The more you look for quotes about tea, the more you realise just how important tea is in the life of so many authors. When I compiled the first list of quotes about tea, I thought that was it, but as I started to go through every book on my bookshelf, and revisit books I had taken out for the library, the more quotes I collected. This led to my second list of quotes about tea, plus a list of quotes about how to drink tea. But that’s not the end, not by a long way, therefore here are yet another ten quotes about tea.
“The proper, wise balancing of one’s whole life may depend upon the feasibility of a cup of tea at an unusual hour.”
― Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day
This is one of those books that changed my life. First published in 1910, this book is the ultimate antidote to our current culture of rushing and striving and being distracted by a million different things. He makes the key observation, that “time is money” is an understatement because time can produce money but money cannot produce time.
I’ll just let that sink in for a second.
Time is our most limited and precious resource and in this book Bennett urges us all to use our limited, finite lifespans as best as we can.
“Making tea is a ritual that stops the world from falling in on you.”
― Jonathan Stroud, The Creeping Shadow
This quote is an excuse for me to write about a series of children’s books which I have found inspirational. Yes, I am a fully grown adult, and I only discovered this series of books (Lockwood & Co) because I was searching for something new to read to my nine-year old niece. To be honest, it’s pretty dark for children’s literature: in this book the hero, Lucy, is trying to track down a notorious cannibal called the Brixton Cannibal. Jonathan Stroud is a literary genius and, however old you are, this series of books will challenge and surprise you.
“Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.”
― Lu Yu, Classic of Tea: Origins and Rituals
Lu Yu lived in China during the T’ang dynasty and died in 804AD so this work is more than a thousand years old. What is startling is how fresh and relevant the work is to today. There is a wealth of information on the history, growing and processing of tea, as well as details about equipment, brewing and drinking it. The many original illustrations and supplemented by modern ones commissioned for this 1974 translation. A great book about tea.
“Grim determination was one thing. Outright heroism before I’d drunk my morning tea was quite another…”
― Stephanie Burgis, Snowspelled
Who doesn’t like a bit of alternative history blended with magic woven together with romance? This is the first in Stephanie Burgis’ “The Harwood Spellbook” series and it’s a delightful easy read. And people drink tea, so all good.
― Samuel Johnson, Essay on Tea (1757), The Major Works
No list of tea quotes is complete without something by the wonderful Samuel Johnson. This volume brings together contains a huge range of literary output: poetry, criticism, essays, biography, travel writing, fiction on a huge range of topics including, of course, tea. Whatever the subject, Samuel Johnson has a style completely his own: at times dense, always learned and astute, and often full of irony and wit.
“A man who wishes to make his way in life could do no better than go through the world with a boiling tea-kettle in his hand.”
― Sydney Smith, A memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith
Sydney Smith was an Anglican cleric, humorist and writer of the early 19th century, publishing his first collection in 1800. His talent for what we would probably now call “satire” was legendary in his lifetime and his humour is as arresting today as it was then.
If there’s any thing more important than tea, we must put together an expedition and hunt it down posthaste.”
― E. Latimer, The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray
Another one of my niece’s favourite books, this is an imaginative “sequel” to Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray”, where Dorian Gray’s daughter is a talented portrait painter. Her creations, as befitting the curse of her father, come to life and cause murder and mayhem. Brilliantly written, this novel is not just for youngsters but adds a new depth to the original, and teaches us all something about family.
― M.A. Bennett, S.T.A.G.S
Suspenseful and enjoyable from start to finish, MA Bennett knows exactly how to pace and plot a story to keep you turning the pages. Dark yet fun.
“Tea is her answer to everything. I once broke my arm and she tried to give me Lapsang Souchong”
― Gail Carriger, Reticence
Book four of the Custard Protocol series, this is laugh-out-loud funny, and a witty and clever combination of fantasy and steampunk set in an alternate Victorian England.
“Blood, sweat, and tea, sister! That’s what it takes to achieve all great and terrible things.”
― Emory R. Frie, Wonderland
An interesting take on “whatever happened to Alice after Wonderland”, this is both an imaginative follow-up to the classic fairy tale and a cautionary tale about adults refusing to believe a young person’s “story”, and the damage done by the asylum system. Touching and thought-provoking, this is another great page-turning read.