Any mormon tea drinkers on the board?

Yes, I know. Mormons don’t drink “tea.” However, there are some that walk the line and LOVE greens, whites, and all manner of the herbal variety. I just want to know if there are any other Mormon tea enthusiasts here!

38 Replies
KallieBoo! said

I was raised in Utah and my family is Mormon. My cousin just got back from his mission in South Africa. He told me he had tried rooibos and like it so I got excited and thought I was going to have a tea buddy. He still won’t drink tea but I got him addicted to flavored rooibos :]

Nice! Got my start in S. America, drinking lots of herbal teas. Then I tried some Mate. That was my gateway drug. The only one’s I avoid are black teas. Need something to say I don’t drink “tea.” ;)

RiverTea said

I absolutely adore rooibos myself so you should try. It’s herbal so no problems regarding your code of health.

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tperez said

Huh, Mormons don’t drink tea? I didn’t know that, interesting :)

Yeah, part of our code of health (called Word of Wisdom and adopted in the early 1800’s) is to avoid alcohol, tobacco and “hot drinks” which were later interpreted to mean coffee and tea. However, it has never been further stated what “tea” means. Most Mormons accept herbal teas as okay. Those that are okay with caffeine (and have been exposed to it) accept Mate. Most draw the line at tea made from the Camellia sinensis. Some few (like me :) ) however, allow for all but black with the justification of the health benefits (and lower caffeine content) of greens and whites as pointed out by modern research. Moreover, black undergoes fermentation, which white and greens do not.

Dustin said

I think the code of health should have been a little more specific! “Hot drinks” is a pretty broad category!

Mormonism has always seemed so strange and fascinating to me at the same time. I do admire their food storage/disaster preparation. It warms my little food hoarding heart!

Tamm said

Dustin, that is especially odd when considering that almost all LDS people I know drink hot chocolate.

Uniquity said

Unfortunately for the caffeine argument, greens, whites and oolongs do NOT necessarily have less than caffeine than black tea. However, I say drink what you want! :)

Just would like to point out that black teas are oxidized, not fermented (though some other teas like pu-erh are).

What’s the Mormon stance on fermented foods? Obviously alcoholic beverages are out, but what about bread, yogurt, soy sauce, pickles, cheese, and so on?

@adagio breeze Fermented foods in. Only alcoholic beverages out. When the “Word of Wisdom” was written it actually allowed for “mild drinks made of barley”, aka beer. It was during the prohibition that beer was included in the Wow. It has never been change though so beer is still out. :)

Very interesting topic! I had always thought the original scripture said “no tea”. But if it was actually “no hot drink”, then it’s up to human interpretation

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Lynxiebrat said

Ahh. always thought it had to do with caffeine as it can affect the body. Well, some green tea does get fermentation, as does Oolongs. Also, some white teas and green do have a fair amount of caffeine, (Depending on where they are from, according to 1 source I read: white tea from China doesn’t have much if any caffeine, but white tea from India can have plenty. Have no idea if it’s true, been meaning to find out more, but til then I am keeping an eye out, with exception of those that I know won’t affect me late at night or have sleep/calm words in the name in the description.)

Anyways…welcome to the site:)

Tamm said

That release seemed aimed much more at the drinking of soda than tea/coffee though…

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Tamm said

Hello, I am from Utah and I’m ex-LDS, so at least I know what you mean!

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I wrote my senior thesis for my Religious Studies major on “America’s Religion: The Esotericism and Initial Appeal of Early 19th Century Mormonism” and loved it. Then in my year of service I did after college I had 3 LDS missionaries volunteer at the homeless shelter I worked in, they invited me to a Mormon baptism and it was awesome (even though it was in Spanish and I don’t speak Spanish…) So no, I’m not a Mormon tea drinker, but I am a tea drinker who is totally excited that you’re here and I appreciate your faith!!

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Rachel J said

I grew up Mormon, but have been inactive since age 13. My sister is still devout, and I don’t understand why she drinks Coke all day long but would never try a cup of green tea, for example. I realize it’s not the caffeine per se in the Word of Wisdom, but I do think the Word of Wisdom was about treating your body like a temple and not engaging in unhealthy habits. I would say that drinking tea is a lot better for your body than drinking Coke, so I really don’t get the logic.

I am glad to see that some Mormons are making adjustments to their understanding of the Word of Wisdom.

Also, just wanted to point something out. You mentioned that black teas are fermented, so you draw the line there. Just be aware that the use of the word “fermentation” regarding the production of black tea is incorrect. It used to be used all the time, but what is happening is “oxidation”, not fermentation. Fermentation makes it sound like what happens in alcohol, which is not at all what is going on. The tea turns black because it is exposed to oxygen for hours or days before being “fired” (cooked) to stop the process. The only type of tea that undergoes actual fermentation is Pu-erh.

Welcome to the boards! I haven’t been here long, but it’s a great community!

Thanks for the clarification. I knew that tea “fermentation” as most commonly used referred to oxidation, but I didn’t know there was a tea that was ACTUALLY fermented. As for the black tea thing and the line… Again, a complicated issue. In order to be a mormon in “good standing” you have to be able to answer a list of questions. One is “do you keep the word of wisdom.” They don’t delve into it, but since the hot drink portion has been interpreted to mean tea and coffee in official writtings, in some way, shape or form I need to avoid “tea” in order to answer yes with a clean conscience. I realize this sounds stupid as it’s a technicality, but we all sometimes do stupid things to “fit in” to our communities. :) And I agree whole heartedly that tea is more healthy than coke. But the word of wisdom was written before coke.

To understand your sister I suggest googling “fowler’s stages of faith.” She’ll be a stage 3 most likely (as do most religious folk). Her world view is largely shaped by her church. To step outside of the declared word of the church for a person in stage 3 is almost unthinkable. :)

Erin said

Yes, as a scientist do not even get me started about the commonality & incorrect use of the word “fermentation”. When I got into tea several years ago I spent quite a lot of time trying to find exactly what compounds in tea they were talking about when they said “fermented”, until I realized that it was just being used in a non-scientific, slang kind of way :) very annoying to science geek with a few OCD tendencies for vocabulary use :)

Rachel J said

Thanks, mormon_tea_guy, anything to help me understand my sister’s point of view is appreciated, because it frankly baffles me! :)

I understand your need to have a way to feel like you’re being truthful in your temple recommend interview. I admire, though, that you are willing to think things through and interpret the Word in a way that makes sense to you even if that means a slight deviation from the norm.

If the Word of Wisdom was updated during prohibition, I think it needs to be updated again! :)

Indeed…it is a bit antiquated. But it is something that makes mormons somewhat unique, which in turn gives mormons a greater sense of community. So regardless of whether it is actually offensive to God that we drink coffee or tea (I don’t think so), it shows sacrifice and love for God, which I do think is a good thing. It’s difficult to understand what the repercussions would be among the rank and file members if they were to lift it. The greatest principle of the Word of Wisdom is moderation in all things. My experience is that mormons really aren’t good at moderation. I’d say overall we are more overweight, depressed, etc than the average american. I could totally see them lifting the ban on coffee and tea and then see Starbucks’ stock go through the roof. ;) I say this somewhat tongue in cheek. I’m a bit of Universalist. I don’t believe we Mormons have a monopoly on truth. Nor do I believe that every doctrine and social norm we have is the best one. But I do believe that it is the best for some people and the it does produce a lot of really good people. :P

Rachel J said

Your point of view is refreshing!

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Erin said

Hello all!

If the guidelines are being drawn based on health benefits, do not be too quick to rule out black teas. In the early days of the “green tea is healthy” publicity craze, it was quickly assumed that this meant black tea was not healthy. But that was not the case.

Green tea got the publicity simply because green teas were the ones being included in the studies. This mostly had to do with cultural practices, in that the observational studies were being done on populations that drink mostly green tea. These studies did not include any commentary on black teas, good or bad. They simply were not included. These studies were not comparing one to another, not at all. But once again, the press took scientific research out of context, and before you know it, black tea is being vilified.

Since then, there have been many, many studies that continue to suggest the health benefits of green, white, and black teas. See for a pretty good summary that came out a couple of years ago. Some studies show green to be better, some show black to be better, some show neither are as good as extracts, etc. etc.

Interestingly enough, the only adverse reaction to tea (very rare, hepatitis) was seen with a green tea extract supplement.

If you will pardon my bad analogy, it is kind of like apples and oranges. Some may argue that oranges are more healthy than apples. But it is by far better to eat either an apple or an orange than not to eat any fruit at all :)

thanks Erin. See my above reply to Rachel J. I agree with you 100%. :)

Erin said

@ mormon_tea_guy, I just looked up “Fowler’s stages of faith development”- very interesting. Thanks for mentioning it, would like to read more. Seems those stages could also apply to a lot of beliefs we have, not just religious :)

Yes, you’re correct. It’s really more about how we view the world. Religion just makes a good starting point as rarely does anything have more influence over us than religion. But it definitely applies to other things such as politics. In the US, most people vote for their party’s representative with out so much as even a moment’s consideration for another party. If one encounters a new political issue, they often see what their party believes. Seems like a narrow view but it makes life easier. :P

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Lynxiebrat said

This has been an insightful thread. Thanks for starting it, mormon_tea_guy:)

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It’s like don’t even go there. I used to be LDS, I was a convert. Now I could never go back. I’d break the Word of Wisdom everyday – with tea. I don’t see why drinking tea is wrong. Alchohol and beer yes, and tobacco. But not tea?

Nonsense! Of course you COULD go back. According to prob 95% of mormons I break the WoW every day too. :) What makes it wrong? Well, it goes against the rules. There’s really no more to it. Why was it considered wrong? Because 19th century medicine believed hot drinks to be unhealthy and consuming unhealthy things is wrong (in mormonism). :P Of course, modern research seems to confirm that drinking HOT (Above 159 F) does facilitate cancer of the throat. Maybe we were onto something…That’s why I drink mine at around 140! Perfect! Anyways all organizations have rules that not everyone agrees with. My home owners association certainly has a few (which I also ignore). That’s life.

I’m actually Lutheran now, and am happy anyway. Lutherans drink tea and coffee during Sunday school. They have a cart in the room, and you can help yourself to as much as you want, LOL.

Awesome! Sure would help with not falling asleep during a boring lesson. ;)


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Erin said

I just have to throw in one more comment- to say how happy I am to have found Steepster and the wonderful people here.

I have been on the Internet socializing with people over common interests for over 25 years. And usually, when sensitive topics (like religion) come up, it seems almost inevitable that it disintegrates into childish, uneducated, unenlightened, intolerant bickering. Usually it is only a few people on each list, but somehow they always rear their ugly heads and ruin any possibility of enlightened discussion.

So I cannot tell you how thrilled I have been to participate in this short discussion here! Enlightened discourse, sharing ideas on a sensitive topic, respecting others even while disagreeing with them! My gosh, have I dropped into an alternate universe? Am I dreaming? :) :) :)

Dreaming? Well now that depends. We’ve done religion, why not a little philosophy? ;) It has been refreshing. Glad to have joined. Still looking for that other Mormon Steepster out there though… Anyone want to be Mormon!?

teapot1 said

I was reading this thread thinking exactly the same thing, Erin…I find the topic and discussion fascinating.

teapot1 said

You are awesome, mormon_tea_guy:).


Kaylee said

hear hear

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