There are tea drinkers, and there are non-tea drinkers, and never the twain shall understand each other. In a coffee-powered world, tea-drinkers are often seen as quaint and old-lady-ish. To be fair, there are some drinkers like that, but it’s hardly the only stereotypical tea-lover.
We all have our own ways of appreciating and interpreting the fine art of tea making In fact, those of us who enjoy our daily cuppa note our own various stereotypes within our ranks … such as:
These folks take an already robust tea with a lot of body and a bit of a bite, steep it for ten minutes or more, and add just barely enough milk to make it less cola-colored. This is normally considered a “breakfast tea,” but the Strong drinkers prefer it this way all the time.
The Weak drinkers are the ones for whom tea is practically a dairy product. They start with barely-steeped water and add a couple cows’ worth of milk. This is sometimes (inaccurately) referred to as a “light tea” due to the absence of anything that would give it a darker color. Like tea.
The Straight Blacks
This has nothing to do with racial or sexual profiling. We’re talking about those who take their tea black, straight out of the pot. This is for those whose sense of machismo demands that they drink one step above the Strongs. It’s also for people like students who can’t actually afford milk …
Three spoons of sugar in your tea? Hah! Amateur! These drinkers pour sugar right out of the bowl. For them, tea isn’t tea if you actually have to taste the tea. To each his own, I suppose, but it does raise a question: at what point does it stop being tea and start being stucco?
The drinkers who must have their tea Just. So. Using a clean, dry teaspoon, place exactly 2.5g of tea in a clean, pre-heated teapot. Gently pour 220ml of fresh, once-boiled water onto the tea leaves and leave for 2.24 minutes. Drink only from genuine Stoke-on-Trent porcelain mugs.
These easygoing tea drinkers have no tea preference whatsoever: whatever you have is fine. Milk? Sugar? Either way. These drinkers can be very accommodating, but one has to wonder about their dedication: being able to go beyond a favorite is polite. Not HAVING a favorite seems sketchy …
For this crowd, tea is first and foremost an excuse to snack. None of that finger-sandwich nonsense, either: if you’re not hauling out the biscuit tin, well then nevermind. Lavender honey cupcakes or a white chocolate toffee scone would work nicely, but they’ll settle for shortbread.
Only for the adventure-minded (or easily bored), selections for these drinkers can range from Lapsang Souchong or Taiwanese Formosa Red to any one of the million or so Celestial Seasonings flavors. Some of them might be quite tasty, but at some point ya gotta, you know, pick a freakin’ lane …
The purists in the crowd just gave a collective gasp: Using a Keurig for TEA? Blasphemy! Well, maybe, but it happens. As one expert says, tech isn’t inherently good or evil: it’s simply a tool. While few people would suggest K-cups make the best tea, some busy people consider it a matter of necessity.
And then, as we said at the beginning, you’ve got those oddities that don’t care to drink tea at all. Tea drinkers have a tendency to ask what’s wrong with them, but I’ve always felt that wasn’t the question: It’s not a matter of “What’s wrong with you that you don’t drink tea?” but rather “You don’t drink tea: THAT’s what’s wrong with you.”
Of course, I may be biased …