Tea Swapping DANGERS??

65 Replies
Ninavampi said

I have done a few Swaps and I agree with SimplyJenW that the most risky part may be not receiving the tea… The first few times I was a bit worried about it because I live in Ecuador and people have to send stuff far away and receive things from far away. So far the only problem has been that tea takes a little longer to arrive.

So far so good! : ) I love getting to try new things and I will continue doing swaps! Hopefully any tea psychopaths will stay away!

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For the record, he would also kill me if he knew I posted this online! Haha. He’s become a much more private person since I Facebook Stalked him back in 2008… Go figure.

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He still insists that a psychopath would do all that with months if not years of planning JUST to poison some tea for kicks.

Technically, I think this is correct. A true sociopath is someone would take great pleasure in building someone’s trust over time only for the joy and high of betraying said trust. When dealing with sociopaths, you have to remember that they do not think like normal people – to them, everything is a zero-sum game, and they are out to win. A normal person would see absolutely no point or purpose in making “friends” on a site and working to gain their trust, etc., etc., just so they could see if they could get away with poisoning people. But a sociopath potentially would, purely for the amusement of it. So saying, “why would anyone here want to hurt people?” is just inapplicable. If someone here does want to hurt others, the normal logic probably doesn’t apply in the first place.

That being said, I think the chances of it actually happening are slim. As has been said, I don’t see a tea community being highly attractive to sociopaths. It’s too small a community for a real ripple of drama…there wouldn’t be much of a “score” to see (or be seen by horrified onlookers). I think it’s probably true that sociopaths prefer to see the upset they cause, and that wouldn’t work well with small online groups.

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teawing said

I have to say here that restoring faith and trust in the world is something Steepster has done for me. I have tried an untold number of teas that I never would have bought myself, due to the kindness and generosity of Steepster members. I have also tried to pass on some of the same. The boyfriend’s logic can spiral into paranoid obsessiveness that leads to digging a hole and hiding in it. Not me, if I get poisoned in a tea swap, just divide my gear and give it to some newbies, but please bury me with my gaiwan.

Uniquity said

@Teawing – I loved this post. Perhaps I should put a note about being buried with teaware in my will?

LefTea said

But what about those of us being creamated? Could the gaiwan serve as a urn or is that just totally wrong?

LefTea That made me laugh out loud so hard I’m glad nobody else was around to witness it!

OMG yes!! I will be cremated and stored in my teapot. Oh yessss LefTea you just inspired that idea :P

Plunkybug said

Ha ha ha!

SunnyinNY said

OMG! That is awesome! I think I’m going to be cremated & left in my favorite teapot.

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teawing said

@Uniquity I considered saying all my tea “stuff” but feared a burden on my family and friends to have to purchase an additional plot! However, when estate wills and final requests include pets among other things, I say, why not a line in your will!

@Leftea My gaiwan is pretty small, maybe a partial sample of ashes and the rest dispersed at the base of an aged camellia sinensis somewhere in the world?

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Aiko said

There’s always a risk in swapping. There’s also a risk in walking out your front door. Heck, there’s extreme risk in driving; you’re putting your life in the hands of everyone around you, trusting that they’re not psychos who enjoy ramming into other cars!

Tea-swapping isn’t something you do without a bit of common sense, but I’m still pretty sure the highways are more dangerous than a box of tea. I’m not even sure how someone would go about poisoning tea. How would you add something to dry leaf in actual toxic quantities without it being incredibly obvious?

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There is, of course, a risk in consuming something sent to you in the mail by someone who is, for all intents and purposes, a stranger. However, we take the same risk every time we order tea from a new supplier, do we not? There’s no guarantee the person packing up your tea is not a nutjob. Unless you grow the tea (or anything you eat or drink) yourself, harvest it yourself and prepare it yourself, someone else is handling it along the way at some point.

It seems to me swapping simply calls for common sense. If someone is well established on this forum and has a lot of tasting notes, a lot of posts on the board, and doesn’t come across as having a disturbed personality, the chances of them being a murderous sociopath are slim, I think. Steepster members who are really worried about this sort of thing either should not swap, or should only swap for sealed packages. Just my two cents ;)

Ninavampi said

Great reply! : )

Angrboda said

However, we take the same risk every time we order tea from a new supplier, do we not?

Or even going out to eat. Who’s to say they haven’t had new staff with less than nice intentions at the restaurant lately? And you know, in order to be stopped and punished and what not, he would have to actually harm or attempt to harm someone first.

I agree with the others. Of course there’s a teensy tiny risk involved. But it’s so unbelievably tiny that it’s just no use letting oneself be controlled by it. In my opinion, you might as well say you will never eat anything at all containing fish because you might choke on a bone and die. Personally, my world would be a much bleaker place if I could never eat fish again.

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ashmanra said

If I start to think like that, then next I will refuse to eat in restaurants, because a demented or unhappy cook or waitperson might poison the food or drink. I already have an aunt like that! Won’t eat in restaurants and won’t eat any food that traveled through the mail, less the post office X-ray the box and irradiate her, or it might cross paths with anthrax. She refused her fruitcake at Christmas. LOL! It is just a risk I choose to take, but sadly, I know where he is coming from in this day and age.

Dave Barry once wrote an article about a friend who writes murder mysteries, who stood in the grocery store plotting how his character could kill someone by putting poison in the coffee grinder before they use it. He said it was really creepy!

I might refuse a fruitcake at Christmas too — but for reasons other than your aunt’s ;)

ashmanra said

Indeed! Same here! I only like one like one kind of fruitcake and it is made nearby. Southern Supreme “More Nuts Than Fruit Cake” as they call it. So good, mostly pecans and very little fruit.

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I’d point out to them that, statistically, the people most likely to harm or kill a person are those closest to them – spouse, family member, etc.- and that means you really should be more worried about HiM poisoning your tea.

Cheryl said

As a regular Discovery ID watcher, this could be so true. But I’m sure her honey bunny is not a psychopath (do psychopaths even have significant others?). But your post made me laugh… hopefully meant in humor.

Yes, they often do. And unlike media portrayals, not all are sadists or otherwise dangerous. According to the leading research most live lives that are not noticeably different from non-psychopaths, except there may be a tendency to excel in careers that involve logic and ruthless decision making.

Haha, I’m more worried about him throwing away my tea than poisoning me ;)

Cheryl said

To be fair to him, it’s usually women who choose poisoning as their weapon of choice in these cases : )

teawing said

re: women and poison
Why do you think that is the case and what can we say about it? :)

Cheryl said

Why?…because women are not blood and guts kind of people…lol (and more devious and able to plot?). Speaking in generalities of course. And I’m not talking about random poisonings, like what was originally asked about. Referring to what Rumpus said (ie. abusive husbands have more to worry about when drinking tea that most of us do) : )
This is all coming from what I hear/watch on I.D and from reading too many murder mysteries, etc …. not personal experience!

Cheryl, I too am obsessed with ID. :) and yes, women are more likely to use poison. I’m concerned, now, with every package I receive…although I highly doubt my grandma would send poisoned cookies.

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Bonnie said

Only trade with people in Canada. You never hear of such things in Canada. I think it’s too cold and they have good tea and maple syrup. Not allowed in Canada to tamper with tea packages. You might get deported to the U.S. and have to pay for health care and import your good tea.

Uniquity said

We’re pretty great up here, eh? Now if only we could depose Harper..

hehe well David’s is a Canadian company :P
and deposing Harper… oh yes please!

Sometimes Canadian-born people come to America to kill…such as Keith Jesperson. But overall Canada IS much more friendly. At least in my experiences

Uniquity said

We would never! All joking aside, I am oddly comforted by the fact that there are so few Canadian serial killers. After watching too much Criminal Minds one day I looked up lists of serial killers and learned that most of them seem to reside in/be from the States. I feel like England had a sizable number as well, but nothing on the US.

It’s true, U.S. has a high rate of serial killers…and school shootings. I have my own theories, but let’s talk about something happier! :)

Erin said

Yes, we are some pretty amazing folk. However, the city I live in is the Murder capital of Canada lol But I am not one of them lol I do have a kick ass security system though :P teehee

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