Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Tea Drinker's Guide to Writing

Writers, what’s your drink of choice? You may have heard the old argument, tea versus coffee. Well today I’m here to discuss the benefits of being a writer and an avid tea drinker.

Tea drinking is a wonderful thing. Back during my undergraduate studies, a group of my friends would host a tea party every Friday night. We’d gather together and fellowship and play music and, of course, drink tea. It was there that I tasted the most delicious spiced chai, which actually came from India. I’ve never had anything quite like it since, but it was those nights that introduced me to one of my favorite teas, so when I moved to England a couple years later, I knew a little bit about what to buy. 

And there are so, so many benefits to drinking tea and being a writer!

Tea comes in sooooo many varieties. 

With four general types of tea—black, green, white, and herbal—and hundreds of flavors, there’s plenty for people to choose from. My mom likes chai lattes. I prefer black, but am willing to try almost all others.

During my first trip to Oxford after my senior year, I discovered I didn’t like fruity teas. When I went to a celebration for scholarship winners, I discovered lemon ginger tea. It’s the only fruity tea I like. I also picked up peppermint and Welsh black tea along the way as well as the English tradition of milk and sugar. I’ll take my tea any way really, so long as it’s not green or fruity.

Not only are there teas for different tastes, but they can also help set the mood for your story. Writing a winter scene? Try some peppermint tea. Writing a death scene? Drink something black. Developing some morally-gray characters? There’s earl grey. Writing about a character with sass? There’s lemon ginger. I could go on and on.

The caffeine in tea is not overwhelming.

I love to exercise. But one of the downsides to that is that sometimes I get jittery. Drinking coffee doesn’t help, but with tea, I don’t have a problem. And for those who can’t have caffeine, there are plenty of caffeine free varieties to choose from.

If you’re a night-owl writer or you’re staying up late to meet a deadline, try a cup of tea. It will keep you hydrated, and the decaf varieties won’t keep you awake when you want to get some rest. Unless you’re me and the caffeine in tea doesn’t affect you at all. Then by all means, drink whatever kind of tea you want to keep yourself motivated.

Many fictional characters drink tea.

Captain Picard drinks earl grey. John and Sherlock drink tea all the time as do basically any characters from England. Come to think of it, I don’t usually read a lot of stories that include tea drinkers. Maybe I’m just not reading the right books? Let us change this, dear writers, and don’t be afraid to write about your favorite types of tea.

So why not join them and make yourself a cup?

A cup of tea a day keeps writer’s block away.

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t? The only real cure for writer’s block is writing. But it sounds good, right? Go ahead and have some tea.

Drinking tea is a great social activity for writers.

If there’s anything I learned about living in England, it’s that drinking tea can be either a solitary activity or a social event. Basically, anytime two people meet, aside from passing them in Lidl or the library, tea is offered. If you’re having a meeting with other writers, why not head to a café or make a pot at your place. Every time I Skype or hang out with my friend Faith, we end up drinking tea. It’s a great social drink, and while it may not keep us from choking or spilling it everywhere, it keeps us hydrated while we introverts talk more than we usually would.

Tea serves as a great conversational filler.

Unfortunately, not a lot of readers understand writers. To them, writers are either long-dead or strange human beings who take pleasure in killing off their favorite characters. I’ve even read a couple of pins that ask if writers sit down and have a cup of tea with Satan while plotting deaths. Thank you, readers. I’m glad you have such faith in us!

While I can’t vouch for others, I’m sitting here sipping my coffee—oh, goodness, what am I doing? Anywaaaaay… If you’re finding yourself misunderstood or somebody asks a question you’re not quite sure how to answer (e.g. “What’s your story about?), just raise a cup of tea, smile like Sherlock after he accidentally dropped an eyeball in the cup, and say, “Tea?”


If you’re a coffee-drinker, be sure to come back next month for A Coffee Drinker’s Guide to Writing.

Let’s chat! What’s your favorite type of tea? What’s your favorite benefit to being a tea drinker and a writer? Did I leave anything out? 


  1. I soo wish I liked tea. *cries piteously* I mean I DO love chai lattes!! But they take a lot of effort to make haha, and I do regularly drink Dandelion lattes too which is nice. :') But just plain tea + me = we never seem to get along!! I wish I did though, because tea seems so cosy. Plus it's a good way to keep hydrated while writing, right?!? So that's handy. And YES. I love all the British books and how they drink so much tea.😂 We drink a lot of tea in Australia too actually now that I come to think of parents must have like 5 cups per day hahah.

    1. There's no rule saying you have to completely LOVE tea. And I'm going to be completely honest, and say that I haven't had a cup in a while because I'm lazy, and we don't currently have a tea pot. Have you ever tried making tea in a coffee pot? Awkward. It's good to hear Australians like tea as well, though. One day I shall make it south of the equator...

      Thanks for the comment!