Tea Dragons


Sometimes my wanderings around the Web are a pure waste of time, and sometimes I end up finding something delightful. This is one of the delightful ones.

While browsing DeviantArt (a website for artists), I decided to search for tea-related stuff. Lo and behold, I found some wonderful drawings of “Tea Dragons” by Thomas S Brown. The dragons are whimsical, and each one just cries out for a story — or at least a good caption. My favorite, with my own caption added, is the White Tea Dragon:

White Tea Dragon by Thomas S Brown

Over and over I’ve explained it to you: don’t use boiling water for a delicate white tea. It ruins it, I tell you. See what you’ve done? You’ve made Brunhilde cry!

Tom, who goes by “CopperAge” on DeviantArt, said that he originally started doing tea dragons as sketch cards for cons and steampunk events. He’s done about 20 of them so far. When he showed them to his wife (and creative partner), Nimue, she came up with the idea of writing a tea dragon book. They are currently shopping the book around with different publishers. According to Tom, she channeled Lewis Carroll a bit as she wrote it.

The steampunk origins of the tea dragons show better in “Tea Dragon Moon,” which I’ve also taken the liberty of captioning. Note that I haven’t read the book, so these captions are coming straight from my imagination and have nothing to do with Tom and Nimue’s book.

Tea Dragon Moon

“I say, Mycroft, the only thing that could improve this tea would be a more automated brewing system.”
“Quite right, Abernathy, quite right. I do believe I have a few extra sheets of copper laying about. Mayhaps you could whip something up in that lab of yours?”

I’m sure the question running through everyone’s mind, though, is what Tom’s favorite tea is. Looking at the “Tea Dragon Moon” illustration, I figured it would be some kind of über-industrial super-smokey lapsang souchong. I suppose his response fits just as well, though. He said he likes a strong black tea, but he’s “not averse to Earl Grey and occasionally a bit of Jasmine.” I suppose, actually, that his “Grand Tea Master” might be brewing up a batch of jasmine tea, or maybe lotus blossom

Grand Tea Master

“You did pick the lotus blossoms when the sun was high and hot, didn’t you, Hu? The aroma isn’t what it should be. I swear, if you waited until it cooled off and the blossoms closed, I’m going to whack you with my magic spoon. And nobody wants that, do they, Hu?”

Since we’re on the subject of lapsang souchong, though, Tom did mention that he was recently commissioned to produce a tea label. It’s for an Earl Grey/Russian Caravan blend. Hmmm. That could end up similar to my own Mr. Excellent’s Post-Apocalyptic Earl Grey. I’ll have to track it down when it’s ready and give it a try.

A final note on DeviantArt: don’t be put off by the name, or because members are referred to as “deviants.” The site is simply a great place for artists to share their work and communicate with each other. Sure, it has nude elves, but there’s a lot of wonderful traditional art in there, too. There’s a “family filter” you can turn on if you’re offended by nude bodies. If you’re an art fan, go take a look at the site.

About Gary D. Robson

Gary Robson: Author, tea guy, and owner of Phoenix Pearl Tea. I've written books and articles on a zillion different subjects, but everyone knows me for my "Who Pooped in the Park?" books.

Posted on 12 August 2013, in Tea Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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