The greatest regret of my life is that I do not like coffee.
Ok, maybe that’s not my greatest regret.
But no matter how many times I try, I cannot seem to force myself to like coffee. I’ve tried all the tricks: Start out with fraps or tons of cream and slowly work your way down. But no matter how many times I try it, I just want to scrub my mouth out with a brush and dish detergent.
There is a silver lining to not liking coffee: TEA!
I love love love tea. I might be a borderline tea snob.
I believe there’s nothing more delicious and cozy than snuggling up with a piping hot cup of tea and a good book.
So whether you enjoy pretending to be British (I do) or are trying to get into drinking tea, here are my recommendations for your rainy afternoon treat:
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie + Earl Grey Supreme
Confession: This is my all-time favorite tea. I buy it in the large size because it’s that good. Harney and Sons actually says in the product description that most people never go back to regular Earl Grey. They are correct.
I’m not a blood and gore mystery reader. I shamelessly like cozy mysteries because I like to be able to sleep at night. I also like not feeling paranoid that someone’s stalking me.
Murder on the Orient Express is your cozy mystery meets British history meets twisty plot-driven story.
Earl Grey Supreme is the natural companion because it’s the king of Earl Greys, and Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery. It’s also one of the most popular teas in the world, and Agatha Christie is the most bestselling author of all time (behind the Bible and Shakespeare). These two belong together.
Bright but complex, wonderful alone or with a dash of milk, Earl Grey Supreme and Agatha Christie won’t disappoint.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith + Scottish Morn
Remember how I said I like cozy mysteries? Robert Galbraith is the exception.
In case you’ve been living under a literary rock, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. Her Cormoran Strike series ain’t no Harry Potter, I can tell you that much.
Robust, dark, and with just enough bite to thrill, Career of Evil is the perfect pairing for Scottish Morn.
Strike is your perfect jaded (and one-legged) detective. Robin Ellacott, his assistant, is strong, optimistic, intuitive—and perhaps a tad too forgiving. She’s way too good for that annoying chauvinistic boyfriend.
The first book in the series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, is lighter fare. But the next two books in the series, including Career of Evil, are more grisly. I like these books as occasionally (and deliciously) as a like bold, dark, Scottish Morn tea.
44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith + Scottish Afternoon
On the topic of cozy stories, Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series is probably the coziest of cozy stories you’ll pick up.
Filled with hilarious, memorable characters and McCall’s keen, but gentle commentary on Edinburgh life, 44 Scotland Street has much to delight. If you love fast-paced, plot driven stories, this may not be for you. But if you enjoy character studies (and a sprinkling of philosophy here and there), this is your series. Best part? There are 11 books and counting, so you have plenty to sink your teeth into!
I highly recommend 44 Scotland Street on audiobook. The narration is great and the accents are wonderful.
Scottish Afternoon tea has hints of Darjeeling, making it slightly more refined than its sister tea, Scottish Morn. Darjeeling is known as the champagne of teas, so you’ll feel fancy as you sip this tea while reading about life in Edinburgh—filled with more than one note of refinement!