plant varietal, and has a full-bodied and earthy flavor. It can endure several steepings without gaining any astringency.
Tea Shop Mysteries series by Laura Childs
Synopsis: “The Tea Shop Mysteries is a series set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.” Titles include Death by Darjeeling, Oolong Dead, Ming Tea Murder, The Teaberry Strangler, to name a few (Goodreads).
Pair with: This series necessitates a different tea for each book. Simply pick a title that catches your eye and drink the tea in the name! Death by Darjeeling would pair perfectly with our Glenburn First Flush Darjeeling Black Tea. Note: Switch to green tea if people around you are mysteriously murdered!
If you’re on a reading roll, check out Old Firehouse Books’ Summer Reading program. They have fun prizes and games for children and adults. The Poudre Library also has Summer Reading fun, so you’ll never be without a good book.
Have you read any of the books on our list? Let us know! Share your tea and reading experience by tagging us in a photo of your Tea + Book pairing on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll repost the winner of a FREE Happiness Supplement!