Photography by © Grace Nuth
In Outlander, the time-swept heroine Claire Randall carves out a purpose for herself as a healer. Deborah Wilkie, the owner of Albion Tea Company, has similarly found her calling among herbs, spices, and flowers.
Rather than using natural ingredients to create healing poultices, however, Wilkie blends them into loose-leaf teas inspired by stories. After discovering Outlander in 2016—the same year she and her husband Brock started their tea company—Wilkie knew she had to translate her newfound literary love into a tea collection.
Albion Tea’s Outlander-inspired line features several teas and a drinking chocolate inspired by characters, settings, and themes from the books. Highlander, the first of these, was inspired by Jaime Fraser and is infused (of course) with single malt scotch. Sassenach represents Claire, with a Ceylon tea base to signify her English background, medicinal rosehips to represent her healing gifts, and, for a pop of color, blue cornflower, a plant known for hardiness in adverse surroundings—also an attribute of Outlander’s heroine.
Creating tea is an art form for Wilkie. When developing a new blend, she researches the inspiration and then, like a true apothecary, chooses a base tea and ingredients and begins mixing and experimenting, brewing samples to taste until it’s perfect.
The Wilkies began their tea adventure as a way to work together doing something they loved, but soon they realized they could use their business as a social enterprise platform to make a difference. They developed an initiative to help aging-out foster youth in the U.S. and the U.K. called Beyond the Brew.
This was possible only with a strong community of supporters—with Outlander enthusiasts making up a large portion of that network.
Not only has Albion Tea’s involvement with Outlander helped the company develop a deep kinship with fans, but Wilkie has also had the opportunity to meet and create personalized tea blends for several cast members of the series. The teas created for Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie), Steven Cree (Ian Murray), Lauren Lyle (Marsali), Ed Speleers (Stephen Bonnet), and Gary Lewis (Colum MacKenzie) are now available as Albion Tea’s CelebriTEA collection.
Connect with Albion Tea Company on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook @albionteaco or visit their website at albionteacompany.com.