Guest Post by Wendy Nikel
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you might have picked up on the fact that I love a good cup of tea, especially when I'm writing. I enjoy holding a warm mug in my hands, feeling the steam on my face, and sipping something flavorful and bright, rich and dark, or smooth and soothing. Certain flavors and blends bring to mind different seasons, different places, and even — in some cases — different characters that I'm writing about.
So now that the Place in Time series has reached a conclusion, I wanted to step back and host a virtual tea party with my favorite characters, sharing what I think would be their drinks of choice!
ELISE – Earl Grey Lavender
Elise Morley is a woman with classic tastes, who feels quite at home in the 19th and early 20th centuries, so for her, I'd brew a mug of classic earl grey tea – the same drink she enjoys at the South Western Hotel in Southampton in THE CONTINUUM. This black tea flavored with oil of bergamot was named after Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister in the 1830s, and was purportedly given to him as a diplomatic gift. Add a little bit of lavender for color and a twist on the basic flavor, and I think Elise would enjoy this caffeinated drink black.
CHANDLER – Pu-erh Hazelberry
Former secret agent-turned-family man Chandler is usually a coffee drinker, but when offered a cup of tea – as he was by Dr Wells while visiting the Place in Time Travel Agency in THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX – he's always willing to try something a little different. This tea is named after Pu'er City in the Yunnan Province of China, where it was developed and traded to other countries thousands of years ago. It's a tea with a flavor and characteristics that change as it ages, growing deeper and more complex over time. I'd include a bit of earthy hazelnut and bright strawberry for easy-going Chandler.
CASSANDRA – White Blueberry
Cassandra Argent is young, ambitious, and full of energy, so the drink I'd pick for her is a white tea. This type of tea is usually made from new, young leaves that are harvested and dried with minimal processing or heat, and it will usually contain less caffeine than black or green tea, though still has enough to give a bit of an energy boost. It also, like Cassandra, has a bit of a complicated history – though its origin in China is well-established, the exact timing of it has been debated, and it was relatively unknown in the rest of the world until the last few centuries. The blueberry in this particular tea is a nod to the Fred Harvey Blueberry Cake, which inspired my CASSANDRA COMPLEX chocolate blueberry cupcakes.
DODGE – Gunpowder
Dodge Greenley has been through a lot over the course of the Place in Time series. From being orphaned (twice) and surviving a large-scale disaster as a young child in THE CONTINUUM, to adapting to life with a new family in THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, to the troubles with time travel he faces in his own life in THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX and THE CAUSALITY LOOP, he's proved he's tough and resilient – much like this tea, which I think he'd enjoy. First produced during China's Tang Dynasty, the leaves of this tea are rolled into small, pellet-sized balls as they're processed, giving it a thick, strong taste and preserving its freshness for longer than most other teas. It's usually served without milk or sugar, which I think would suit Dodge just fine.
DR WELLS – Honeybush Banana Nut
Who wouldn't love to sit down to tea with Dr Wells and hear about some of the things he's seen and done up and down the timeline? While he's had to make some significant decisions throughout the series, Dr Wells isn't the type of person to take himself too seriously, either. That's why I think he'd enjoy a honeybush tea. This South African infusion has all sorts of health benefit claims, but it's also sweeter than its close relative, rooibos tea, and tastes great with more "dessert"-like flavors like bananas and nuts.
NELL – Dragon Fruit Dream
Nell is the only character on this list who is completely new to readers just diving into THE CAUSALITY LOOP. She's the long-standing, long-suffering receptionist at the Place in Time Travel Agency who teams up with Dodge to help him discover who's really been posing a threat to his family throughout the series. Dragon fruit, which is native to South America, is a type of cactus, so at first, it may surprise you that something with such a prickly-looking outer layer would actually end up being so sweet.
Thank you all for joining me on this amazing journey; I've been so glad to be able to introduce you all to these characters and share their stories through the Place in Time series!
Special thanks to Dawn Vogel for this blog post idea! Watch her website and social media for her post on tea selections for the characters of her latest release, THE BOILING SEA!
All the teas & images in this post are from Adagio Teas.
About the Author
Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she's left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Analog, Nature: Futures, Podcastle, and elsewhere. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press. For more info, visit wendynikel.com
A Place In Time Novella Series
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.