Over the years tea–and tea culture–has become increasingly important to the fae. I’d established as much in Hall of Blood and Mercy when the Paragon waxes on and on to Hazel and Killian about fae and tea in the last book, and I knew I wanted to take it a step farther and explain why it’s such a big deal in Court of Midnight and Deception. That was why I decided to make Leila a coffee drinker–to drive home how different she is from the fae, and so she has an outsider’s perspective on the fae obsession with tea and learns the reason behind it along with us readers.
It took Leila three books to understand that tea–and teatime–is one of the few moments of peace fae can actually enjoy. But I needed to keep subtle reminders about the importance of tea in the book, so I decided to layer tea culture throughout Leila’s home by making every room in the mansion contain a tea set, tea implements, or some kind of art that honored tea. I thought it would be fun to review all the tea sets in the mansion and talk a little about where some of them are from.
The first tea set appears when Leila is taken to a conference room to pick out a steward, and she comments on seeing a clay teapot. She didn’t know the name, but I can share that it’s a Yixing Clay teapot–a kind of traditional teapot made from clay sourced near Yixing in China. Yixing teaware is famous because the pot absorbs trace amounts of tea, which gradually builds up and gives a unique flavor to newly brewed tea!
In the room where Leila first meets Indigo there is a classic English tea set and porcelain cups, where as out in the stable you see the much more artsy glass teapot on display. The first set you see in Leila’s library/personal study is a Moroccan tea set.
The sitting room where Leila greets King Solis contains a Korean Celadon stoneware tea set–unique because of its jade green glaze. Celadon is a multi-country art, but I specifically chose a Korean tea set because I was attempting to use the wide variety of cultural tea sets to show just how deeply the fae care about tea.
That’s why there are traditional Japanese tea ceremony implements in the glass case at the portrait gallery the first time Leila visits it, and at her second visit she sees a Polish pottery tea set–which is made in the tradition of Boleslawiec pottery.
After defeating the skull monster, Leila and her gang are served masala chai in clay Kulhar cups–a handle-less clay disposable cup from India. (A huge thanks to some knowledgeable Discord Champions who shared this particular idea with me!)
Finally, when Rigel is walking with Chase–who is checking in with the guards–Rigel sees a Lomonosov Porcelain tea set–which is Russian in origins.
As a tea lover, I had an absolute blast research all the various kinds of tea sets/teaware is used across the globe, and I also had fun slipping in tea-related art. (I think my favorite was the shrubbery trimmed to resemble a teapot!)
I hope you enjoyed the tea-culture of the fae! 😉 (Or if you’re a coffee or coco drinker, I hoped you enjoyed Leila’s sentiments on tea!) Thanks for reading, Champions. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to enjoy a cup of tea!