Welcome back fellow Death Eaters and Potterheads who find themselves drawn to the dark arts. Another season has come to pass and with it, a new quarterly box delivery from Death Eaters Tea Club.
The fourth in the series of DETC boxes saw a slight price increase to align it with the Auror tea box; $35 plus $7 shipping, pre-ordered in August, arrived October 29th, as always securely packed with crinkly black and silver paper shreds.
Gone are the languid summer holidays, when the DETC could forget their cares for a time and frolic at the beach club. An ominous breeze has swept in with the autumn air as this version of the DETC is a darker departure from previous boxes. The theme of black magic is fully realized with dark wizarding spells, implements of witchcraft, mysterious symbols and forgotten fates of fallen witches. As Death Eaters prepare for Delphian days, the shadows are cast, cards are consulted, fortunes are foretold and the prophecy presaged.One large loose-leaf tea packet and two tins each containing 3 tea bags were present.
Merope’s Embrace– ceylon and honeybush blend of decaf Vanilla Pumpkin Chai. Rarely, if ever, have I opened up a tea packet with a verbal wow, but that’s what I exclaimed when encountering this chai. A robust aroma of sweet and spicy intensity alerted me that this was no delicate decaf. With pronounced notes of wood and honey, ginger and pumpkin, including a wisp of herby floral and citrus rind, it’s a spectrum of witchy flavor in a cup.
As for the namesake, Merope, whose ill-fated existence was recounted in The Deathly Hallows, her tale of misguided love turned obsession sparked the catalyst of the story. I appreciate the inspiration of a would-be forgotten witch depicted by a melancholy cabin in the woods, label artfully rendered by Juli, artist and shop owner.
Drink of Despair- “Not hand nor charm nor siphon can contain the fiery spice in this tea.” A straw-colored liquor of ginger spiced black tea. Although I enjoy chai, I don’t drink many typical spice blends which impart a drying sensation on the tongue. This tastes similar to other RTS blends I’ve tried, Barrels of Tea and Dementor’s Kiss. Those provide that brisk tannic mouthfeel from a dark spicy brew, whereas Drink of Despair falls a little flat and watery.
Obscurus Dust- black tea with ripe raspberry and blackberry vanilla sweetness. I’m especially fond of Riddle’s dessert varieties, and these flavors are not over-the-top. Medium bodied with a refreshing berry tang, pleasant fruity-floral notes and balanced astringency. Adding a splash of cream created a cup of soothing oblivion.
A pair of faceted amethyst crystals came in a mesh string bag. They remind me of jagged glowing teeth and shall provide a boost of spiritual energy to any spell-conjuring session.The theme of divination continues with the non-tea exclusive items also included in the boxes.
Planchette coaster– An intriguing item, which I first assumed was a piece of decorative art to be displayed. And functional art it is, according to the enclosed Story Card it serves to keep your spaces safe from evil spills. A well crafted, thick but lightweight wooden coaster scrolled with moon phases, triangular symbols, the tea shop’s name and Latin expression loosely translated as, “The power to command magic drinks”. Another creative partnership with Juniper and Ivy Designs shop.The Magician Tarot card- each box contains an original print, Autumn’s is a rendering of the Dark Lord as the Magician. Surrounded by levitating horcruxes, those magical objects from which Voldemort draws power and life-sustaining energy. According to The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot, The Magician card can signify many things…a master of the elements, power and creativity, a forceful and confident nature, it also represents the will, the mind focused on a goal and possible corruption. A fitting black and white drawing that will make a striking bookmark.Borgin’s Finest All-Purpose Ritual Candle– in collaboration with Tookish Candle Co., a shop I’ve been dying to try because of numerous hobbit references, this is a fun product. Borgin and Burkes is located in the curious Knockturn Alley. I’d love a chance to explore the shadowy shops. A light crisp fragrance, perhaps bergamot with a note of powdery freshness and woods arises. Unoffensive, a perfect 2 oz. flame for invocations…summoning, hexes, unforgiveables and all your curse needs.
Morsmorde Pin- That powerful incantation used by only the inner circle of Death Eaters as a calling card. Morsmorde summons the Dark Mark in the sky, as warning or signal of death. The most highly detailed DETC pin yet, black enamel and burnished silver metal outline a serpentine snake offset by deathly hallows, zodiac symbols and charms. A large piece with double clutch backs, it’s a quality addition to my geeky pin collection.DETC sticker- Depicting the same mysterious image as the Morsmorde pin; I’ll have to think of a creative display for these stickers. Juli’s partner, Joe, designs the boxes which are always magical, but this one conjures extra spooky feelings.
A paper scrap from the rival Auror Tea Society was tucked inside, an allusion to the storyline of opposing societies of death eaters vs. aurors. All should be revealed in the final DETC Winter box, which will be arriving in a month and sounds incredible. Some are still available, but don’t sleep on it, it’s the last chance to grab ’em.
Have you tried Riddle’s Tea Shoppe or have other fandom-inspired tea goods to share?