Hello Tea friends!
Today I bring you something a little different than my usual blog posts. Valerie Pike; author of Crimson the Dragon book series has been kind enough to send me a copy of the book Crimson and the Battle of Lonely Mountain along with a unique tea blend inspired by the book. Now I’m a big fan of both tea and books but this is the first time I’ve reviewed the two together.
Lets start with the book: Crimson and the Battle of Lonely Mountain.
This book takes us on an adventure with Crimson; a lonely dragon that lives in a secluded cave and has the special ability of shedding precious Rubies. Aside from Crimson there are other dragons such as: Amethyst and Sparks Snorter along with Bold Cornsnap (an old village fairy) , Princess Penelope and Prince Valentin and other wonderful characters that tell a tale of love, courage and greed.
The writing style was very descriptive and it paints a wonderful picture of Crimson and his friends adventure. With only 89 pages this children’s book is bound to capture the imagination of children everywhere. Aside from the writing this book boasts a colourful front cover and insert double page of a dragon on a mountain top which is part of the story line. The writing and pictures give it a very magical feeling.
Despite the fact that this is a children’s book it wasn’t written too childishly (in terms of words used or size of text), and as an adult it is easy to admit that it caught my imagination and attention.
As a pleasant extra with the book I received a bookmark (which always comes in handy) and a recipe card for Bold Cornsnap’s Corn Muffins. Certainly a delightful and rather whimsical extra!
As mention this comes with a unique tea blend to accompany the book. Personally I believe that both the book and the tea is a great way to inspire children and to keep them amused. I know this would have entertained me as a child. I was the type that often had my nose buried in one book or another and even at a young age my favourites were among the likes of Tolkien, Pratchett and King. I feel that this would peak the interest of any book worm children as I once was.
Back to the tea. It comes in a brown paper package with a red ribbon tie at the top and a picture of Crimson and the Battle of Lonely Mountain on the front. The reverse side reads:
Crimson’s Tea – This delicious herbal tea is the perfect way to unwind and relax. A trio of floral notes and a dash of pomegranate creates an enchanting brew. Ingredients: Chamomile, hibiscus, lavender buds, rose petals, lemon peel, natural pomegranate flavour. To make, steep 1 tsp in 8oz hot water for 3 minutes.
For those of us that follow the metric system 8oz is approximately 227ml. An average mug is usually 350ml to give you an example in terms of level. So a small mug is ideal or for a standard mug you can use 1.5-2tsp of blend. The package also says you an ice this tea.
Opening the package and it’s beautiful red ribbon reveals a herbal and very large leaf blend. Most of what I can see here is chamomile but I can also spot some hibiscus, lavender and lemon peel just from a quick glance. I’m happy to say it all looks very natural. In scent it is herbal and sweet with key tones being the chamomile and something sweeter that I believe to be the rose.
I will be using 1tsp of blend in approximately 230ml boiling water for a steeping time of 3+ minutes. My reason for the + is that herbal blends usually recommend 6-8 minutes to fully infuse with the water. Some of this will be down to preference so I will try the recommendations and if it’s too mild I will go for a longer steep. I won’t know this though unless I try it first.
Using the 3 minute steep – this tea is red/pink in colour and bares a mild herbal yet sweet scent of chamomile. In taste this blend is sweet, herbal, fruity and mellow. The chamomile and hibiscus lightly thicken a sweet fruit high which lingers in the after taste. Despite being herbal it is not dry nor too thick in flavour. In fact it’s rather refreshing and pleasant, very easy to drink. There is a slight sourness to it but it pairs the sweetness nicely.
Further sips bring through a more defined citrus fruit note that lingers to become sweet. After the first cup it does seem a little stronger in strength despite it being steeped in the same batch, this may be because it’s cooler at this point.
It was like drinking a natural but sweet flavoured water and that may very well appeal to children. Plus the fact that this is a herbal blend means it’s caffeine free, so they can sip at night whilst reading and drifting off to sleep.
Both the book and the tea had some magic to them which I imagine would go well with children. The tea does aid the book and it brings a mix of warmth, nourishment and satisfaction with adventure, dragons and excitement. They work together and I truly support books and tea. I wish more writers would have the same idea. Be sure to keep your eyes open for further instalments into the Crimson adventure series.
Thank you Valerie for letting me review this lovely tea and book combo for you. I wish you the best of luck on your own adventures.
Until next time, Happy Steeping (and reading)!