I was quite interested to read an article by an Australian entitled “What your cup of tea says about you.”  What knocked my socks off was the following comment:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcticpuppy/2884439787/“I think I can speak for most Australians when I say that for Aussies, drinking a cup of tea is like shopping for anti-fungal cream – it’s not something that you would want your mates to see you doing”. 

Do you think it’s possible that’s true?
 
First, I tried goggling “Australian Tea Association.”  What I found instead was an Australian Coffee and Tea Association.  My enthusiasm lagging only a little, I clicked on the link and was brought to the Australian Coffee Traders Association.  What happened to the tea?
 
Rather than being disheartened, I browsed a bit longer and found a 2006 report by Australia’s Green Tea Growers Association.  The news got a bit brighter from there.  Apparently, the tea market in Australia is a $264.4 million market, at least it was back in 2006.  The fastest growing segment was called the “health” segment, with green tea being the fasting growing sub-segment.  Sounds a bit similar to the U.S. market in that regard.
 
The author of the “What your cup of tea says about you” article, Liam Flanagan, is a recent transplant to London and apparently has been swept up into the tea-drinking culture.  Here’s what he thinks your tea choices reflect:

Black tea

You’re a simple person with simple needs.  You know that our time on this planet is short and shouldn’t be wasted mixing flowers and herbs to flavour what is essentially hot water.

Green tea

You like to think of yourself as being health conscious and alternative.  In reality you got caught up in “The Great Green Tea Craze of 2005” and now you’re too scared to ask for anything else.

White tea

You’re a trend setter.  You used to drink Green tea until it became the “cool” thing to drink.  Now you drink white tea, until that becomes the “cool” thing to drink at which point you’ll move onto Mother-of-Pearl tea.

English Breakfast? tea

You’re constantly disappointed that your tea doesn’t taste more like eggs, bacon and black pudding.

Earl Grey tea

You expect that your drink will be delivered to you in a fine bone china cup on a delicate saucer and that, should it not be to your liking, hurling it at a wall is a perfectly reasonable response. In short, you’re a bit of a muppet.

Hot Water + Lemon

You’re the tea equivalent of a decaf coffee drinker and in future you will most likely not be told if someone is putting the kettle on as you’re deemed unworthy of a place in the tea run.

Getting back to Liam’s initial comments about Aussies’ general attitudes about tea drinking, one can only hope he was joking.  After all, it’s 2011 and I can assure you, real men drink tea.
 
Do check out the daily counter at the United Kingdom Tea Council’s website, where you can see how many cuppas Brits have enjoyed so far today.

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