Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tea Talk : An interview and Giveaway with Krista Davis

I'm delighted to welcome author Krista Davis to the blog today. Krista's newest book in her Domestic Diva series in entitled The Diva Serves High Tea. How perfect that we talk tea today, the book will be released Tuesday, June 7th.

Kathy: As followers of this blog know, I generally drink unsweetened iced tea or hot tea made gong fu style. What about you? How do you like your tea?

KD: I like unsweetened iced tea on hot days. However, my go-to tea is hot black tea with sugar and two percent milk.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite type of tea? Any you don't particularly care for?

KD: I wish I could find a green tea that I like. The last one was so awful that I gave it away to someone who likes green tea. I just can’t make friends with it. My favorite tea is Newman’s Own Organic Black Tea.

If any readers have a green tea to recommend, please leave a comment with the name and brand!

Years and years ago, one of my dear friends vacationed in England and brought me a tea by Twinings that is called Cutty Sark in honor of the British clipper ship. It was fantastic. I loved that tea and told her so. Over the years, both of us had hunted for it, but it just wasn’t available anywhere. Last Christmas, she was brimming with happiness when she handed me my Christmas gift. She remembered how much I had loved the Cutty Sark tea, and she found it online, available at Twinings in England and ordered it! It’s as delicious as I remembered!

It says it’s “a unique blend of the finest Yunnan and smooth Keemun black teas from China.”

Kathy: In addition to drinking tea many people collect tea cups, tea pots, and other tea things. Do you collect any tea accouterments?

KD: I have a bit of a piggy issue with china and crystal in general. I could be easily be one of those people who has special china for every occasion, including Halloween. I don’t collect tea items per se, but I have managed to collect a few interesting infusers and pretty tea cups.

Kathy: Do you consider yourself a tea connoisseur, a tea neophyte, or simply a person who enjoys tea?

KD: I don’t think I’m a connoisseur, but I’m certainly not a neophyte. How’s that for an evasive answer? I am a big tea drinker. I love hot hibiscus tea on a cold winter night. My favorite iced tea is black currant. That subtle fruity taste in the cold tea is delicious. I’m enough of a tea nut to make myself a relaxing cup of black tea when I can’t sleep! Yes, it’s true!

Incidentally, I wondered why tea is relaxing even though it contains caffeine. Some clever researchers have determined that black tea reduces stress. So your problems won’t go away, but you may be able to handle them better.

Kathy: How does tea play a part in your writing?

KD: This is a little bit embarrassing, but I *must* have my mug of hot tea on my desk to write. It’s as important as the keyboard. Refilling it gives me an excuse to get up and stretch my legs.

Kathy: Your new book is The Diva Serves High Tea. Does she really serve high tea in the book?

KD: I have to admit to being embarrassed when I discovered that we Americans use high tea incorrectly. At least I did. The fancy tea that we think of as high tea with cucumber sandwiches and scones is actually called afternoon tea.

High tea is named after the height of the table! Who’d have thought that? Apparently, on the days when the servants were off, the wealthy called their dinner high tea because it wasn’t the usual evening meal with an elaborate roast and all the trimmings and side dishes. It was eaten at a dinner table, thus the name high tea in comparison to afternoon tea or low tea which was served on a coffee table.

Working folks picked up the term high tea to describe their dinner after they came home from a long day at work.

Naturally, when I learned this, I alerted my editor, who chose to continue with the title The Diva Serves High Tea. In the book, Sophie serves afternoon tea in honor of Francie’s birthday.

Interestingly, some tearooms in England now advertise their afternoon tea as high tea just for the foreigners who don’t know the proper terms!

Kathy: Do you have a favorite tearoom, or place to enjoy tea?

KD: Alas, there aren’t any tearooms where I live.

Kathy: What does tea mean to you?

KD: Lifeline. I pack it when I travel!


You are cordially invited to a tea party!

When: June 7, 2016
Time: 4-6:30 pm EDT
Where: Online

Isn't that picture gorgeous?! It's the grand prize at the party! There will be other prizes as well, so do try to attend.  


Would you like your own copy of The Diva Serves High Tea? Simply enter the rafflecoptor below. If the winner has a US mailing address, the prize will be an autographed paperback. a non-US winner will receive a paperback copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Interesting interview. No green tea for me, either. And I didn't know about high tea vs. afternoon tea. We are lucky to have a couple of tea rooms in the area, elegant and fun. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck with the release.

  2. I love green tea! Teavanna has a sakura green! I love Republic of Tea Green Ginger Pineapple tea (esp. iced!). David's Teas has several varieties. Buckingham Garden Green Tea is a tasty Earl Grey and Jasmine tea. I'm a fan of flavored green tea, plain green tea can be bitter if steeped too long.

    1. Thank you, g woo. I will follow up on those. I love pineapple.

  3. There used to be near me a marvelous English-style tea shop called Nettie Langdon's. They started out as just a tea shop with nice little lunches. I went often enjoying a wide variety of teas and sandwiches and cakes. Little celebrations and an afternoon out with my niece was made extraordinary. Happily they expanded to include 'High Tea' events: roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and a wide range of little cake desserts. Sadly they are no longer around, but I have great memories.
    My bucket list includes enjoying 'High Tea' in London one day. Until then? I hear Neiman Marcus in San Francisco has a lovely 'High Tea' event.

    1. What a shame that it went out of business. You are so right. A tearoom can make an ordinary event very special.

  4. I'm a fruity tea girl, and have never cared for green tea. Also, I had no idea what gong fu style is (I looked it up, it sounds like it takes practice and skill, but is probably very rewarding!). :-). Looking forward to reading all about the Diva's tea adventure (can I call it a tea-scapade?!?). Nicole :-)

  5. I can't tolerate green tea either Krista. If you're ever visiting the Chicago area there is a Tearoom in Frankfort called the Pickwick Tea Society that serves afternoon/high tea. Their offerings are quite good and on occasion they have parties celebrations women in history, local authors/celebrities, etc.

  6. My favorite thing is high tea. Go often to nearby tea room.

  7. My favorite thing is high tea. Go often to nearby tea room.

  8. Very interesting and educational article on tea. Can't wait to read "The Diva Serves High Tea".

  9. I'm a very simple tea drinker. Black tea with a splash of milk & some honey. Yummo! Thank you for the interview with Krista. Much enjoyed!

  10. I find tea is an ok drink in small portions. There was a Russian tea that I enjoyed in school.

  11. I find tea is an ok drink in small portions. There was a Russian tea that I enjoyed in school.

  12. I drink green tea (at work) all the time. Much better then soda drinks.
    Thank you for the chance to win. :)

  13. I would suggest Krista and other folks who want to enjoy green tea to start with a Dragonwell also known in Chinese as Lung Ching or Longjing. This tea has notes of artichoke and nuts with a creamy texture. And the best part of this tea is it is hard to make it go bitter! They come in many grades, the best ones having nice whole leaves with almost none broken. Nice interview Kathy!

    1. Thank you. And thanks for the suggestion.

    2. Thank you, Niraj. I will certainly look for it. I have trouble imagining notes of artichoke, but I'm willing to try!