The Best Teas for Reading in the Tub + Pairings

Sipping on hot tea while I read in the tub is one of my favorite ways to relax. There’s nothing more soothing than a hot soak, sensual bath salts, a steaming cuppa, and a good book. I have three must-haves when I go apartment-hunting, and one of them is a bathtub. (For reference, the other two are a working stove and no mold.)

Since I bring tea into the tub often, I’ve developed a sort of expertise when it comes to tea and book pairings. I’ve decided I should share this knowledge with my fellow readers so that more people can enjoy the pleasures of tea time in the tub. Prepare to feel relaxed, recharged, and resplendent (yes, you will be very sumptuous).

Don’t worry about loose leaf versus bagged tea. At bathtime, all that matters is what makes you feel good. Whichever you choose, be sure to plan what you’ll do after your tea finishes steeping. You can remove the tea infuser/bag before you get in the tub or after if you prefer strong tea. Just know where you plan to put it so that you don’t find yourself stuck with a used tea bag right when you’re settling into your book. (You could put the infuser or bag in the water for a tea bath.)

Here are the best teas for reading in the tub, along with the books they best complement:

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is both crisp and relaxing, though it can also spark your mind. Since it’s caffeine free, it’s a great option for late evening or nighttime soaks. Peppermint tea pairs well with most reads, but it’s especially great for thought-provoking, literary, and nonfiction books, particularly those about self-improvement. You can also match its stimulating scent with science fiction.

Chai Tea

Chai tea warms your body and spices up your day. Since the cinnamon reawakens and enlivens your body, it’s wonderful when the weather is cold, or if you’re feeling drained and need a little pickup. Chai tea is the perfect complement to a thriller, a heartwarming story, or a winter tale. You can also pair it with poetry.

Jasmine Tea

If you’re feeling a little frisky, jasmine tea is a great  way to stoke that sensual mood. Just as the scent of the essential oil can put you in the mood for love (ahem), jasmine tea makes a great complement to romance and erotica. Just let the rich, floral aroma seeps into your pores. It’s also a great pair for rich, flowery prose and poetry.

Zen Tea

Zen tea is the perfect choice for days when you’re reading to improve your mind and calm your senses. Choose zen tea anytime you read a personal growth book or a collection of poetry that provides you new insights into life. It also makes an excellent pairing with travel books, particularly the ones with photos.

Chamomile Tea

If you need to regain your chill after a long stressful day, chamomile is your new best friend. It’s the perfect choice for winding down with a slower story, such as a well-crafted literary novel. It also pairs well with a short story collection or thoughtful poetry.

Green Tea

Green tea is perfect for when you need a boost of energy, like when you’ve decided to take a bath on a slow day off from work or when you’re trying to get through a book that’s bit of a slog but is for a class or book club. It will stoke your mind and keeping you leafing through pages. After your bath, you’ll feel refreshed, energized, and ready to face the rest of your day.

Fruity or Berry Blends

While I don’t drink blends too often anymore, I still find myself falling in love with them. Fruity and berry blends are a great way to bring flavor into your day without consuming too many calories. They also make a great addition to your tub time. Fruity and berry blends are playful and indulgent, so pair them with fun books like cozy mysteries, romances, and stories with a light, humorous tone.  

Orange Blossom or Orange Spice Tea

Orange brights the slightly bitter taste of black tea, making it almost naughty. These decadent flavors can wake you up, so they’re perfect for rainy day reads or early evening baths. They pair well with most books, but I find they work best with meaty tales, such as your deep literary novel or your high fantasy adventure. Sink into a rich story as you sip on this hearty tea.

Which tea is your favorite to sip while reading in the tub?

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