I certainly hope not.

Stereotypes of tea and the people who drink it abound. I picked up a girlfriend for tea over the holidays and her husband said good-bye to us by imitating lifting tea to his lips while sticking his pinkie out awkwardly. “Isn’t that how you’re supposed to drink tea?” my innocent friend asked. “Not unless you’re making fun of tea drinkers,” I replied. Here’s a list of the most common tea stereotypes I come across.

  • Tea parties are full of stuffy and formal manners, including curling your pinky.
  • Tea is only drank out of china teacups.
  • One must wear gloves and a hat to a tea party.
  • Only women drink tea.
  • Tea is grown in England.
  • People who drink tea don’t drink coffee or alcohol.
  • Tea’s caffeine is harmful.
  • Tea is easy to make.
  • Tea is hard to make.
  • One who drinks tea will have a string hanging over the side of a mug. (This is certainly what modern day movie-makers believe!).

Some may ask, “Tea Party Girl? Why do you CARE that tea and tea parties can receive such a bad rap?” It’s because I believe tea to be one of the simplest gifts we’ve been given that is unappreciated just like classical music, local farms, and learning to live with less driving. And it’s like I heard James Norwood Pratt say. In the 1970s, America drank more beer than wine. Now we appreciate all the science and art of vineyards, varietals, and the wine culture. And I believe tea will someday receive the same level of respect in my coffee-drinking nation. It’s already started in certain elite circles.

I titled one of my earliest articles for this blog, “Aren’t Tea Parties for Retired Ladies Wearing Red Hats?”. In the article, I present tea-drinking’s role in all cultures. And one of my most commented on articles includes, “The Top Seven Mistakes Tea Drinkers Make” as my readers either discovered their mistakes or pounded the table with, “Hear! Hear!”. My mother has been able to build an entire speaking and consulting business around “teaching tea” (be sure to visit TeachingTea.com if you haven’t yet). The world of tea is so much wider and richer than getting a cramp in your pinkie. I trust you are discovering it!

Here’s a few of my favorite resources for learning about the world of tea. Some of these I’ve reviewed at Tea Party Girl.

  • The Way to Tea by Jennifer Sauer
  • Tea with Presidential Families by Beulah Munshower Sommer
  • Tea a Magazine
  • Any other of the books I list at my Tea Reads store.
  • And of course, I hope you find the resources and encouragement you need here at Tea Party Girl, as well.

    Anyone else want to share a tea stereotype I missed? Did any from my list surprise you?

    P.S. It’s raining like crazy in California with no stop in sight and this morning my daughter discovered another simple gift right outside our window.


    I just love it that camellias bloom in winter.

    I hope you discover some simple beauty this weekend in your neck of the woods.