The writers of TV shows, books, and movies certainly don’t forget to include beverages in their storylines. Booth and Brennan of Bones go out for drinks each time they solve a case. In the recent movie, “Ramona and Beezus,” the main characters were both drinking lemonade and spitting it out. The characters on Glee have been spending an increasing amount of time in a coffee shop. And the selection of Zuckerberg’s intern in The Social Network had something to do with drinking beer and hacking into a computer at the same time. Seth and Kendra of the Fablehaven book series had to drink a special type of milk to be able to see the magical creatures. Which begs the question … where are all of the tea-drinking fictional characters? I’ve previously touched on works that are completely centered around tea, such as The Teashop Girls by Laura Schafer, but where is the tea when it’s not a key element of the storyline? Though certainly not as prominent as those imbibing copious amounts of coffee or alcoholic beverages, there are indeed characters out there who bring tea to the picture.
Recurring character Colin Fischer of Bones began drinking tea, but not until the end of the sixth season- and for the sole purpose of dealing with his depression. In the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, a tea and ale house near the castle was owned by minor character Sally Mullin. The shop later is burned down by one of the antagonists. In the second book of the Hunger Games Trilogy, protagonist Katniss Everdeen encountered two runaways in the woods who were attempting to make tea out of pine needles. The tea was described as weak and lacking, and neither character was heard from again. It is suspected them both died. None of this is very encouraging. Let’s move on.
In the Harry Potter books-turned-movies by J.K. Rowling, all three of the main characters have been seen drinking tea (or at least having it served to them). Granted, I believe most of the tea consumption scenes were skipped over in the film. In Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, another book and later movie, the title character has tea in the village storyteller’s hut. This is done while scoping for information about dragon riders and ideas for what to call his dragon. There was something about tea in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, too. Hodge Starkweather at one point quipped, “Unfortunately, we’re all out of bitter revenge at the moment, so it’s either tea or nothing.” And how could we possibly forget Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll? It sure wouldn’t be Alice in Wonderland if not for the un-birthday party with those tea cups, regardless of whether or not we’re talking about the original book, the Disney version, or the 2010 film with Johnny Depp.
Tea may not be prominently in fiction, but it’s there if you look. And I know I’m certainly keeping an eye out.