How do others in your life view/experience your “relationship” with tea?

93 Replies
Kashyap said

they respond with humor, endearment, and the assurance that I will always be a nerd at something…it feeds into concepts of fellowship and the give of sharing experiences I think most of all….and while a few tease me and toss around the idea of tea-elitism they know thats not my projection but rather a simptom of a culture that has lost its way with regards to slowing time down enough to share in an intimate, sensory way….most try to encourage me to open my own shop, or to publish my recipies that I use tea in…but most just seem to enjoy having a chance to feel excitement from my clear enthusiasm and perchance have a cup of something new…

Nice that you have the responses of support and endearment! It says a lot about your friends and family. There are so many comments about snobbery, and rolling of eyes that I have seen—and I keep my tea addiction (?) on the down low like so much in my life to avoid any more negativity. :)
I’ve been a band-nerd, science-geek, buddhist-geek, and now a tea-geek… and yet they all weave together just fine for me!

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Ian Krouth said

The funniest thing is when people assume I’m going to be snotty about it, and get all worried when they want to talk or ask about tea in my presence. It’s like, dude, being an asshole about tea kind of defeats the purpose, for me.

My SO could really take or leave tea. He’ll usually try whatever I’m brewing in the spirit of fair play, but he almost never requests tea of his own volition. My sister was an ardent coffee fan until a few years ago when I bought her a small cast iron pot and a few tins of intro tea. I figured even if she doesn’t like the tea, the pot is beautiful and makes a great centerpiece (she’s a Hostess with a capital H). She just bought her second teapot a few weeks ago; I’m so proud!

The weirdest or hardest thing is forgetting that other tea drinkers are not always as ardent as I am. My parents, for instance. They drink some tea and enjoy it, and are willing to go through the work for loose leaf. But every time I go home I bring them some news teas, just an ounce or two of ones I think they might like to try. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that they still have some of the very first teas I bought for them, well over a year ago. When they call themselves tea drinkers what they mean is that they serve it to guests and have a cup maybe once a week, if that. It was a funny realization.

Ian Krouth said

It really helps that I work in the beverage industry, I suppose. Most of my random friends/acquaintances from the last few years either love tea as much as I do, or at least like having me around to answer all their casual-drinker questions. :-)

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MaddHatter said

Hmmm, I don’t get too many comments from people, and most of the friends that I drag to DAVIDs or Murchies usually come with out too much complaint. I know that the Hubby’s reaction varies depending on how he is feeling.

Like tonight, I forgot to replace the bunny’s water bottle in my excitement to buy a tea pot. My first tea pot, and the Hubby is mocking me about priorities… Doot-dah-doo… She has a water dish!

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Brittany said

My boyfriend is just as much as a tea drinker as I am. He’s very into Chinese greens, but lately I’ve been converting him with Japanese greens. It’s my evil plan, haha.

My family doesn’t really care. I’ve tried to encourage them to try different tea, but they’re never interested. My brother says he just isn’t as sophisticated as me, haha. Every time I let my mom take a sniff of my tea she gives me this funny face, which always leaves me confused.

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My mom and sister couldn’t really care. It hardly ever comes up, so it’s just a null topic there… something to be mentioned if they call and I’m having a cup or something, but that’s it.

My husband has expressed that he’s happy with my hobby of tea. He likes that tea and wine are hobbies for me, not just casual drinks. He likes how I’m learning to taste them better, about how they’re grown and produced, etc. He doesn’t get into it, but he will taste the occasional sip I offer him if I find something I think is interesting or good or maybe to his taste. His only negative about it is how much space in the kitchen it’s starting to take up… two shelves we put up for this purpose and the top of one of the wine fridges lol.

I hear you about the kitchen space. My wife had similar concerns, and for awhile she was afraid I would take the whole counter over; but we have since talked it over, I have made some commitments around space usage, and now it’s all good.

You put up shelves for tea? Wow, that’s more than I can say (I have taken over one of four ‘coveted’ shelves in our pantry). Just the other day, she reminded my how lucky we are that we even have a pantry to store most of the tea stuff in (as we have lived in places without a pantry before).

In a tea related incident, one thing my wife has gotten mad at me recently was over a salsa jar. I LOVE to re-use jars, and one salsa jar was almost empty—-well, now that I think about it, it was almost full. :-} So I put the salsa in a Tupperware, and cleaned out the said-jar so I could soak the lid with the other three I already had (vinegar and baking soda, then hydrogen peroxide in the sun). I understand her anger, since if I remember right the salsa can stain the Tupperware (if it’s in there too long). I think that’s why she didn’t like it. Although, in the end, even though it’s hard to get the smell out of the lids, 16 oz salsa jars are great for storing tea!

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My coworkers all joke about my tea obsession (and my teas), especially after I got a couple of them hooked. One of my coworkers refers to it as “that crack tea.”
When I was visiting Austin recently, I was staying with some friends. My mom came over for a little tea tasting. I had some really nice high-mountain oolongs and some dragonwell. They laughed a little at the rhetoric about the leaves and buds and the measurement. I guess it reminded them a little of something else green and leafy. But they all respected my obsession after they tasted it. In fact, my mom shortly thereafter began asking me about the proper tea ware to use to brew the Da Yu Ling that I gave her.
So far, everyone who has tried my teas after rolling their eyes, have either asked me for more or at least don’t roll their eyes anymore.

Very creative account-photo (I’m not sure what to call it, the tea guy/girl with smoke wafting above a teacup head, and a cape). I like my account-photo, as I made it myself—-Woo, hoo!—-but I’d like something a little better; I don’t consider myself an artist, per se, but I do like to create, stuff. Do you have any ideas for how to create my own, Steepster-Icon, or maybe its called a Steepster-Avatar?

MaddHatter said

This reminds me of 2 excited co-workers who were more than happy to come to a Summer Camp Site where the manager (moi) loves tea as much as they do… but then there is the 1 co-worker, who can’t understand tea… well it’s been 7 weeks and I think it is more like a “couldn’t” understand my “obsession”

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kuanyin said

I got a box of tea from China yesterday and my husband asks me if it is some sort of “special” tea? What? To make me fly or gain super intelligence? Lose that 50 pounds? I said “It’s TEA.” I should have said “It’s ALL special!” I don’t bother with people I know for understanding, that’s why I turn to forums.

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Eibhilin said

My SO works at World Market, so he’ll occasionally bring me samples from whatever they’re sampling at the time. He’s really particular about the teas he likes, and seems to prefer drinking just about anything else, but he’s very accepting of my habit.

My mother has a horrible tendency to offer me Lipton sun tea every time I see her over the summer, every summer. Since I was like five. She’s always had a small stash of grocery store black teas. She kind of gets it, but then again for her it’s “just tea”.

My sis is practically my partner in crime. Reminds me I have some pouches to send her… we agree on most teas, but due to the flavors we both like, if one of us doesn’t like something we buy the other generally does. We stalk our favorite vendors for updates, squeal over AIM when we find something new or interesting, send “care package” samplers.

I don’t think I’ve ever been embarrassed by my tea addiction, haven’t really received any outright criticism. When I was working at a supplement store, three of my other coworkers were more obsessed with their tea than I was. We’d even get a lot of vendor samples, and there was a huge tea stash in our break room. Ahh reminds me of the first time I ever tried mate. Mmmm mate…

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Tea is quite a routine breaker and a pause in the seemingly fast paced attitude of this age. I have to say, its almost quite alien to allot of people who thinks coffees and teas are just a day’s enhancer to get things done…drink it, get pumped by it, do stuff and not think about anything it later on. The mentality so goes, "why brew loose tea in 5 minutes of 15 minute max than buy gallons of the stuff at a “TarBucks” or a CoffeeBean and down the stuff all the while shopping" attitude I see among my dear friends and family. Others think that tea is a drink that is purely a “crutch” to say at least to cure ills not a pleasurable drink which it is primarily one anyway! Nutritional benefits are just a bonus but the experience of communion among a warm crowd around hot kettles and cups. But among us Steepterites and anyone who has a curious eye to our antics and have ample time for a cup, is one magical instance where seemingly the world is timeless, the body is calm and a city’s rush and pressure all disappears. Boundaries all vanishes, attitudes turns all warm, common ground take place and friends are made! The final thoughts in a person’s mind who is quite seemingly lost in the bustle and toil of a modern life would ask the question; "Why did I pass up such an experience with tea? Its not just a drink nor a fix but something so basic that will unite one mind to the world over and more! Need I say more?

You certainly touched on many different topics around tea. What resonates most with me around what you posted concerns the ‘go-go’ pace of life in modern America today (both suburban and urban); and I know that ‘fast paced’ approach to life is not just confined to America, either. Tea certainly can be an avenue through which others (myself included) can find a good reason to slow down and enjoy life.

It looks to me that most—if not all—of what you wrote was more of a general perspective than a specific experience. Do you have any specific experiences to post here? : )

I would say deeply its an experience through my own culture( the one I was raised with), my own personal cultures( customs I adopted), and a hosts culture to which encompasses me. I was raised here in America, but being a Croat initially, tea was firmly entrenched ( though to a lesser extent) just like Turkish coffee and it usually consisted family, the occasional visitor, and sometimes neighbors joining together. If I can remember as far back in my childhood, tea gatherings were a highly social affair bordering in complete obnoxiousness! It was not the usual semi-formal attitude that was expected of the gatherings, but everyday it would be the gossip of the female side of my family and cousins about their husbands gallivanting exploits that usually get the group in the extremes of laughter to full on anger and every now and then there would be a pause to all that commotion like it if they’re pausing to respect what they are drinking! The conversation would continue right after, that type of aspect got me to love tea but the crux is actually getting to drink the tea itself which got me to firmly love it!
I deeply remember my first cup, when I first joined that rowdy tea group to which I questioned allot of what they are doing? Why they are so loud?! Definitely, why they are drinking something that looks so dark and mysterious?! Everyone around warmly smiled, a fresh cup was fetched and my mother poured that magical liquor into the fresh cup. She smiled at me like everyone, almost telling me in heart " just drink it". I looked down at my cup as it looked back while the group got back in the commotion. The aroma was intense, it discouraged at first being somewhat unusual smell but deep down its spiritually enthralling! Much like catching a eye of a long lost love that I never had, and I knew that an effort at least to confront what maybe my truest love in the world! My intuition was right after all, I got my first cup and sipped it and it was like true love! Every sip I took was an warm embrace that has a motherly nurturing feeling, telling me in heart that all was well and that ever fiber of my being soothed, every problem will be melted away. But the most touching of experience is a bond deeply entrenched. A bond far higher than the love of a whole family entirely. A love beyond the most passionate of lovers. A love that pervades the atmosphere, knows no bounds, an agape love to soften the darkest persons and lift those already warm. In that point, a half second of thought, of neurons firing, seems entirely eternal and timeless!
I knew then why my family would go in cahoots, laugh, cry, and be just themselves, for tea is humanity in essence! So much history of wars, suffering, happiness, peace and love, colors, smells, tastes, sights and emotions…that to think a simple leaf could not achieve all that is simply crazy. Take a look at my family and others and you’ll see.
Since then, I took up this tea culture, as I grew I adopted customs around in the cradle of mine that is the world! whether it would be complete strangers in far off lands down to the sensual individual in cafe, a sense of unity and family bounds can create the most interesting of conversations and closure of distance of all. Yes there were the occasional stares mixed with fright or disgust even, but most curious, the most open of souls would come up to me and wonder about the colorful leaves and art of preparing it. I can see in their eyes, something so repressed in them, a sense of being a kid again, colors that would excite and promise the world, smells that would entice and grab hold the most stubborn or souls to lighten up. Experiences like this is what drives me to love tea and get everyone together who normally would tear each others eyes off. I saw throughout my life, that life in the modern sense is far too distracting, insurmountable and expansive to a person who normally carrying on the without much to though to anything than himself or his daily routine and objectives. Eat, play, work, sleep, repeat with slightest alterations, only the most exotic and sentimental and importantly human what gets most people to stop and pause for a second. It was tea among other things that has achieved all that, a communion to which we all want and share.
In retrospect like examples in my college days for example , a class so cold in the beginning that not a whisper, word or expression would be shared among themselves. It took only one person, a person with food or something that everyone will agree with to break that Ice to which has tea like affects in people. In the end, the world specifically affected me to love tea, the many characters, stories, trials and tribulations, and importantly humanity in the midst if the dulling mundane modernity got me to love this shrub.

WOW! What great stories! I especially love hearing how people from different cultures experience Tea.

How great that you so vividly remember your first cup of Tea! It sounds like it was a magical/mystical experience for you.

I like how you tell us the meaning and the feelings that are attached to your experiences. It sounds like—as I tend to do—you look for the deeper meaning of what goes on in the world. Building on some of what you posted, the way I experience tea does not need to be dramatic to get my attention or to remind me of my purpose in the world. Tea’s mere existence gives me joy.

Thank you Anthony Bazic for sharing your experiences and your deeper stream perspectives with us!

I just give an honest perspective on my outlook in tea. Thats it. Being emotional is something inevitable when typing with heart, and something that is so encompassing beckons expressions to adequately put it in the most raw form. Its far more than what can be described in basic terms, which I enjoy posting it on here. I’m glad you it enjoyed and will be posting more and drink on!

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sarai said

A lot of my friends are also passionate about tea. My family humours me when I persuade them to try anything that isn’t a standard or mainstream black… but they always end up liking whatever I’ve made for them. Even though a lot of people can’t decide if the size of me tea collection is neurotic or impressive, they’re almost always okay with it. Especially when I share. :)

This absolutely cracks me up: “Even though a lot of people can’t decide if the size of me tea collection is neurotic or impressive …”! I could see someone using either of those descriptions for my tea cabinet, too! I sometimes use the word, ‘psycho’ to describe my own cabinet due to how much time I put into buying, organizing and labeling all of those wonderful teas.

I’m glad to hear your family ends up liking what you make for them. The more converts, the better, eh?! : )

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