Review: 50 Tea Recipes from the Duchess

by Rakka   Tags: review manga

What: an isekai manhwa featuring a corporate slave whose only joy is tea in all its forms and flavors.

Author: Lee Jiha / Artist: Ant Studio

Duchess Chloé Battenberg is a spineless softy at the mercy of society snobs, disparaging servants, and a cold husband. When an office worker (and recovering pushover) awakens as Chloé, she can’t believe it. But she’s DONE with this pity party, so let’s make it a tea party! Each cup is perfectly brewed to defeat prejudices and coffee-predilections—and served with a side of business savvy—but is it enough to stir her husband and bring Chloé the respect she deserves? Come spill the tea with Chloé!

Where to Read: On Tapas (128 chapters).

50 Tea Recipes from the Duchess Cover

The Good:

  • Lots of information about tea! Different types, regions, preparations, and more are covered; even different kinds of teaware.
  • Art is generally cute, especially chibi faces.
  • The relationship setup is maybe a bit hackneyed, especially for the isekai genre, but actual progression between the leads at least saves the relationship from being boring, and both characters are likable on their own merits.
  • In that vein, we get to see a mutually supportive relationship that (tastefully) acknowledges that couples actually can be physically intimate.

The Bad:

  • Chloé is a bit of a wish-fulfillment Mary Sue who can do no wrong and is infinitely generous and patient. By the end, it starts to get rather tiring.
  • Consequently, any drama to advance or set up the plot feels a bit forced and unnecessary, or that it’s only there to make the main character more likeable.
  • Worse, some extremely forced drama at the end makes a character annoying to have around and drags out the already inevitable conclusion.

Overall: 3/5. A solid read, especially if you like tea, but it doesn’t quite make the bar for my recommendations.

Scale for reference:

  • 1/5: not really worth looking into; you won’t see many of these because I’ll just drop it without bothering to review it.
  • 2/5: probably not worth the time, but you may enjoy it regardless.
  • 3/5: an average to above-average series; may be a 4/5 to fans of certain genres or themes.
  • 4/5: a strong recommendation with some flaws or shortcomings.
  • 5/5: a universal recommendation; one of my favorites. Not necessarily flawless, but has something extremely compelling.