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Tea – a trend or a way of life?


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#1 baroness

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:10 PM

While following another link to the NY Post, I saw this article on the fashionistas and tea here in New York.
Here's a brief quote: Tea, after all, is the perfect drink for frenzied New Yorkers with a big caffeine habit — but very little peace of mind. “Tea promotes harmony and balance of life,” Tam says. “The experience is not rushed. It’s refined and grounding. Drinking tea is an art of living.”

#2 CKatCook

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:27 AM

Tea has been my "way of life" for a long time and I am better off for it, I think. It is nice to see more of it catching on....
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#3 Yajna Patni

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 08:24 AM

Tea has been my beverage for all my life, but I do not think of it as a way of life. It is a drink. I drink wine at night too, but that is not a life style. Tea is tea, you can make up a whole ethos around it, but the majority of people who drink it in the world are not over moneyed New Yorkers, and they drink as a drink not some life style decision.
There are a lot of people with too much money and too much time that want to buy into a pre made life style. Tea is as good as anything else I guess. People write articles like that about foot wear too.

#4 Simon_S

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:15 AM

This is pretty funny stuff. People drink tea the world over and it's just not a big deal. It starts to catch on in NY, and now it's newspaper-worthy.

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#5 baroness

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:40 AM

I know! People drink tea everywhere - and have for many, many years!

#6 Beebs

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:19 AM

Tea is a way of life for most people in most parts of the world for thousands and thousands of years. Isn't it the most widely drunk beverage in the world, next to water (no citations - can't recall where I read this)? Those who already incorporate tea into their everyday lives will continue to do so, and it's not a trend for them. Those who see it as the current cool thing will jump on the bandwagon, embrace the "way of life"/harmony/relaxation idea of it for a short time, then move on to the next fashionable thing. Buying into a tea lifestyle seems pretty pretentious to me.

I don't know if I would say tea is a "way of life" for me or not. I drink tea everyday, and have since I was a small kid. It's a coffee-soda-juice alternative, jolt of caffeine in the morning, post-meal digestive - there's lots of reasons for drinking it. It's part of my daily life. But it doesn't mean I'm buying into the harmony/balance thing whenever I take a sip of my Ti Kuan Yin oolong.

On the other hand, I do like that tea is getting more attention, trend or not.

#7 andiesenji

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 12:19 PM

Twenty-some years ago it was difficult to find premium teas unless you lived in a fairly large city or near an ethnic enclave where tea was the beverage of choice, or took the time to winkle out a mail order source - those little ads in the back of food magazines were my main source.

In the mid-to-late '80s and early '90s more people began learning about and drinking tea and there were discussion about tea on user groups (CompuServe was my first-and most expensive) and later message boards on Prodigy and Genie and still later AOL(not for long, I hated it).

As the "secrets" of tea were revealed and various mail order sources were shared, more and more people discovered that tea could be a lot more than the ubiquitous Lipton, Red Rose and etc.

With the advent of the WW internet and ISPs that were a lot cheaper than CompuServe, the community of tea drinkers expanded exponentially and continues to do so to date.

Some tea ideas are "trendy" and for some people it is a way of life because they like it. For most people it is an enjoyable drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day or evening. Decaf teas and the herbal infusions are tastier than decaf coffees IMHO.

I have been a Teamail subscriber since it began in '98 - there had previously been a tea discussion group whose members migrated to TeaMail.

As others have noted, in other parts of the world tea is simply the everyday beverage of choice.
Only in America will one see an article about tea being "fashionable" or "trendy."
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#8 Dianabanana

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 01:22 PM

I think these trends are actually beneficial, because product by product they educate the general public and raise the standard for quality, and the standard remains raised even after the trend dies. Even if the new silly trend is tea, people are not going to go back to the sour, burned coffee that used to be perfectly acceptable before the coffee craze. There's still a lot of crap on the market, and there always will be, but overall I think the bar has been raised. You can make similar arguments for all kinds of foods that have been the subject of foodie trends: pasta, olive oil, chocolate, etc.

#9 Mjx

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 01:41 PM

Wait, wasn't that the trend last year? Or the 90s? I seem to recollect there being an outbreak of tea shops over New York City during the late 90s.

Tea can be a great beverage, sometimes the only one that seems right for a given moment, and a I know heaps of people who favour tea, but I don't know any who consider it 'a way of life' or any sort of 'lifestyle' thing... that just sounds odd. 'Trend' seems odd too... a bit like describing socks as a trend/way of life.

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#10 martinwa

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:53 AM

Tea in America's weird........

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#11 TeakettleSlim

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:06 AM

I agree it's silly-- but maybe if it catches on, we'll finally be able to get decent tea in more restaurants. I hate going to a good restauarant, enjoying an excellent meal, and then finding that the only tea on offer is Lipton.

#12 baroness

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:35 AM

I agree it's silly-- but maybe if it catches on, we'll finally be able to get decent tea in more restaurants. I hate going to a good restauarant, enjoying an excellent meal, and then finding that the only tea on offer is Lipton.

:angry: Not ONLY that it's only Lipton, but that the water is nowhere nearly hot enough and may taste somewhat like coffee. :angry:

#13 andiesenji

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:56 AM


I agree it's silly-- but maybe if it catches on, we'll finally be able to get decent tea in more restaurants. I hate going to a good restauarant, enjoying an excellent meal, and then finding that the only tea on offer is Lipton.

:angry: Not ONLY that it's only Lipton, but that the water is nowhere nearly hot enough and may taste somewhat like coffee. :angry:


Far too many times it isn't even Lipton. It is some generic thing sold at restaurant supply places that is made from "sweepings" of tea dust. God only knows how long it has been since it was packaged.

When I was still working, our office (3 doctors 15 employees) had a "coffee & tea service" that supplied everything, including tea bags and herbal tea bags with no brand name on any, only the name of the service. The black tea was pretty bad but the green tea was horrible and smelled like it had been under a cat box for some years. None of us ever drank the stuff, we brought our own and I finally insisted that they stopped stocking it and adjust the cost. The rep told me that they didn't charge for the tea at all because it was so cheap! :blink:
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#14 TeakettleSlim

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 03:00 PM

It is to weep.

And shall I mention the coffee shops where they give you only one tea bag no matter the size of the cup you've ordered? But, they cheerfully tell you, you can get a refill of the lukewarm water! And resteep the sad, overworked little teabag!

I read a thread from a while back here lamenting bad tea in restaurants. Apparently it's too expensive to offer? What with the china walking off and all? I'm not sure I buy it-- personally, I'd be fine with someone bringing me a prepared cup of tea, no teapot, no strainer, if it were well made. (You know, like they do with coffee).

Maybe if tea became a "way of life" for more Americans, they'd find a way to make it work.

#15 Hassouni

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:07 PM

I've been a tea drinker my entire life and this concept of tea as a trend sort of bothers me. That being said, I don't know if tea is a "way of life" but it certainly is a very big "part of life," and I lament the as-yet lowly status and shabby preparation of tea across most of America (and, for that matter, Lebanon). I really would like somewhere where I could get a proper cup of tea without going to a zen-like environment or specifying the variety. Sometimes I just want some good, well-made black tea without a fuss, but for that I either need to be at home or in a country where tea is equally a part of everyday life.

#16 ceylontea

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

Which tea will you prefer for winters??

#17 Lisa Shock

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 11:31 PM

I tend to enjoy darker black teas and Earl Grey when it's cold. I prefer green tea, and lighter teas like Darjeeling in summer.

#18 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

When it's colder and greater I drink more earthy puerhs or deeply roasted oblongs. But the temperature that matters is my own chill, so I drink plenty of puerhs in overly air-conditioned offices in the summertime, and light greens in the winter when things are cozily warm. And sencha in the morning is good year-round.

#19 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

My preferred winter drinks aren't even technically teas (ie not Camellia sinensis) - they're the caffeine-bearing hollies instead. To wit, when I'm cold, I don't want even the very best white (which is my preferred tea). I want either Hierba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) or Guayusa (Ilex guayusa).
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#20 cdh

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

I'm a fan of the pretty red dried-fruit tisanes around Christmas... As for actual teas, I'm a fan of the richer puehrs, yunnans and assams when the weather is on my mind... though when tea is on my mind rather than the weather, I'll throw some pouching leaves into the pot and resteep them all day.
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#21 Birdthefox

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

Earl Grey, White, Green, and Jasmine are the teas I stick to no matter what season!

If you are new to tea drinking on the daily, I would definitely recommend trying out Earl Grey.
It's definitely a classic and what I believe to be everybody's first or one of the first cups of tea. It is a bit bitter, but more neutral and slightly fragrant.
As for the other teas I mentioned: White, Green, and Jasmine - They have a more Asian-tea quality with light tastes that you should try!

I try out any tea that sounds nice and recommend everyone to explore the world of tea drinking! :smile:

#22 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

I have never been able to enjoy Earl Grey, but fortunately that leaves more for these who do enjoy it. It smells lovely, but like coffee, for me the flavor is too bitter to enjoy.

But tonight I'm enjoying a young sheng puerh--a sample of 2010 Lao Ban Pen from Norbu, a tea that can be quite horribly bitter if brewed to be, or mellow and herbaceous and sweet as I'm enjoying it tonight. Recently I was enjoying a very similar puerh when I discover that a nearby colleague also liked tea. I offered her some, and she at first declined, saying, "puerh....that's that horribly strong bitter stuff right?" And I soon set her straight and had hr enjoying a cup of my usual rather dilute and mellow brew. Maybe someday a true Earl Grey aficionado will be able to open my eyes to a tea I've given up on....

#23 Ashen

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

Through the winter is pretty much the only time I drink tea , except when visiting the in-laws house .

I can imagine the shudders that will occur when some read this . I love an extra strong brewed ceylon black which I then bruise before adding copious amounts of honey and fresh lemon juice.

I will be buying some lapsang souchong star over the weekend though. I love how it tastes like drinking a campfire. Plus I want to work some of it into a bbq rub for smoked pork shoulder
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#24 PSmith

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

I like Masala Tea - or Chai. It is spiced tea from India which I drink without milk or sugar and is great after a meal.

Plus I have the normal UK blended black tea. Our favourite brand is "Yorkshire Tea" which is a strong "builder's" tea best drunk with a little milk.

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#25 Hassouni

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:16 AM

Lapsang

#26 ceylontea

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:21 AM

Cinnamon Tea

#27 Beebs

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

+1 for Lapsang Souchong.

I don't have my own wood-burning fireplace. Lapsang is as close as I can get.

#28 janeer

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

ginger

#29 Denadar

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:08 AM

I like Lady Grey winter and summer, but on a really cold day chai is wonderful.

#30 rod rock

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:22 AM

Mint tea is the best for the winter!

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