Friday, September 22, 2017

Having Tea with a Mistress - NEW TEA BLEND!

I never would have guessed that I would make a tea inspired by a graphic novel character, yet it HAD to be done. Sean Taylor is one of those authors (and personalities!) who you just can't help but love to be around. He's always making people laugh, and his stories will grab you from the first word to the very end - check out his story in the ProSe Productions anthology The New Adventures of Armless O'Neil! Aside from that, Sean is a good friend and a good man.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the NEW tea blend from Viridian Tea Company - Mistress Angelique's Tea Blend!

The tea, inspired by the writing of Sean Taylor, consists of assam tea, goji berries, rose hips, and anise. The aroma of the tea blend is a flourish of licorice, malt, and faint flowers. When prepared, the tea liquor smells of malt, licorice, and roses - spicy, sensual, and irresistible, just like Angelique! I prepared the blend over two months ago, so the ingredients have had a chance to "get to know one another"!

The blend will be for sale at the Cooper Young Farmers Market tomorrow, as well as my Etsy store - Viridian Tea Company.

Also, stop by the booth for samples of Elmwood tea blend as well as NEW VTC STICKERS!

Join the Leaf and thank you, Sean!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tea Review - L'Oriental Tea Blend

The Midwest Tea Festival in Kansas City, Missouri was more than just a day of sampling teas. It was very much a chance to meet tea lovers from all over the world and to learn more about the Tea Industry. Such was the case with Emilie of Emilie's French Teas - French tea is more than just sipping tea from a cup. French Tea is ART! Thankfully, Emilie's French Teas had several tea blends to sample at the Festival. As soon as I tried L'Oriental tea, I knew a bag of it was coming home with me! Emilie and I even had a small conversation in French while I continued to try her teas.

When you open a bag of L'Oriental tea, you are immediately jettisoned away to a field filled with lavender, roses, and other flowers, each one giving off their scent that leads to a dizzying high. The tea is a delightful blend of sencha tea leaves with rich colour, passion fruit, flower petals, with peach and strawberry flavours. The tea, light golden in colour, tastes of sitting in a cafe after visiting an art museum - exquisite, delicate, creative, and delicious! The tea liquor has a faint scent of green tea and flowers without being overpowering to your palette. A great tea to enjoy on a lazy Sunday with a good book or while watching a foreign film.

Highly recommended!

Merci beaucoup, Emilie!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tea Review - Mad Hatter's Concoction

I had the pleasure of meeting the guys behind The Dragon's Treasure at the Midwest Tea Festival several weeks ago. The trio were funny and full of energy - perfect as Tea Merchants! Their concept is to create a haven for people who love tea and anime . . . . and it works! They had many blends to choose from in the way of sampling, yet with me being a fan of anything Alice in Wonderland, I had to purchase a bag of the Mad Hatter's Concoction!

The tea is a blend of green tea, orange peels, sunflower petals, and citrus flavours. When I opened the bag, the smell was intoxicating - reminded me of a Spring day in a valley filled with lemon and orange trees while a breeze gently blew through. Yes, all of that in one bag of tea! The leaves appeared to be full and vibrant, not just pieces of the leaves. Getting a closeup look at your loose leaf tea is a good indicator as to whether or not you will have a decent cup.

The appearance of the tea once made still reminded me of a Spring day - golden and rich. The smell was of fresh and grassy with just a hint of citrus. My first sip was pleasing to my mouth and light - all of the ingredients blended rather well without one overpowering the others.  Mad Hatter's Concoction is a good tea to begin your day or end it, preferably with a book or with friends.

Much thanks to the people at The Dragon's Treasure!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Circus of Dreams and Nightmares

A friend told me about a strange book titled The Night Circus by author Erin Morgenstern and I knew that I had to read it. Thankfully, I located a copy several weeks later at Prospero's Books in Kansas City and started reading it the next day. Yeah, this was one of those books that I completely devoured within days. If you are looking for books that are a healthy dose of magick realism mixed with alternate history, The Night Circus is for you!

Two men who are more than mere magicians have been a part of a game than has lasted longer than both men will admit. In order to play the game, they must "train" someone who will "fight" for their side, all in the name of magick. One of them named Prospero the Enchanter chooses his daughter, Celia, while the other named Alexander or "the man in the grey suit" chooses an orphan named Marco. For years, these two children undergo strenuous training with regards to learning true magick, reading many books, and keeping a low profile from the rest of the world. Moving forward several years, a wealthy eccentric named Chandresh Christophe Lefevre decides to create a new kind of circus, one that is beyond clowns and balloons. Le Cirque des Reves (the circus of dreams), created by Lefevre and a small group of his closest friends, is the circus for those who seek something different in the ways of entertainment. The circus is draped in black and white, opening at night and closing at dawn and they appear in cities by the blink of an eye. By random chance, Celia and Marco, now older and wiser in the ways of magick and illusions, become a part of the circus and soon, the circus becomes something more. Something darker and stranger. Since the book is written in present tense, the reader feels as though the book is happening right before their eyes.

Like I said before, I devoured this book within several days. This was an excellent read that gave me just enough to make me wonder and hope for a circus like this to suddenly appear. In fact, once I finished the book, I emailed my friend and suggested that we both wear red scarves (when you read the book, you'll know why). Kudos to Morgenstern for writing such a delightful book. I can't recommend The Night Circus enough.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Soul of Publishing a Poet

I have been a part of the publishing world for several years and I still feel as though I have no idea what I'm doing. Yet, the indie and smaller presses seem to make it a bit easier for authors as well as the publishers themselves when it comes to the daily grind of what to expect after hearing the words, "We'd like to publish you." However, there are those who still dream of getting published by New York - years ago, if you weren't published by a company in New York, well. . . . .

Sometimes, it's hard to explain to an "outsider" just what goes on in a publishing house. Muse, the debut novel by Jonathan Galassi, gives the reader an inside look into the New York giants. Galassi is an established poet as well as the President of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, one of the major New York publishing houses still around. Muse delves into the world of New York publishing as well as the fate and future of poets. The book begins with a history of America's greatest poet, Ida Perkins. Truth be told, once I was drawn into this novel, I found myself searching for her work . . . only to find that she is fictional. Yet, once you begin reading Muse, you'll wish she was real.

The book tells the story of Paul Dukach, a misunderstood young man from a small town. While his family enjoys all things sports, he enjoys the delight and comfort of books. He especially enjoys the work of Ida Perkins, a poet whose works ignite his soul as well as many others. Soon, Paul finds himself working for the publishing house Purcell & Stern, learning the ins and outs of the company as well as the trade secrets (and gossip). However, as Fate would have it, he gets a chance to meet the source of his soul - Ida Perkins, now much older yet no less feisty. Through this once in a lifetime meeting, Paul discovers a secret that could turn the publishing world on its feet yet point it in a new direction few would ever venture to guess.

Galassi's words drew me in from the beginning and I never looked up until the very end. He writes like an earlier Woody Allen film - filled with black wit, charm, sophistication, and dirty, dirty secrets held lovingly by eccentrics and society's darlings. Muse was a delight to read and savour, as well as a fresh addition to the literary world. I will read anything if the story grabs me and Muse did just that. Thankfully, I found a copy of the book at a used bookstore. I wondered about the person who had it before me - did they love it? Did they feel a sense of connection with Paul as he dug further and further into his world of books? Or, did they read it, say "that's nice", and then quickly dispose of it? As much as I loved this book, I will be passing it on to people in whom I know will be able to appreciate its charm. I hope this book will continue to make its rounds to people who read it and take something away from it. Muse is about finding a place in the world when you think there is none for you, and of how words still have the power to seduce, enrage, and soothe.

Thank you, Mr. Galassi and EX LIBRIS!