Confessions an Addict (Teaholics Anonymous)

Hi Everybody, my name is mumbles something unintelligible and I have a problem. I’m an addict and I need help. I wake up every morning with dry mouth and craving some of that liquid gold, I rush downstairs and put the kettle on, people know not to talk to me, engage me in any sort of activity or expect me to do anything before I have my morning fix.

I work construction so no viable way to have tea through the day which is becoming increasingly problematic. By ten o’clock I’m already craving that next cup, scheming about how I can get my next fix, thinking how close am I to a tea house, is it worth it to deign and get a cup at Starbucks. It’s beginning to effect my performance, I’m preoccupied all day about when I’m going to get my next drink, what new leaves am I going to order what I’m going to have when I get home. My work ethic is suffering, I find it hard to focus throughout the day and formulate plans and goals that don’t revolve around these marvelous leaves.

As soon as I get home I rush to my kettle again to prepare for euphoria, nobody would dare try to interrupt me or attempt to divert my attention to something that does not involve camellia sinensis. I now spend my evening attempting to consume as much and as many different types until my body rejects anymore consumption and begins to shutdown. Ever chasing that nirvanic high. (Nirvanic : of or relating to Nirvana)

It’s begun to effect my relationships and I’ve been distancing myself from people who think tea is something that you get from a bag in the grocery store. When people invite me over for dinner and drinks I ask what kind of tea they have before I accept and then usually bring my mobile tea kit anyways. When friends want to go out for drinks I ask what tea shop they have in mind. I can’t even carry on a normal conversation without bringing up something tea related.

About a month ago a few close friends and family decided to have an intervention and stole all of my tea, I retaliated by going to the courthouse, striping naked and climbing the flagpole, refusing to come down until my tea was returned. This did not end well by any account. Needless to say I now always keep an emergency stash hidden under a loose floorboard.

It culminated this week when I was forced to break up with my girl friend because she thought genmaicha was actually good tea. It’s gone to far I need help, I don’t think I have the strength to do this alone. Help before I allow this to shatter my life, destroy my family, decimate what few relationships I still have and shred what little dignity I am clinging to.

Am I alone, anyone else struggle with tea addiction?

29 Replies

Hmmm. Genmaicha is not good tea? Obviously you have been deprived of the real stuff, and truly are a “Tea Snob” as well as a “Tea Addict.” :)
You should try the genmaicha from Obubu Tea or Den’s Genmaicha with matcha!

Now about your addiction… first it sounds like you need to find yourself a good travel tea tumbler, that looks like a thermos so your construction buds don’t endlessly harass you. Sneaking a sip may help with your withdrawal symptoms. I carry a mobile tea “kit” with me as well, with an ounce or two of my favorite loose leaf tea. sigh.

Is there a rehab for Teaholics? If so, keep me far away. Sip….. sip.

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ssajami said

Rehab? Perish the thought!
I am completely and utterly addicted, and loving every minute of it.

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MaddHatter said

Wow, that is intense… swinging naked from flag poles? I guess it is a good thing my family is accepting of my urges.

Although I am not sure for how long. I do have tea friends who think I am crazy that my selection of teas keeps growing. “You can’t possibly know what is in your cupboard!”

sigh, I just smile and let them have their beliefs. Though I am not sure how much longer my hubby and I will survive. “Two shelves?! TWO?! I thought we agreed on one?! No more than two! Anymore than two and you might have to move out!”

Oh well, I guess I need that bumper sticker that say’s “My husband said anymore tea and he would leave me sip, sip sure was a good trade”


Uniquity said

The other day I had to check my Steepster cupboard to see if I had tried a certain tea/if I owned it. I had been handling my inventory fairly well, but apparently I’ve finally gotten out of hand.

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OK, I admit I judge I am oftentimes not very successful at making my writing humorous, but I do enjoy reading the posts of those of you who are successful at it (and I want to jump in on this one and try my hand at it).

@The Seattle Tea Snob: you certainly do have a way with words. I think I understand where you are coming from. Maybe my own confessions will help.

@MaddHatter: I laughed out loud at your post, as my wife and I have had similar bouts. And I like your comment: “sigh, I just smile and let them have their beliefs.” Exactly! Whatever judgments they have about you and your relationship with tea is about them after all; you can’t change their beliefs about you anyway, now can you? : )

I had Genmaicha once out at a restaurant, and none of us—-including my friend’s wife who is Thai and drinks tea—-thought it was any good. But I do believe, as you state E Alexander Gerster, that there is good Genmaicha to be had out there somewhere, and I am even more willing to believe that Den’s is at least one company who offers a good one!

I don’t think I struggle with a tea addiction, but I can be obsessed about it. Oftentimes, tea certainly seems to be the center of my life. We still have about a half dozen samples and about five other teas I have ordered months ago which I still haven’t tried yet, which are sitting, and waiting … patiently … in our pantry. I don’t normally buy more than I need of anything, and I don’t see having all of that tea as being very ‘simple.’ Yet, there it is.

Every now and then, when perusing tea websites, I get what I call ‘itchy fingers.’ When I come across a tea I have never seen before my mind begins to swim with anticipation, realizing I have struck gold. I begin to seek out more teas in my new-found virtual stream bed, using my all-important pan and sluice-box to sift out the pure finds from the masquerading false ones. My heart begins to race, I start to pant, my blood pressure goes up, and then those simultaneously-beloved-and-dreaded words start to parade across the screen, taunting me, “BUY ME NOW and then GET more of ME for FREE!” and “Today ONLY for SOME-INCREDIBLE% off!” I am ready to cave when that voice—-that wise and yet troubled voice—-whispers to me, “If you don’t buy me now, then who knows, maybe I’ll be gone tomorrow? And then you’ll want me even more, and THEN you’ll be sorry, and you’ll scream out of frustration and agony when I say, ‘I told you so!’” NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Almost unconsciously I begin pointing and clicking, thereby putting the beautiful nuggets into my cart, all the while imagining the soon-to-come event when the beloved new package, having been gifted me by the carrier of wonderful things, happily arrives at my doorstep. After having broken the seal, I lovingly take each find out, holding them up as they glitter in the sunlight streaming in from my kitchen window, opening the artfully packaged tins and bags, slowly inhaling as I take in the rich texture and smells. I immediately begin to brew them with such care, and then… and then, breaking the spell, behind me I hear the voice of a familiar loved one, chiding me, “Honey, so how long was it you said you’d wait until you make your next purchase?” AHHHHHHHHHH!

I don’t, know; is that addiction?

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Sorry….I’d just be an enabler.

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Seattle, I am so glad someone finally said so many of the things I’ve been so ashamed of. Swinging from flagpoles and the like, (in protest) is most embarrassing, in retrospect though at the time it seems that there is no alternative! My family has threatened to call my dentist, and have him explain to me why to much tea is a bad thing! (I hope he’s ethical. I know mum would have him do whatever it takes! eeeep, now that might give me pause)
Thank the tea gods for loose floor boards :)

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Oh STS, I hear you. If you lived in the Midwest I’d invite you over for tea, and you wouldn’t have to bring your mobile tea kit, because I’m pretty well stocked.

And it’s about more than just the leaf, isn’t it? One must have the proper accoutrement and apparatus for tea preparation. When I travel I take my Pino variable temp kettle, my plastic “ingenuitea” style teapot, and a few Finium filters, along with at least a half dozen kinds of loose tea. At the last place I stayed there wasn’t a decent mug to be had (I like to drink my tea out of mugs that hold at least 12 oz) — just tiny little teacups — and I was so disturbed, I went to a local arts and crafts gallery and purchased an $18 mug.

There is no cure for this addiction, I fear. So instead of fighting it, I revel in it, and turn to websites such as this in order to feel enabled and understood.

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Sniff….I thought I was the only one….

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teataku said

I wholeheartedly echo the statements of Infusin_Susan. To me, the joy is not only in the drinking of the tea itself, but also in the ritualistic preparations required to achieve utmost enjoyment. I find myself simply enchanted by the array of gadgets and mugs and timers and sweeteners and carafes that this new hobby has introduced into my life, much in the way that a child entering a new grade is fascinated by his or her new school supplies. He or she sits and stares at them, thinking of all the wonderful things to be accomplished and unlocked with these various accoutrements.

I suppose it is easier for me to be this obsessed because I have someone to share it with. My fiancé and I are both hardcore tea drinkers, and so we each tend to feed the other’s addiction. We each have quite an extensive accumulation of teas… which doesn’t bode well for when we get married, because we will then have to find storage for all of these teas. Which, no doubt, will open up another realm of things to become fantasized over: storage chests and the like.

I very much doubt that there is hope for this condition of mine. My family’s glances askance at my growing tea hoard have done nothing to curb its growth. If being normal means only having tea in moderation, then ab-normalcy is my sure destination.

I also love everything about the process of brewing tea (everything, that is but the digging my tea leaves out of my filter to put into the compost bin, as it’s very messy). I am with you on the enchantment of things that comprise buying, storing, steeping and drinking tea (not to mention how to use the spent tea leaves in some purposeful way). There is so much room for creativity in the wonderful world of tea it boggles my mind. I have read if you want a lifelong obsession, you need look no further than all of the possibilities that pu-erh offers (I have heard that same about oolong, and then there’s green tea, which supposedly has over five thousand different varieties, …).

I really liked this statement of yours: “My family’s glances askance at my growing tea hoard have done nothing to curb its growth.” I’m with you on that one too.

I think its great you have someone else to share your obsession with (I do too, although she’s not as passionate about it as I am, I judge).

On your last comment, I used to sit in certain circles where I remember hearing, How do you define ‘normal’? Well, simply put, it’s a setting on your dryer. : )

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STS once again you’ve hit the nail on the head! It is an addiction and I’m really ok with that. My husband might not be if he sees another tea related box enter the house. BUT IT’S SO GOOD! Ahem…

I hear you on the proper tea prep tools. When I went on vacation there wasn’t a tea kettle to be had in the house we rented (I wanted a refund). So I “borrowed” one from a relatives rental house for the week. I had also backed up no less than 12 teas for the trip. Hey I didn’t know which tea I might want on which day!

Anyway my name is Courtney and I’m a tea addict, end of story.

ahhh, I wanted to bring backups when I went on vacay, but we were crossing the border and didn’t want to cause any mayhem bringing edible goods. I ended up buying tea while I was there anyhow. What can I say, I was a naive addict back then!
And I know EXACTLY what you mean- who knows what you’ll feel like having at any given moment??
Yep, my name is Adrienne and I to am an addict. (and proud of it!)

SimplyJenW said

Ditto to all of the above, except I bought an extra electric kettle while on vacation since the house where I was staying did not have one…and now I take it along whenver I travel. And I usually pack my tea first….. Also, I have nearly resorted to sneaking tea in the house, as I only seem to have much more than I will ever drink (I am working on thinning the ones that are not favorites.)

My name is Jen, and I am a tea addict!

ssajami said

Jen, your mentioning sneaking tea in the house made me laugh out loud. In my house, it’s gotten to the point where whenever there is a package delivered, my family will roll their eyes and say, “Have you bought even MORE tea?”, and then they give me that look that says, “You are starting to worry us….”.
Anyway, the last time it happened, I thought to myself that maybe I need to bring in the tea without them seeing it, it would save me the eye rolls.

Ahh….they just doing understand….

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