How can you tell if you’re a picky tea drinker, someone who needs your tea just so? There are 10 signs I have found to be dead giveaways. See if any of these fit you.
First, I have to assure you that this is not me picking on you for being a picky tea drinker. Quite the contrary. Celebrate your pickiness — I certainly do. We’re not all mainstream nor fit into the same mold. One-size-fits-all is not the best policy for tea any more than it is for socks and pantyhose. But how do you know that you’ve crossed the line between “selective” and “downright picky” — especially where tea is concerned?
Signs of a true picky tea drinker (presented in reverse order à la those cheesy late night TV shows):
10 – When the waitress in the restaurant hands you their standard teabag, you avoid touching it any more than is absolutely necessary to steep your cuppa “tea” or whatever that stuff is. The only way this picky tea drinker handles a string-and-tag teabag is with a long pair of kitchen tongs!
9 – You no longer purchase teas from the local grocery store, even when you are totally out at home, opting instead to sip on warm water until the next shipment arrives from your fave tea vendor. You try not to sit at the window to watch for the delivery truck.
8 – You implement a computerized tea storage system in your home to assure that teas are reordered in time to arrive before your on-hand stock runs out.
7 – You install a water purification system in your home to be sure the water you use for your tea is free of stuff that could make your tea taste funny, especially chlorine and chloramine, commonly used in municipal water systems and therefore in your tap water.
6 – The clerk at the tea store who has been helping you select teas was clean shaven when you first came in that day but is now showing a bit of 5-o’clock shadow and you still haven’t selected from the choices he’s shown you.
5 – You regularly buy new teas and set up your own professional-style tea tasting, complete with those white tasting mug sets, for yourself alone!
4 – You toss your tea down the drain because it’s a Longjing (Dragonwell) green tea which everyone knows has to be steeped gongfu-style in a Yixing clay teapot to taste it’s best but someone dared to steep it in a regular teapot and you’d rather waste the tea than assault your tastebuds.
3 – You just completed your collection of antique gaiwans, kyusus, yixing teapots, and other Asian teawares and that special shipment of aged pu-erhs, fujian whites, and other topline teas arrived courtesy of your “tea scout” who travels the tea growing regions of the world to bring you only the best.
2 – You rented a storage unit to store excess furniture such as your bed, chest of drawers, and other frills so you have enough room to properly store and display your newly completed collection of specialized teawares for preparing and enjoying tea.
1 – You were offered a job promotion but it would have meant moving to another city away from your favorite teashop so you turned it down. Hey, you have your priorities, right?
So, how did you do? If you agree with numbers 10, 9, and 8 above, you are “selective”; with numbers 7, 6, and 5, you are “refined”; and numbers 4 thru 1 — congratulations, you are a full-fledged Picky Tea Drinker!
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