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!
I love the use of different cultural sets!!! I also had an intense interest in celadon a few years back and wrote a massive paper on it, so I almost squeaked out loud in excitement when I saw it included!!!
I found your post quite fascinating. I do not personally drink tea or coffee but I find the culture of both interesting. What beautiful teapots, I feel inspired to collect a few just to admire them. I also want to say that I love your books. Your characters are so well rounded out that I feel that I know them. Your creativity and ability to draw in your readers is amazing. I know that when I start one of your books that I will not be putting it down until it is finished. Thank you for sharing your talent with us and allowing us to come along for the ride.
Wow! After reading this post, I noticed the related post from 2013- the one about the Translator Tea from Red Rope of Fate. That’s so fun that Kitty included a recipe- I’m gonna go make some Translator Tea while I think more about this Court of Midnight post 🙂
I love tea, and even though as part of my religion I’m limited in the types I can choose, (No black, green, ect… or coffee. Only herbal) it’s my favorite drink. My favorite tea was one from Teavana, a chocolate peppermint blend. My family has many antique tea sets, and I love them. I loved hearing about all the different tea sets in Leila’s mansion, and I loved the series!
Teavana sounds delicious! As soon as I can, I’m trying it 😊
I loved that this series highlights the variability of cultures who enjoy tea, to the point of making ceremonies centered around it. I don’t know of any culture that doesn’t have some kind of tea associated with it. His was a very interesting and informative post and I enjoyed it.
I’m not old enough to drink coffee or tea just yet, but my mom tells me my love of chocolate signals a coffee gal. This post is seriously giving me ideas for my dream home (aka the way I plan on decorating my house when I get one!). I did enjoy Leila’s attitude towards tea,-no offense to any one who is a tea-drinker-and when she finally drank tea, it took every fiber of my being not scream, “Skye, Indigo! Take a photo, QUICK!!!” 😂 but when they bought Leila a coffee maker, it was so sweet of them! ❤
Meagan C. says
I’m not sure a love of chocolate leads to a love of coffee. I love chocolate – the darker, the better – but I really, really dislike coffee. Even the coffee flavored foods that everyone says you can’t taste the coffee in. (Yes, I related very well to Leila’s cook!) I am, however, a hardcore tea fan. After milk, tea is my go-to drink!
Raelene Monahan says
Totally agree. Being a chocoholic had nothing to do with whether or not you like coffee. I cannot stand the stuff. Even the smell. And i definitely notice if it is in something. Even had a couple of chai lattes that definitely had a sprinkle of coffee in them. And that awful taste lingers. Tea all the way! Along with hot chocolate and vanilla chai lattes 😁
My sister: Hot chocolate’s ready-
Me: Hot chocolate!! 😀*runs downstairs and devours it all
My sister: Where did all mine go?
Me : Uh . . . Dog drank it
My sister: We don’t have a dog
Me : Rats
Sadly, as I’ve mentioned before, not old enough to try any of the delicious drinks I hear about, but I definitely love hot chocolate!
Great-now I know I won’t hate tea😁And I agree with you, dark chocolate is amazing! Though I do always order coffee cake for my b day-my fav cake-but everyone has their own opinions 🙂. It’s part of the reason I thought I’m gonna be a coffee fan,(that, and the fact that for some reason work makes me need lots of food and energy) but why not both? I usually take a while to form an opinion, which tends to leave me in the middle when picking sides. At least I’m not asked to be tie breaker often!😅
My son lived in Russia for awhile and introduced us to the Russian tea glasses and their beautiful holders. I enjoyed all of the varied tea sets and hoped you’d do a post like this.
I am more of a coffee drinker myself though I dont exactly hate tea, its just that I prefer coffee, anyways the post was interesting