Diana Bishop Tea

“I fixed my eyes on the sugar. He handed it to me. I put precisely half a teaspoon of sugar and half a cup of milk into my tea. This was just how I liked it- black as tar, a hint of sugar to cut the edge off the bitterness, then enough milk to make it look less like stew. This done, I stirred the concoction clockwise. As soon as experience told me it wouldn’t burn my tongue, I took a sip. Perfect.”

The highly anticipated companion novel, The World of All Souls, was finally released. Its contents include a plethora of facts, tidbits, and recipes from the trilogy. Just imagine taking everything you can dig up regarding the All Souls Trilogy from Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google searches and interviews PLUS an intimate look inside the mind of author Deborah Harkness. Well, that is exactly what The World of All Souls is. I really did love the series and while I typically reread it every year I didn’t last year so as I began to read this new release I steadily became more reinvigorated with the series.

My copy of A Discovery of Witches was so extremely marked up with notes and highlights but unfortunately, I lost all of my markups when the Sony Reader store dismantled and users were invited to merge their existing libraries with Kobo. I had already made the move to Nook but was using the Sony Reader app to access those books. Of the markups a lot of those notes regarded food. I may have even highlighted everything concerning Diana and food because it all sounded so damn delicious (I swear I should be English.) Her tea consumption was especially interesting to me as I am an avid tea drinker. The ritual and history of tea have always fascinated me. I even own several books on the history of tea. Being the curious person that I am, I’m intrigued by how people take their tea. Fictional character or not, Diana Bishop is no exception.

Tea is really much more than throwing a tea bag into hot water though. There are different steeping times for all varieties of tea, additions that should never be added to tea (like the addition of milk and lemon together) and the age-old question, loose tea or bags.

Diana has an extreme admiration for tea but she isn’t a “tea snob.” Her favorite tea, the des Impressionists by Marriage Freres, may sound a tad upscale but she’ll never turn down a traditional builder’s cup. She enjoys her black tea English style, a good amount of milk and a touch of sugar. Since she takes her tea English style her preferred brands would no doubt be English and the flavor bold – think tried, true and traditional brands such as  PG Tips and Yorkshire Tea.

Though Diana may act as an amateur tea connoisseur she’s a busy scholar who doesn’t have much time to mess with loose tea. I’ve always envisioned her throwing a tea bag or sachet into scalding water, steeping no less than 4 minutes and adding milk and sugar.

That simple and that delicious. There really isn’t anything like having a hot cup of tea with a delectable pastry. Coffee will never quench my thirst the way tea has always done.

Happy steeping!


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