Tea and geekiness go hand in hand. The world is full of shabby, much-loved copies of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones with tea rings on their covers. And more than one cosplay costume at Comic Con was sewn under the influence of multiple pots of very strong late-night green tea. That's why people are loving Tea & Absinthe, the independent tea maker that specializes in custom tea blends for the nerdiest fandoms.
Tea & Absinthe has an online store, but they go where the fans are, and that means they're a fixture of comic book and fan culture conventions around the country. You might find them on the sales floor between a display of vintage comic books and a guy selling swords.
That might seem like an odd place for a tea shop, but it's actually a perfect fit. As co-founder Pacita Prasarn points out, nerds love tea.
"I always feel like nerds and tea go together — for reading books, watching TV, I've always loved to do it with a good cup of tea," Prasarn tells Food & Wine. "Plus, I'm a Doctor Who fan so I think I have that anglophile thing going on."
The company started with Doctor Who-inspired blends, because Doctor Who is Prasarn's passion. She watches the shows carefully to create custom tea blends for the most detail-obsessed fans that capture the feelings of the characters or the episodes.
Tea & Absinthe's Eleventh Doctor tea, for example, is a black tea with a vanilla cream custard flavor, because the Eleventh Doctor once thought it was a good idea to combine fish sticks with vanilla custard. "Fish fingers not included," the website explains. The Tenth Doctor accidentally invented the banana daiquiri two centuries too early, so Tea & Absinthe's Tenth Doctor tea is a black tea flavored with banana and coconut.
Those are just the sort of touches diehard fans appreciate, and it demonstrates the kind of passion that can't be faked. These teas were obviously created for fans, by fans.
Tea & Absinthe expanded into other fandoms after that; they've made teas inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mario Kart, Alice in Wonderland, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Trek. (Obviously they have an Earl Grey tea called "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" on the menu.)
Of course they have teas for the Harry Potter fans, too. Gryffindor is an energizing blend of black tea, green tea, and yerba mate with nettle leaves, vitamin C, and enough caffeine to make you want to fight a dragon. Slytherin is a gunpowder green tea with peppermint leaves. Ravenclaw is a strong black tea with jasmine and lychee. And their Hufflepuff tea is a blend of apple, pineapple, papaya, beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds, and popcorn, which really does sound like what would happen if you left a Hufflepuff alone at a "blend your own tea" counter.
If those blends have you thinking "Accio tea," check out their online store.