4 Poetry and Tea Pairings That Will Help You Get Cozy
written by reagan bailey
Hey, hi, hello friends! I hope that you are doing well, and staying hydrated in the Summer sun! Today’s post is something that I really enjoyed putting together, a pairing of poetry and herbal teas, two of my favorite forms of self-care! If you have been following my Instagram for a little while, you know that I am always at my local tea shop and apothecary, sippin’ tea - the herbal and dramatic variety. Drinking herbal teas has so many health benefits for your body and soul. Whether it’s a beautiful iced green pomegranate tea in the afternoon or a caffeine free, smooth chamomile to wind down at the end of a long day, tea and poetry go hand in hand!
Poetry has always taken up a special place in my heart and has helped me through more than a few rough patches. I have always turned to writing or reading poetry to help me not only feel like I am expelling all of the negativity onto ink and paper, but to also to keep me from feeling alone. Poetry can even invoke feelings of happiness and help us reflect on times of joy.
When I started brainstorming on how I wanted to present this pairing, I started to think of what types of tea I would want to include. That’s when my friends at Wildflower Tea Shop & Apothecary in Chattanooga, Tennessee came through. The staff at this shop know exactly what to give you, depending on how you are feeling and are passionate about herbal medicine. I just knew that I would have to interview them and take down as much knowledge as possible. Below, I have chosen 4 modern poetry and tea pairings based on herbal tea properties and how they coincide with the theme of some of my favorite modern poetry collections.
1.) Tea paired with Loss/Survival - Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur.
I had a hard time nailing down which herbal blends or teas would pair well with this theme. That’s when my friend Hillary, the owner of Wildflower Tea Shop, introduced me to The Spirit of Herbs: A Guide to the Herbal Tarot by Michael Tierra and Candis Cantin. While reading through the book and drooling over the beautiful motifs and illustrations, I was able to lock down an herb that fit this theme to a “tea.” Lemon Balm moon tea “balances the feelings and emotions” (Cantin & Tierra 93). The tea itself “enables us to view our emotions and feelings without getting lost in them,” (Cantin & Tierra 93) as well as “treats nervousness, depression, insomnia, melancholy” (Cantin & Tierra 93). Lemon Balm moon tea helps us to clear away what we don’t need and find a balance between what we need to survive, or what we can clear out.
2.) Tea paired with Grief/Change - FLUX by Orion Carloto.
Hillary was quick to help suggest hawthorn berry as a powerful herbal tea ingredient. Known as a heart medicine, hawthorn berry helps to “release a person from feelings of disharmony and even hate, reinstate inner calm, promote a renewing of self-love, and fortify the energy of the heart.” (Cantin & Tierra 93) FLUX was such a powerful, intimate, and resonating read for myself. Change can be difficult, especially when it’s paired with grief. Orion bravely tackled themes such as loss, grief, change, and unrequited love, from personal experiences that helped me to not feel like I was alone. Hawthorn berry tea can help to promote self-love and even strengthen the energy of the heart, for how can we ever love someone else, if we do not first love ourselves?
3.) Tea paired with Inspiration/Realization - Useless Magic by Florence Welch.
Holy Basil+Gotu Kola herbal blend for mental clarity. The Spirit of Herbs says “basil supports idealism and is said to open the heart and mind.” (Cantin & Tierra 93) The guide goes on to say that basil stands embodies “self-confidence, self-worth, following one’s inspiration with action.” (Cantin & Tierra 93) When I was hanging out at the tea shop, Hillary blended together a very special pot of tea for me that included Holy Basil to help me feel inspired. Useless Magic by Florence Welch could not have been published at a better time.
4.) Tea paired with Independence/Resilience - the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace.
Elderberry+Elderflower - both of these herbs are meant to bring about the “death of the old” and encourage us to “not resist change.” (Cantin & Tierra 93) Echinacea is also known as an Herb of Fortification and is great for strengthening the immune system. Drinking this tea and reading a few poems from Amanda’s incredible work will have you ready to take down anything toxic or negative.
Cantin, Candis, and Michael Tierra. The Spirit of Herbs: a Guide to the Herbal Tarot. U.S. Games Systems, 1993.