Being Judged For Enjoying Tea?

We all know that in this day and age, especially in the western world, tea is completely misunderstood by the majority of people. But I just wanted to know, am I the only one who actually sometimes gets judged in a negative way for my passion?

My friends crack jokes about it, my parents actually get ANGRY at me for spending money that I earn on tea because they feel that it’s a waste of money, and now my psychiatrist actually told me that my tea drinking is unhealthy and that it’s an obsessive-compulsive behavior and that I should try to stop drinking tea.

It just blows my mind, and frankly it drives me crazy. I just don’t understand the fact that just because somebody else doesn’t understand what I see in tea, or how therapeutic it is, they have to look down on it and dismiss it as compulsive behavior. They just don’t understand how significant tea can be to some people, for me it’s almost a spiritual connection. It provides me with pure joy and comfort and helps me out in tough times. So yes, I suppose it is a bit of a coping mechanism sometimes, but what exactly is wrong with it?

Does anyone else deal with things like this?

67 Replies
Kittenna said

Well, it’s a far cry from destructive things like alcohol and drugs… I’m only judged on it because I have accumulated an unhealthy amount (my roommates are threatening me with an intervention; I think they just want my tea. Which I am happily offloading on them if I don’t like it.) I have spent a lot of money, but that’s not negatively affecting me as I have kept my spending within my means.

In your case, I think people just don’t understand, and that’s unfortunate. As long as your tea obsession does not interfere with your daily life (for example, you no longer go out because you drink tea all the time or something), and you have money to buy food/pay bills if that’s necessary, I think it’s perfectly acceptable and quite healthy! Parents get mad about anything their children spend lots of money on, probably because they want us to save it. Your friends cracking jokes is probably pretty typical (I get that, I don’t mind it), but your psychiatrist saying that? … That’s surprising. I’d like to hear what other people have to say on that. The only thing a counsellor I was seeing had to say to me was that talking to people on Steepster did not really count as being social :P

Missy said

lol can I kick him in the knee and have it not really count because I’m from steepster? ;)

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I am judged by my family. They think I consume way too much tea. But more than that, I get teased (and sometimes it is hurtful) about tea filling the house – that it’s everywhere.

However, while I was attending counseling (I am agoraphobic, and I haven’t been to my therapist for many months now, mostly because I don’t want to go out… I feel like she’s gotten to know me too well, and that isn’t giving with my mind… and I feel uncomfortable there now … but that’s another story) … however, she didn’t seem to think that my “obsession” with tea was unhealthy, on the contrary, she was glad that I had something that gave me joy.

I don’t think it’s obsessive compulsive behavior to drink tea. Then again, I don’t know a lot about ocd. I think that those around us need to look at it a different way. This is something that makes us happy.

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WtFGoD said

i don’t really think people get judged too often for drinking tea, as its seen as a positive/healthy thing to do. it seems its people close to you in your click/family who have deemed it unusual who have the issue.

while tea is generally seen as a good/healthy habit, moderation is always important, so ill play the devils advocate. it seems like your actual consumption of tea is not the issue here, just the way you go about it. assuming you prioritize tea above normal activities in a way that it interferes with a healthy lifestyle or socialization it may be an issue.

as far as spending money again moderation, as long as you are spending within your means/ allocating an appropriate(subjective to an extent) amount of your income i dont see why it would be an issue.

also keep in mind that friends/family often joke, not to be malicious just to poke fun at others quirks. just remember there’s always two sides to the coin, if i was you i would take a look at my situation assess if there is any merit. if there is work with close friends/family to correct the issue. if not i would talk it over with my friends/family let them know you enjoy this ‘hobby’ and you would appreciate it if they respect your choices, and ask them to be more careful with their words.

these are just thoughts in general that might give you some insight, misunderstandings are very common and the best way to straighten them out is often to address them head-on in an honest/respectful/understanding way. (in my experience)

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This post made me remember this video http://youtu.be/txBBvPt64Zk

In my experience, it seems people in my life think it’s weird that I have a big selection of tea.

The other tea drinkers I meet often just have 6 or less kinds of boxed bagged tea in their house, like a fruity green or white, earl grey or english breakfast, and chamomile and figure that’s the only types of tea one needs and the rest is just silly novelty.
Or I know types that would buy the bigger bag of loose leaf tea (sucked into a volume or free tin deas) and would drink the whole thing before they would buy more to try a new flavor. Those types would think I buy too much tea and all the tea I have will go bad.

Like others said, if tea is interfering with ones life then it’s an issue – as an addiction/dependence issue. For example, spending all your money, stopping you from working or being effective at work, not going out and seeing friends and family.
Of course, another point is if you need tea to function each day – however this needs to be explored more as it could be caffeine as the culprit – similar to how coffee drinkers need a cup to wake up. In addition, theres lots of arguments that caffeine is beneficial for some things.

IE, someone isn’t an alcoholic because they have an impressive wine collection and have a glass each night with their dinner. They are if they need a drink to function each day, they blow all their money at the bar, they miss work or work performance sucks from drinking, drink in excess to harm their body and their family doesn’t see them anymore.

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JC said

I laughed a bit with this discussion, in other words… I relate. As far as ‘addicition’ well, as far as behavior goes EVERYTHING can be addictive and everything can become unhealthy as all obsessive behaviors can be. But there NOTHING wrong with loving tea and making ‘your drink’ the same as most people in the US drink carbonated drinks I think is unfair to be judged for ‘drinking too much tea’ by someone who starts their day with a liter of soda.

At work I’ve had co-workers and supervisors say something like ‘oh, its “twig” time?’ in the most contemptuous tone you could use while stuffing their face in some frozen meal. Just enjoy tea, and laugh at their remarks. Eventually people get curious enough and end up asking you for advice about tea or just a try of yours.

I’ve actually ‘converted’ MANY at my work place. It started as a chuckle followed by remarks, then it slowly progressed into questioning, then more informative questions and eventually turned into ‘where can I get some?’. Tea is practically ‘reborn’ in U.S. culture, to some people tea ‘started making its way in here’. And lets face it, Tea rules.

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momo said

My mom doesn’t seem to get it though I have gotten her to buy some by proxy (like I asked for something for Christmas so she ordered some for her) except then she doesn’t drink it. When I like to talk about tea, she doesn’t care. My grandparents though seemed intrigued but I think more because they had no idea so much existed in the world of tea so it’s something new to them. I know I have too much, and that irritates my mom, but my boyfriend, who I actually see far more often than her given distance, says I drink more tea than he drinks coffee…and he drinks A LOT of coffee. So I am not too worried about being able to drink everything I have.

I don’t have too many friends but for the most part nobody’s a jerk about it. Or we’ll see, I mean I’m out in the middle of nowhere with car friends right now and I wonder if anyone thinks I’m crazy for bringing stuff to make tea. Then again when these guys carry around coolers for their beers, a small shopping bag that’s holding both tea stuff and stuff so I can bake a cake later is easy travels!

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Helena said

Well my parents call me a tea snob since I won’t drink most bagged teas. My boss jokes about my “fancy” teas. Mostly my parents are worried about me spending too much money as I’m going back to school (college) and I am cutting back on work hours so I have time to study and sleep. Other than all that no one really cares and I’d tell them to mind their own business. Something I say alot to people who keep trying to convert me to vegatarian… I like meat and cow milk so sue me :D

Scott B said

To phrase it more accurately you should say “I support cruelty and slaughter of innocent animals so that I can have a burger and a milkshake-food that I have no nutritional need for and that will kill me sooner.” You must be proud.

JC said

Well, that escalated quickly. I just hope it was a extreme sarcastic joke that went over my head. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, I eat healthy and rarely but surely enjoy meat.

No need for hate from either side. On a ‘ecological’ and sustainability oriented opinion… well support companies that respect nature and understand sustainability… or not. This is a tea community, hate you we can do in FB.

Helena said

No hate here. I just don’t see the difference between plants and animals. They are both alive. I respect that you have a different opinion and different religous views :D Life wouldn’t be worth much if we were all the same :D I also just hate pushy people and I used vegan/vegetarian as an example I didn’t mean that all people who don’t eat meat are like that. Some relgions can also be pretty pushy. I could’ve used some door-to-door salesman as another example. You should do what’s right for you and not let other people decide who you should be or what you do. In cliche terms just be yourself and follow your heart :D

JC said

I meant Scott’s comment. I respect all ways of life, and even if I didn’t I’m not going to criticize it in a tea related post. Lets just drink some tea.

DaisyChubb said

Amen to that JC!
And good response Helena.

Missy said

Can I yell out Stranger Danger here? It feels like Scott B is stalking you a bit. Perhaps we should offer him a nice cup of tea?

Helena said

No Missy, I’ve had one of those IRL and it’s a completely different ball of wax. We probably just like the same discussions. I’m up for a nice cup of tea, just about to try the Berry Rooibos Epi Tea sent me :D

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Lynxiebrat said

I only started on loose tea drinking in April/May of this year. Due to financial constraints I am unable to spend as much money as I would like on tea and accessories. Which I hate, but after reading this discussion, maybe it’s just as well, because I think it could all to easily turn into an addiction for me. As yet, no one is judging me for drinking tea, my Dad has worried about how much I spend on it, and while he drinks tea, he prefers Bigalow’s Earl Grey or Constant Comment Tea bags. (Nothing wrong with that, I just wish he would be more adventurous in trying out different teas. My StepMom will occasionally agree to try out some teas, but she might be just humoring me. My Mom likes tea (not sure if it is loose or bagged.) if we’re at a Chinese restaurant, or loose tea at a tea house, but doesn’t see the point beyond bagged at home. The few friends that I got seem to be amused about my tea drinking/collecting at the moment.

Helena said

I started drinking loose tea at the end of June this year, that’s also when I joined Steepster :D I’ve been spending a fair amount but that’s a phase. It’s like when your a kid and you just discover candy. All of a sudden you want to try it all… I’ve cut back and won’t be spending anymore until Birthday/Christmas money comes in. (or by some miracle I get some overtime) and then I can order more :D

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KallieBoo! said

I actually had my dentist tell me that my tea drinking habit was responsible for decaying my teeth.. We then had an argument about it. He gave me a special mouthwash to use two times a day and come back in 6 months.
So as the story goes.. I ditched the mouthwash :] Never used it once. Just to see if tea was really the problem I started drinking it A LOT MORE, and even gargled with it sometimes. I went back 6 months later and he said, “WOW! You’re teeth have gotten a lot better! They look really healthy! I’m glad that mouthwash worked for you.”
I smiled and said, “I actually never used the mouthwash.. just drank lots of tea.” He gave me a blank stare then told me he’d see me next time and to have a good day.

My aunt and other family members call me “strange” and tell me that I’m a hippie (honestly, I’m not offended by the hippie thing. It’s more of a compliment :D) when I talk about/drink tea in front of them. But I can still get them to try most of it.

Kittenna said

If your tea has milk in it and is sweetened, I can definitely see how it could be responsible for decaying your teeth. However, if it isn’t… what a jerk :P

KallieBoo! said

Haha I’ve never been one for milk and sugar. I think he was having a bad day haha

Azzrian said

Good for you! :)

I’m now curious to know, what was the mouthwash?

KallieBoo! said

Hmm it was some time ago so I can’t remember the name but it was in a white sample bottle and tasted like soap. It supposedly had a good amount of fluoride (or something..) in it. But I was also prescribed tummy acid pills (I’ve been known to have a lot of tummy aches.. and they thought that might be the problem too) to take at night, so maybe that helped a little too :)

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Zeks said

Basically – there are two ggroups of ppl for me:
1) Those who I know remotely. Of them, those who know of my tea obsession do make jokes about it (some even made remarks like “loose leaf is against Russian culture, open your eyes, it’s not for us”) Can’t say they are too annoying though
2) Those who I know in real life. In this case I just let them try some of my tea and they stop joking immediately :) Some even asked me to order the same tea for them.

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