Addicted to Tea, Part II

Not so long ago I wrote about the notion of tea addiction. I concluded that while you might not be able to develop an addiction to tea, at least not in the strictest sense of the word, it seems possible that you might become addicted to the caffeine in tea.

Analysis of Wang Sisheng's Addiction to Tea (Photo source: screen capture from site)
Analysis of Wang Sisheng’s Addiction to Tea (Photo source: screen capture from site)

I hardly consider myself to be an authoritative commentator when it comes to this sort of thing, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for a definitive opinion. But I got to thinking that there might be more to say on the topic of tea addiction, and so off I went.

The “you know you’re addicted to tea when” thread at one tea forum brings to mind comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might be a redneck” routines. But whatever you want to say about it, don’t say that it’s not a popular thread. It’s been going strong for about ten months now and is closing in on 1,000 replies, which isn’t so shabby.

Can a nation be addicted to tea? Beats me, but if you were going to name the nation most likely to suffer from tea addiction, England would probably be near the top of the list. Tea-addicted Brits are a notion that author Roy Moxham explored in his appropriately titled work, Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire. It’s been on the shelves for about a decade now but is still worth a look.

Can a popular author of mystery fiction be addicted to tea? A certain popular author of mystery fiction named Alexander McCall Smith would have us believe that it’s possible. Smith is probably best known for his The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series of books, but a few years ago he went into great detail about his alleged tea addiction in an article in The Guardian called Confessions of a Tea Addict. As he notes, “tea, for me, is one of the great subjects.”

If you’re looking for scholarly junk on the topic of tea addiction, you’re likely to come up sort of dry, at least if you’re relying on that vast archive of scholarly junk known as Google Scholar. There’s the Analysis of Wang Sisheng’s Addiction to Tea. Wang Sisheng apparently being an ancient Chinese scholar as nearly as I can tell. Which won’t do you much good unless you can read Chinese. Then there’s a look at the alleged addiction to tea (and other substances) by the desert dwelling Tuareg people of Africa.

Last up, if you’re looking for some more or less random thoughts posted by Tumblr users on the topic of tea addiction, this is the place to be.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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