All posts by Melissa

“Are You Sure You Wouldn’t Like Coffee?”

It’s tough when people start calling you a Tea Granny when you’re 12 years old.  Sure, I was considered mature for my age but this label seemed extreme and I soon began to wonder if drinking tea was bad for my pre-teen image. I loved tea so much though that I didn’t give it up and never started drinking coffee.

In university, I hung out with my sweet boyfriend Earl Grey while my friends worked on developing a taste for their morning java.  Most of them couldn’t be with caffeinated coffee past noon unless they needed help to study through the night.  Meanwhile I could hang around with tea all night over a good book or over ice on a hot summer afternoon.

For the longest time I felt like I risked complicating matters at a business meeting or even as a guest in someone’s home when the inevitable question would be asked, “Would anyone like coffee?”  My decline usually would invite further enquiry and the offer of tea.  Yes, I really would like a cup of tea…but something from my well-mannered upbringing wouldn’t let me put the host to the work of boiling water, digging through the cupboard to find a teapot, steeping tea and doing it all just for me.

Thankfully tea is finding a new place in Canadian society.  This past Saturday I was volunteering for a charity and working alongside a 50 something businessman in his office.  A few hours in, I piped up and asked if I could have a glass of water or…wait for it…a cup of tea.  He slowly rose from his chair, picked up his coffee mug and asked, “Are you sure you wouldn’t like coffee?”  I politely declined and said that water would be fine.

He returned a few minutes later, balancing a tray with a mug of coffee, brown and gold Oriental teapot, tea cup with two lumps of sugar inside it and a spoon.  My heart skipped a beat.

Melissa McLean

Melissa is a member of the Marketing Committee for the Victoria Tea Festival.

Photo Credit: S. Cutler