This post is long overdue but as the saying goes, better late than never. I first “met” Alexander Ahearn through his Instagram. I was immediately a fan of the beautiful pictures he posted. Tea, flowers, and cookies are all things that are near and dear to my heart. We finally had the chance to meet in person at World Tea Expo last year. When I heard that he had written not one but two books, I couldn’t have been happier for him.
Flowers + Tea called to me in particular. It is a collection that combines everything that I love about photography, flowers, tea, and poetry. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of work that it took to make this happen. This book kept me company on my commute. The cheery florals were a much-needed bit of spring sunshine on some very dreary days.
Each set of pages contains a different tea experience. The right side has notes on how he made the tea along with evocative tasting notes. Beneath the tasting notes are brief, yet intensely personal poems. The left side features large, full-color images of the tea paired with different flowers. Some of the poems are optimistic and full of hope while others have a sad sense of longing. The overall effect is a loosely woven story of love and loss.
Here is one of my favorite poems from the book:
Welcome back to this place
That holds all our memories,
I come back often,
To give me something to believe in.Flowers + Tea, Alexander Ahearn
I cannot recommend this book enough if you enjoy both tea and poetry. Rereading books isn’t something I do often but it would be nice to leaf through this on a solo picnic in the spring. I have just the spot in mind. It would also make a great gift if you are looking for something unique to share.
Book Signing at The Monkey Cup
I had the privilege of attending Alexander’s book signing event last year. It was held in the beautiful space at The Monkey Cup in Harlem. I’m obsessed with the book-filled tree covered in lights! He read selections from Flowers + Tea while cheese and other light bites were thoughtfully paired with tea. Here’s what we indulged in:
- TÖST Sparkling White Tea, Cranberry & Ginger
- Shan Lin Xi from Bang Tea Company, paired with apple chips, zucchini chips, and Manchego
- Soba cha from Kettl, paired with cinnamon-dusted almonds and Brie
- Oriental Beauty from Norbu Tea, pairing with quince past and Grayson from Meadow Creek Dairy
- Dark Roasted Hohicha from Hojicha Co., paired with dark chocolate and Gruyere
It was wonderful to hear Alex read from his book. The audience was engaged and asked some great questions. I was able to catch up with several local tea friends during the event including Jo (Scandalous Tea), Sara (Tea Happiness), and Verna (Straight from the Leaf).
Have you read Flowers + Tea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!