I have been a long-time fan of October, with its unassuming takeover of the season. It breathes in clammy summer air, and breathes out dulcet, cooling sighs of relief for heat-wearied brows. It transforms a soothing cup of hot tea into a spa experience. And, just before it relinquishes the stage for November’s dramatic entrance, it parts the curtains of fall and offers us a grand carnival of a finale: Halloween.
Is there a tea that captures the flavor of October and its candy-collecting holiday? A book for the young and young-at-heart that borrows spookiness from Halloween’s tradition, but remembers its true soul of fun? You bet.
Chanakara’s Dragonfruit Tea, from the sample assortment through English Tea Store, is a taste of warm summer air that finishes to an understated, minty autumn. But the real magic is the smattering of flavors in between: chewy ®Mary Jane and tangy ®Smarties and ®Spree candies, married into a mouthful of flavor as satisfying in the tea as the sight of them colliding at the bottom of a bag of Trick-or-Treat plunder.
And the book as a sweet companion to Chanakara’s Dragonfruit Tea is Alpha-Oops, H is for Halloween, a children’s book written by Alethea Kontis and illustrated by Bob Kolar. In the book, the alphabet is putting on a grand carnival of a show in honor of the holiday, but when “A” (the usual first) isn’t quite ready, “H” nabs the first place honors, and the show is on. What ensues is a little disorder, some costume calamities (don’t you hate showing up to a party to discover someone else wearing the exact outfit as you?) and, most importantly, a lot of fun. Letters come alive in the flamboyant tones of Halloween candy, set against the dramatic hues of Halloween spookiness.
Just the taste of Chanakara’s Dragonfruit tea. And the tea is herbal, and perfect for children! Add a little more sweetener than you normally might, to really bring out the candy flavors. And drink it fresh and piping hot, before it mellows into a heavier taste.
This tea and novel companion choice is, like Halloween, for kids. And for the kid in all of us.
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