Thursday, February 8, 2018

Good Guys Drink Tea

Yesterday was Charles Dickens birthday. As a fan I should have known that but I didn't until I came across this article about coffee and tea drinkers in Dickens' novels. Of course as a tea drinker myself it makes me happy that more often than not "the good guys prefer tea while the dodgier ones plot and scheme over coffee."

This also inspired another thought: that both what we consider elite and what we consider sinister or evil is at least partly due to a lack of familiarity. Here in America we think of tea (we're talking about hot tea here) as more elite than coffee and we imagine proper Brits sitting around in elegant parlors drinking tea from beautiful little tea cups. Never mind that that's probably no longer reality, if it ever was.

This also explains why a certain kind of movie villain always listens to classical music. Most people are not familiar with it so it seems plausible that it's what smart evil guys like. Wait! Is this why nobody like me? Because I drink tea and listen to classical music?


  1. I read a lot of 30s-40s British mysteries, and tea is common, and is drunk by the workingman (or woman), more frequently out of "beakers" (mugs). It's also drunk by the elite and the cops/detectives (though at least Inspector Littlejohn seems to prefer beer, at least when he's off-duty).

    My personal stereotype is that tea drinkers are more calm and serene, and coffee drinkers are more aggressive, but that's not right either.

    As for classical music, I play it in my office. The only comments I have had from students have been of the "I've heard listening to that makes you smarter" variety.

    1. I came across a listicle once, presumably by a British man, busting myths about how Brits take their tea. He said, among other things, they usually use tea bags and drink it from mugs and they do not let it steep for 3 minutes but instead just swirl the tea bag around in the hot water for 10 or 15 seconds, which, to be honest is how I've always done it and felt really unconventional and wrong.

    2. Actually, I do use loose tea a lot and use one of those single cup tea balls and I swirl that around in the mug of hot water for 10 or 15 seconds.

  2. I've been told the Irish, though, steep tea a LONG time ("strong enough to trot a mouse on" is the phrase I've heard).

    I've seen enough British brands of tea bags to accept that they're common over there.