This tea was inspired by some of what occurs in season 4 of The Magicians.
That means this tea story comes with a trio of disclaimers.
One, it is potentially a bit spoilery, though I will try to keep the exact details to a minimum.
Two, for reasons that will become clear a bit further on, I have not finished watching the show.
Three, I tried the first book but bounced off it very very hard, so the tv series is my only reference for that world.
The Magicians was a series that THFKAMT and I watched together and enjoyed. At one point early in the fourth season, he expressed how much he missed Eliot, and wanted a tea to commemorate the character.
I was far from averse to this idea, and brain went into tea making mode.
I wanted a foundational tea of a caliber and quality that would fit with the way in which the character preferred the finer things in life. Both the actually finer – in quality and taste, and the finer just in how it reads societally.
At the time I had recently added Second Flush Darjeeling to the tea toolbox – and it was a cut above, on some levels, as a black tea, and fell into the “fine wine” or “aged scotch” category in my head.
It fit what I wanted for the foundation of the tea better than anything else I had tested so far – and was new and shiny.1 It is probably the most finicky tea that I work with, to date, and is one of the least forgiving of over-steeping. 2
The heather was chosen because I like the taste, and a book about botany and alcohol had given me data on heather and how mead made with heather honey was special on a long list of levels – and it felt like the kind of data he would have had (or would have enjoyed being told) and would have laughed about…
…especially if deep in his cups and in a good mood.
The lavender was chosen because he indulged in so many things so frequently, and lavender is good for when you have pushed your body and mind to the limits. Soothing and calming, on several levels.
The flavours worked immensely well together, and both of us enjoyed the tea.
It became one of the tea standards, and was one of the teas kept on hand in the larger latch-tin, because the smaller sampling batch that fit in the standard tin had to be refreshed too frequently.
This level of standard drinking tea also meant that it was referenced often.
Originally, I had assumed that the two of us would sit down and figure out a name together at some point – probably once we’d finished the whole story.
A character death delayed that. So did the start of the pandemic. And then he made his series of declarations and decisions and expressed things like hatred of Desert Sage Natural.
So, the mutual naming was not to be.
It was not the first tea I’ve had to approach potentially retooling, and, sadly, will not be the last.
When I went to do the re-examination required to see what needed to be done to make it a tea I could release, I realized that I still loved it.
Connections aside, the balance in the feeling of thinking about it and how it came to be was good.
It had also been 7-341 for so long and been spoken of as such so many times, that I couldn’t process calling it anything else.
So, it is the first (and possibly only) tea that will keep its number designation. And I have hope that I will eventually be able to go back and find out how the stories of those characters ended.3
Organic Ingredients: Second Flush Darjeeling, Lavender, Heater
Batch Size: 4.4 ounces, approximately 124 grams, 40+ servings of tea
Options: Loose Tea (5 serving sample (Bag or Tin), Full Batch (Bag), LatchTin), Teabags (Single Teabag, 5 teabag sample (Bag or Tin), Full Batch(Bag), LatchTin)