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He Said, She Said: Gender and Tea

(Before I begin this post, let me first warn you that it contains a lot of generalizations, most of which are based on my own observations. You’ll probably be able to think of at least one or more exceptions to every one of my examples, and that just fine with me!)

Adams Peak White Tea
Adams Peak White Tea

One of the most interesting aspects of being a tea lover is getting to observe how other people drink and enjoy their tea and after several years of sipping with others, I’ve noticed some definite differences between how men and women approach tea-drinking. Here are a few:

  • Women seem to really like white tea, particularly silver needle. Men, not so much: Most of the men I’ve served silver needle to respond by shrugging and complaining that the brew doesn’t have much taste. Women, on the other hand, usually think it is lovely.
  • Women are more likely to ask about the health benefits of tea, while men just seem to want to drink the stuff. I’m often asked by women whether I can recommend a tea that is “good for” treating a specific ailment, but men seldom make such inquiries, unless they have a headcold. Then it seems like everyone instinctively knows to sip some hot tea.
  • Men are often much more fond of pu’erh teas and esoteric oolongs than women. Men are also more likely to be willing to invest in pu’erhs and other “collectible” teas.
  • Men are less enthusiastic about flavored teas, even “classics” such as jasmine green or Earl Grey.
  • One area in which I haven’t observed much difference between the genders is in the use of milk or sugar in tea, particularly among my friends in the United Kingdom.

So what do you think? Are my observations on gender-distinctions in tea drinking on point? Do you have observations of your own?

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3 responses to “He Said, She Said: Gender and Tea”

  1. […] He Said, She Said: Gender and Tea, by Lainie Petersen […]

  2. Ceylon Silver Needles was the first unflavored white tea I ever tried. Lovely, lovely stuff.

  3. Well, let’s just say that I’m sipping Ceylon Silver Needles as I’m reading this … :-)!

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