Books And Tea | Guest Post by Hikari Loftus of Folded Pages Distillery
To me, and I’m sure to many others, reading a book is much more than just taking in the words on the page. Reading a book requires all of our senses. For instance, the night I read the poem at the beginning of Nabokov’s Pale Fire, I was standing on my patio, just in time to benefit from the fading light of the sunset. Car honks and noisy dogs blended with the internal voice of my reading as I tried to make sense of the author’s erudite verse. I was drinking herbal tea, which burned my tongue. All of these sights, feelings, and smells will always be part of my experience with that particular book.
In my opinion, dedicated bibliophile Hikari Loftus gets this idea of reading as a trip for all the senses, and it shows in her photographs. For this reason, it only took me a brief look through her IG gallery to become a fan. Her photos make me excited to read and remind me of the books I’ve enjoyed over the years and all the complementary smells, tastes and sounds that went along with them.
That being said, it’s my pleasure to introduce Hikari as my latest guest author for Books and Tea. Enjoy, and remember to visit her website and follow her incredible social accounts. Thanks again, Hikari!
Hikari Loftus of Folded Pages Distillery | Books and Tea
Listen, if we’re going to talk Books and Tea here, we’re going to have to get into some deeply rooted beliefs, founded on one of the truest desires of my heart.
You ready for this?
I would like to say that my love for tea comes from my Japanese heritage, or a sophisticated palate. But the truth is, my love affair with tea (which eventually led to me become a tea set hoarder by the age of 26, a condition that has only worsened in the five years since then) is a direct result from the fondest wish of my heart—to meet and become best friends with a faerie.
As a child I became enamored with the Fair Folk through books. My dad read us The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at an early age, and from then on, I sought out any and all books that contained faeries or elves. And the truth is—they cast a deep spell over me, because it was only a few years ago that I awoke to the realization that there were books out there about other things.
Whether you picture faeries of the Tinker Bell variety, or the cruel and cunning Fair Folk of the Seelie Courts, one thing remains the same. They are creatures of nature. They thrive on fruits or flowers, sugar and honey, and they have a taste for milk.
When I first drank herbal tea, some mix of chamomile, lavender and rose petals, I felt sure I was having a faerie experience. I was drinking flowers and herbs, mixed with a splash of milk and drops of honey. The thought was magic to me. It is still magic to me.
Since then, tea has been a big part of my reading and writing habits. It is a drink that is inseparably connected to the most vibrant part of my imagination. Even now, at the age of 31, my favorite teas— the ones I keep stocked next to the honey jar at home—are those that make me feel prepared and ready should a faerie happen by for tea to plan what colors our friendship bracelets should be.
Everyone always tells me that herbal tea is good for me. While actual studies on the benefits of herbal tea are inconclusive, drinking many herbal teas are said to help with various sicknesses and body discomforts or functions, fight off colds, shed weight, help you sleep, contain antioxidant properties, etc. etc. But for me, I seek out tea for other reasons.
For me, tea is simple: Tea is magic. Tea is imagination. Tea is a faerie experience.
“Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder, but now he wakened her and sent her on in front.
Some times he poised himself in the air, listening intently, with his hand to his hear, and again he would stare down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth.
Having done these things, he went on again.
His courage was almost appalling. ‘Would you like an adventure now,’ he said casually to John, ‘or would you like to have your tea first?”
Chapter 4 “The Flight”
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Hikari Loftus: Voracious reader, journalist, midnight writer, mama, food snob, tea enthusiast.
Have a book and tea pairing you’d like to share? Connect with me on Instagram and use #BooksAndTea or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org