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Introducing The Dilettante Tea Party by The Viridian Tea Company

Late last year in the middle of autumn, I received a most intriguing email from across the water. The Viridian Tea Company, an independent tea creator in Colorado would like to concoct a blend of loose leaf tea specially for The Dilettante, would we be interested?

The timing seemed most auspicious. Serendipitously I had just been clearing out the tea cupboard at the local bistro I was working at at the time (yes, us magazine people have day jobs sadly), sifting through jars of hibiscus, linden and peppermint and admiring the potpourri of scents and shapes. After perusing the amazing array of teas available on the Viridian Tea Company shop, my interest was sealed and I replied to say absolutely.

Curious to find out more about the imaginatively titled blends made by The Viridian Tea Company, I had a chat with founder Kimberly Richardson to learn about her inspirations, ingredients and other creative pursuits.


If you take the original true sense of the word Dilettante - 'to delight in the arts' - then The Viridian Tea Company founder Kimberly Richardson certainly fits the title. A writer, violinist and bona fide tea connoisseur, she has been combining her creative passions into making tea since 2015.

Kimberly was once a self-professed die hard coffee drinker ("I thought that green tea would taste like hay") and it wasn't until she read an article about the health benefits of green tea and tried a brew from Celestial Seasonings that her mind began to change. "From there, I broadened my horizons and tea palate," she explains.


The Butler Did It! (assam, lavender, rose hips, and hibiscus) is a 'thank you to all of the mystery authors of the world', while Siren's Voice (jasmine, lemongrass, passionflower, roses, and dried apples) is inspired by legends of mermaids.

Three samples of loose leaf tea with petals in pinks, greens and blues

In the past seven years Kimberly has attended tea festivals and expos, taken part in Japanese tea ceremonies, became a certified Tea Specialist, and finally decided to experiment in creating her own tea blends under The Viridian Tea Company.

The ingredients alone sound delicious. Using everything from rose petals and elderberry to dried apples and saffron, Kimberly sets her brews apart by the good dose of imagination that is added to each blend. "I want my tea blends to satisfy the soul and be delicious, so I choose ingredients that will give the drinker a cup they’ll never forget."

Inspired by books, artwork, music, and science, a world is conjured within each concoction. The Butler Did It! (assam, lavender, rose hips, and hibiscus) is a "thank you to all of the mystery authors of the world", while the "silky and seductive" Siren's Voice (jasmine, lemongrass, passionflower, roses, and dried apples) is inspired by legends of mermaids. Hypatia's Blend (green tea, sencha, calendula, chamomile, ginger, orange peel, peppermint, mint) is an ode to the Hellenistic mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher Hypatia, who is considered to be the first recorded female mathematician, and Caligula's Herbal Nerve Tonic (chamomile, rose hips, dried orange peel, peppermint, herbal tea, tisane) was invented whilst going down an Ancient Greece research rabbit hole.


"How in the heck can you make tea that will taste like quantum physics?" The answer? White tea blended with spearmint and lemongrass.


One of her favourite concoctions and most popular blends is called Quantum Mechanics. "I love science, especially all things quantum physics, so when the idea came to make an inspired tea blend, my first thought was - how in the heck can you make tea that will taste like quantum physics?" The answer: white tea blended with spearmint and lemongrass, which does indeed sound like it captures the fresh, futuristic elements of mad revolutionary science.

Another mixture, Imported Tea From Pluto, takes inspiration from a world lightyears away from our own. "I always thought that Pluto got a bad rap, so I created a story in which I as a traveling tea merchant landed on Pluto and met the inhabitants. Turns out, they’ve been excelling in all forms of art, including tea, so I struck a deal with them to bring some of their tea back to Earth. The blend is a white tea with cacao nibs and peppermint - like Peppermint Patties!"

With such a far-reaching imagination, it is no surprise that Kimberly is also a writer. Penning "murder mysteries, dark fantasy, literary fiction, cyberpunk, ONE romance, and (ahem) adult fiction," Kimberly sees tea and reading as perfect partners. "I want people to enjoy a good cup of tea that will hopefully transport them to the inspirational source. I want their reading time to be enhanced and enchanted."

Creating blends to accompany her books, she finds that the ingredients and tastes of a story come to light as she writes. "Most if not all of my books have inspired at least one tea blend," she explains. "Order of the Black Silk, is a dark fantasy involving immortal plague doctors and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse who are related to each other: Death is the eldest brother, Pestilence and War are the middle twins, and Famine is the youngest. " And the tea that came of it? A blend of assam tea, lemongrass, dried orange peel, and dried cranberries, to help the reader enter the "Otherworldy city of Cinis."

It isn't only writing that stirs inspiration for Viridian Tea. "My creativity is fuelled by the world and I try to push past my comfort zones of blending." As a violin student she has created two blends that came to to her whilst playing her violin (named 'Frederica') and listening to violin concertos. "Tea changed my life for the better and I am glad for it," says Kimberly.


Introducing The Dilettante Tea Party!

Being ardent arty dabblers ourselves, the idea of combining creative ventures is something The Dilettante is very much in favour of.

After a few weeks of discussing ingredients with Kimberly, she suggested a blend of smoky black tea, ginger, vanilla bean powder and elderberry. I'm not quite sure how she managed to fathom it, but I couldn't have picked a better flavour, and since the tea arrived last week I have been hooked. Refined, dark and full of atmosphere, it is perfect for a cosy evening of reading in silk pyjamas, and has been bringing an air of warmth and elegance to these January days.

Collaborating with Kimberly on our The Dilettante Tea Party blend has been an absolute pleasure, and we highly recommend ordering yourself a bag to brighten up the final days of winter!

Treat yourself to a Dilettante Tea Party by clicking here. There are also many more delicious blends to try via The Viridian Tea Company on Etsy, or give Viridian Tea a follow on Instagram.


Follow The Dilettante around the internet by finding us on Facebook and Instagram or use #TheDilettanteSociety.


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