Over the years, this little teapot has had occasion to observe my humans rather closely (in fact, sometimes, especially when they are gobbling up the tea time goodies, I have observed a little too closely). And I have been educating them along the way on the ins and outs of tea. As such I have seen some things that they, and probably many humans, have done and/or learned to do over the years. Here are some. #TOOOT!
3 Types of Tea Drinkers
I have observed both in my humans and in others that tea drinkers can generally fall into 3 categories. (You may think of some more categories, but I think this pretty much covers the spectrum.) Sometimes, humans even shift from one category to another during the day, drinking tea in the morning for one reason, in the afternoon for another reason, and at night for the third reason.
1 – The Pleasure Tea Drinker
Many humans truly love the flavor of tea in all its variations, with or without anything added, hot or iced. Starting the day without that morning cuppa, be it English Breakfast, Tie Guan Yin, or even Matcha, would be incomprehensible. The sheer joy of the aromas and flavors make that day start out right. And then there is that Elevenses tea time and Afternoon Tea – moments that the pleasure drinker looks forward to for its sensory delights.
2 – The Tea Drinker Seeking Health Benefits
Tea has a long list of health benefits associated with it. Some are supported by actual controlled studies while others come from centuries of anecdotal evidence. People, hopefully with the approval of their doctors, imbibe various styles of teas to take advantage of those benefits, which range from healthy skin and hair to preventing cancer (sadly, a recent study has shown that tea doesn’t cure cancer once it has begun and might actual worsen it by speeding up cancer cell growth). Along the way, many humans seeking these health benefits become tea aficionados and expand their range of sipping pleasure.
3 – The Tea Drinker Seeking a Higher Purpose
This type of tea drinker pays close attention to every tidbit of tea news that comes along, not always substantiating it, though, and can base their tea drinking choices on that information. On the plus side, this can send a message to those tea growers and companies that mistreatment of workers or bad agricultural practices will not be tolerated. On the minus side, it becomes easy for false and purposely misleading information to be posted and thus become a tool for strong-arming a company into caving to demands that may not be good for all involved. As long as you know that the information is reliable, you’re fine.
No matter which of the above you are (and most of you will be a combination of 2 or even all 3), I wish you happy tea drinking.
5 Signs That Your Taste for Tea Is Evolving
Years ago my ‘she’ human drank Earl Grey. Nothing but Earl Grey. With breakfast. With lunch. With dinner. And in-between. Then I came along and helped her taste for tea evolve. Not so much an evolution to a higher state. Just to a different state, since Earl Grey is a fine tea.
Some signs that your tea taste is evolving:
1 – Former Fave Tea Abandoned
Suddenly that tea you used to love is moved to the back of the cupboard and is gathering dust. Your new fave tea or teas claim the front spot now to be within easy reach when that urge to steep strikes.
2 – Steep Vessel Upgrade
That quick teabag dunk in tepid water in your tea mug is no longer cutting it. You switch to loose leaf tea. You seek out some steeping vessel that is more traditional such as a nice ceramic, porcelain, or fine bone china teapot.
3 – Tea Reunion Turns Out Well
Some teas you haven’t tried in awhile because you didn’t think they were all that great are suddenly calling your name, so you give them another chance. This time you actually like them. Part of the reason is that when you first tried them, you couldn’t appreciate their subtleties (this happens a lot with white teas which to many people taste so mild that they are virtually tasteless).
4 – Latest Tea News Has Big Impact
You read that the tea crop (for your fave kind) is going to be too short due to drought or hungry bugs, bountiful due to a last-minute crop-saving rainfall and a flock of birds that ate the bugs, or some other news that could impact the supply of tea, both up or down. Your mood adjusts accordingly.
5 – Tea at Meal Times Is Now a Must
Not only do you drink more tea at meal times, but those meals turn into tea and food pairing events. You even set your menu to go with that floral oolong or that smoky Lapsang Souchong.
Such an evolution could well be called a revolution. Let your taste evolve and see where it leads you.
10 Signs That You’re a Picky Tea Drinker
First, I have to assure you that this little teapot is not picking on you humans for being picky tea drinkers. Quite the contrary. Celebrate your pickiness — my humans certainly do. You’re not all mainstream nor fit into the same mold. One-size-fits-all is not the best policy for tea any more than it is for socks and pantyhose. But how do you know that you’ve crossed the line between “selective” and “downright picky” — especially where tea is concerned?
Signs of a true picky tea drinker (presented in reverse order à la those cheesy late night TV shows):
10 – Avoiding the Teabag
When the waitress in the restaurant hands you their standard teabag, you avoid touching it any more than is absolutely necessary to steep your cuppa “tea” or whatever that stuff is.
9 – Waiting for That Tea Shipment
You no longer purchase teas from the local grocery store, even when you are totally out at home, opting instead to sip on warm water until the next shipment arrives from your fave tea vendor. You try not to sit at the window to watch for the delivery truck.
8 – Organized Storage of Teas
You implement a computerized tea storage system in your home to assure that teas are reordered in time to arrive before your on-hand stock runs out, thus avoiding #9 as much as possible.
7 – Water Purity
You install a water purification system in your home to be sure the water you use for your tea is free of stuff that could make your tea taste funny, especially chlorine and chloramine, commonly used in municipal water systems and therefore in your tap water.
6 – Longer Selection Times
The clerk at the tea store who has been helping you select teas was clean shaven when you first came in that day but is now showing a bit of 5-o’clock shadow and you still haven’t selected from the choices he’s shown you.
5 – Home Tea Tasting Sessions
You regularly buy new teas and set up your own professional-style tea tasting, complete with those white tasting mug sets, for yourself alone!
4 – Tea Steeped Wrong!
You toss your tea down the drain because it’s a Longjing (Dragonwell) green tea which everyone knows has to be steeped gongfu-style in a Yixing clay teapot or glass gaiwan to taste it’s best but someone dared to steep it in a regular teapot and you’d rather waste the tea than assault your tastebuds.
3 – Your Personal Tea Collection
You just completed your collection of antique gaiwans, kyusus, yixing teapots, and other Asian teawares and that special shipment of aged pu-erhs, Fujian whites, and other topline teas arrived courtesy of your “tea scout” who travels the tea growing regions of the world to bring you only the best.
2 – Making Room for More Tea
You rented a storage unit to store excess furniture such as your bed, chest of drawers, and other frills so you have enough room to properly store and display your newly completed collection of specialized teawares for preparing and enjoying tea.
1 – Tea vs. Job Promotion
You were offered a job promotion but it would have meant moving to another city away from your favorite tea shop so you turned it down. Hey, you have your priorities, right?
So, how did you do?
If you agree with numbers 10, 9, and 8 above, you are “selective”; with numbers 7, 6, and 5, you are “refined”; and numbers 4 thru 1 — congratulations, you are a full-fledged Picky Tea Drinker!
Picky Can Be Good
Stay picky, tea drinkers!
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Hi, humans, this site is under my editorial excellence. I, your lovable and sassy Little Yellow Teapot, authors articles on tea, etc., and edit the occasional guest article. All in the interest of helping you humans have a better tea experience. TOOOT!
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