Books and Brews: Literary Characters Who Drink Tea

Books and Brews: Literary Characters Who Drink Tea

Many of us have habits that we enjoy participating in whilst drinking our favorite cup of tea. Maybe it’s a part of your daily ritual to pop a cuppa on and sit outside and be still for a moment. Maybe it’s catching up with a good friend with a whole pot of tea.

For some of us, there’s nothing quite like sitting down to read a great book with a nice cup of tea. It’s important to take these small moments for ourselves in our daily lives and celebrate them for the relaxation they can bring us. You’re in good company if this is something you do!

Today’s post is celebrating tea and books with a fun round-up of our favorite literary characters who are also tea drinkers! There might be a few well-known characters ahead, but hopefully some you didn’t know were a fan of a good brew. So make up a cup of Reading Nook black chamomile tea and let’s get started.

A purple copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland stands upright next to a white mug of tea. The text reads: Books + Brews, literary characters who drink tea.

The Mad Hatter: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for fans of Alice in Wonderland to see The Mad Hatter on this list. The Hatter is well known (and loved) by many for his eccentric tea parties. He was created by Charles L. Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll in the 1860s. Whilst he is a puzzling character, he really adds to the charm and intrigue of Alice’s adventures.

According to Alice, the Hatter is rude, but I just find him amusing! A social drinker of tea, the Hatter might not be the perfect host, but he’s certainly entertaining. I think there’s something about the silliness of the Mad Hatter that appeals to the child in everyone (either that or you become infuriated with him in short order). The Mad Hatter’s tea party is great inspiration if you’re looking for an idea for a theme for a tea party you’re hosting!

The Hobbits: Lord of the Rings by J.R Tolkien

Hobbits are known for many things: Staying at home. Having many meals in a day. Birthday parties. And tea drinking! It might not be the first thing that pops into your head when thinking of our smallest literary characters on this list, but Hobbits love tea. With their penchant for several meals a day, they love to drink tea with several of them.

Overhead view of a Jane Austen novel with a cup of tea perched on top. A stack of books, bag of loose leaf tea, and white flowers surround it.

The Bennett Sisters: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

What list of literary characters would be complete without some of Jane Austen’s characters? The Bennett sisters’ declaration that “Mr. Bingley is coming to tea!” has been repeated throughout the years. He certainly was one of the most anticipated tea guests. Whilst not everyone is a fan of reading Austen’s work, I think that adding this book to your tea drinking area will immediately add a touch of sophistication. Just drink your tea from a tea cup whilst you read; no one wants to offend the 18th century standards of decorum.

Arthur Dent: The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Poor Arthur Dent. Abducted into space and facing the destruction of the earth and all he wants is a good cup of tea. We can relate. Well, maybe not the abducted by aliens part, but the tea part for sure. Arthur is a great character, and The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy has become a sci-fi cult classic for a reason. It’s a great read with lots of humor and sass. The film adaptations are similarly very amusing.

Overhead view of two Winnie the Pooh books, a bag of loose leaf tea, and a blue mug of tea arranged on a wooden table.

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin: The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne

Whist the yellow bear is primarily known for his love of honey, he also loved tea. The two do go together nicely, don’t they? The story of the bear and his boy has touched readers’ hearts for many generations. The innocence of the stories is endearing and as delightful to read today as it was for the original readers. Still can’t remember that the characters enjoyed tea? Here’s a delightful little quote for you:

“Christopher Robin was home by this time, because it was the afternoon, and he was so glad to see them that they stayed there until very nearly tea-time, and then they had a Very Nearly tea, which is one you forget about afterwards, and hurried on to Pooh Corner, so as to see Eeyore before it was too late to have a Proper Tea with Owl.” — A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

Winnie the Pooh and his friends seem to spend most of their days having adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood and enjoying tea parties with one another. Sounds great to me! A Hundred Acre Wood-themed tea party could be a great idea for your next event.

The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard lays open next to a cup of tea, a cross stitch of Picard, and a bag of loose leaf Earl Grey tea.

Jean-Luc Picard: Star Trek

Yes, yes, I know Picard was not a book character — at least not to begin with. He started out portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart, captaining the USS Enterprise from our TV screens in the 1990s and has lived in our hearts since then (well, maybe just some of our hearts). I’m including him on this list of literary characters because some would argue that film and tv are a different form of literature.

Picard has starred in many books, regardless of his start in television. There have been traditional novels as well as graphic novels that have featured the tea-loving captain. Anyone a fan of the show will remember just how Picard takes his favorite drink:

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot

Mma Ramotswe: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith grew up in Africa and shares his passion for Botswana in this detective series. Full of honesty, fun, and wisdom, Mma Ramotswe solves the mysteries of her clients from her all-women-run detective agency in Botswana.

Mma Ramotswe is a fan of red bush tea, which is produced in nearby South Africa. A strong female character, she faces challenges head on and entertains her readers with her at-times unique strategies in truth sleuthing. She gets to use the big teapot in the office because, as the author says, “She is the serious tea drinker in the office and is therefore entitled to it. In general we get the teapot we deserve in this life!” (Alexander McCall Smith – Epicurious Blog 2013)

The No1. Ladies Detective Agency was made into a TV series in 2008 but sadly only ran for one season. The first book in the series was originally published in 1998, and if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you do!

As Alexander McCall Smith is a self-professed tea addict, it’s no wonder his characters are, too. Whenever there’s a problem to muddle through, the kettle is put on and the characters sit down to think it over. Sounds like a familiar method for tea lovers and their friends the world over.

Books and Brews: Literary Characters Who Drink Tea

Steph Huddleston

Steph Huddleston is a freelance writer and book blogger from Australia. Her passion is for the written word, and of course, tea. If you’re looking for your next great book to read with that cup of tea you can check out her website or follow her on Instagram @stephhuddlestonwriting.

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