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Concocting a Bookish Brew

flickr latte photo by dailyfood
photo by flickr user dailyfood

Now that the weather’s getting colder, I’m reminded more than ever that a good book and a hot drink just go together.  But wait– don’t simply grab your same-old same-old tea or hot chocolate mix as you’re reading this.  Yes, I saw that.  Put it back!  Instead, remember that literature is the greatest escape and consider concocting a warm beverage that’s in the spirit of your current reading journey.  Whether you’re having a cozy night at home on your own with a great novel or it’s your turn to provide the refreshments for your book club, it’s actually super easy to get a little creative and make something special.

But how do you decide what to make?  What ingredients should you use?  My advice is to keep it simple and consider just two aspects of your book:  setting and main character.  Read on for a drink idea to spark your imagination, and then create your own and share your recipe with everyone in the comments section!

cinderThe Cinder

I loved Marissa Meyer‘s YA science fiction novel Cinder (2013 Readers’ Choice Booklist, 2012 Teens’ Top Ten), a unique update of the Cinderella fairy tale set in a dystopian China.  Linh Cinder is a sixteen-year old cyborg, a human with a mechanical hand and foot and software components in her brain.  She is a talented mechanic who unfortunately has a truly nasty stepmother who cares nothing for her.  One day, however, the charming Prince Kai personally requests Cinder’s assistance with repairing his android.  This development and the sudden infection of Cinder’s younger sister with plague set off events that reveal a secret about Cinder’s past and put her in the middle of attempts to stop a lunar takeover of Earth.

To create a drink which I call “The Cinder,” I kept in mind a few key aspects of the novel’s setting and main character, and the corresponding ingredients which they suggested to me:

“New Beijing” setting — green tea

The name “Cinder” — things that resembles cinders in color, texture and/or taste

Cyborg — unexpected combination of ingredients

What I ended up creating was a yummy green tea latte with a couple add-ins to call to mind the look (and hopefully something close to the taste) of cinders.  I adapted my recipe below from a tea latte recipe that I found on “ – The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit.”

The Cinder

Makes 1 serving


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag of your favorite green tea
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk, chilled (almond milk would be great too)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Optional Add-ins                                                                                                               

  • 1 crumbled Oreo cookie (chunky and black like cinders)
  • tiny pinch of black cardamom (smoky flavor of cinders)


  1. Pour water into a microwave-safe mug and heat for 2.5  minutes. Then place tea bag in this hot water and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  2. If you like, froth milk with a milk frother.  But I did not froth mine and it was still delicious!
  3. Remove tea bag from tea.  Add brown sugar and milk to tea and stir.
  4. Sprinkle with crumbled Oreo and a tiny bit of black cardamom to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

I’ll be blogging again soon with more book-inspired beverages.  Now it’s your turn to have fun creating your own bookish brew and leave a comment to tell us about it!

-Anna Dalin, currently reading Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

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