I’m an avid tea drinker, usually consuming ungodly amounts each day. I prefer loose leaf teas, especially oolongs, though when I’m desperate enough, I’ll drink just about anything. With how important tea is in many cultures, it’s no surprise that there board games that revolve around nothing more than the divine drink. Here’s a list of five games released over the past year or so that are all about tea.
All of these games are on my “to play” list. Being fairly new, I haven’t had a chance to try all of them out yet, though I’ve played at least one! There are plenty of other tea-based games on the market that are pre-2019, but I really wanted to focus on newer titles. Each game in the list has some connection to tea, whether it’s trading it, growing it, dining with it, or caring for adorable dragons that grow it on their backs.
A standalone, two-player game in the Chai series, Tea for 2 has merchants facing off against each other securing boats to ship tea while producing green, white, oolong, yellow, black, and the Pu’er teas. Chai: Tea for 2 will be hitting Kickstarter soon, but there’s always the original to hold you over until then!
A worker placement game where players run their own tea estates and assist in building the Darjeeling and Himalayan Railway. The game revolves around Darjeeling tea but is more about the actual building of the railroad. A Nice Cup of Tea has historical elements to it that any tea buff would drink right down.
Humble Tea Party is a Japanese set collection game featuring confections consumed at a tea party. The interesting twist here is you’re trying to raise the score of your opponents. Keep your own score low to be the most humble and win the game. Be careful, though. Each player has a “special season” that will score extra points if they pack a treat that matches. Keep those treats out of your set to make sure your score stays down!
Formosa Tea is another worker placement game about cultivating oolong tea in Taiwan. Properly dehydrate and scent Formosa oolong tea to satisfy both domestic and international customers. A good harvest and high-quality leaves will lead players to victory. Out of all the games on the list, Formosa Tea seems to deal the most with the actual tea harvest and production.
So technically, this game is about caring for tea dragons, which produce delicious teas when happy. It’s a fantasy based on the incredibly popular Tea Dragon Society comics. Autumn Harvest is a deck-building game that stands on its own or expands the original Tea Dragon Society game. It’s super cute, family-friendly, and will have you pining for your very own tea dragon friend.
Are you thirsty for some new games yet? I know I am.
I also am thirsty for some more tea, even though I’m currently only around half-way done with the cup I’m currently drinking (a lovely earl grey with hints of coconut and vanilla.) If you’ve got a favorite game involving tea, or just a favorite tea, leave a comment below and share your opinion.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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