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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

When did tea become so... Goth?

I'm English. Which means that I drink tea. A lot. I drink tea like Americans drink coffee. I need tea like I need air.

Yes, yes, pedantic person at the back there, of COURSE there are English people who don't like tea. In fact until a couple of years ago I was one, but I had my teaphiphany a short while back and now I can't get enough of the stuff.

What I didn't realise until, well, today, was that apparently I'm not the only black-clad spookster with a tea fetish. Is it the associations with elegance and grandeur? Paying homage to your British Gothy ancestors of the 70s and 80s? Is it all Emilie Autumn's fault? I don't know. But it seems like all of a sudden, dark culture has gone batty over tea. o.O

Source
I myself have a growing collection of teacups and mugs, including a fortune-telling teacup, a porcelain 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' skully mug, and, well, this:

And if one's tea is not already spooky enough by virtue of being, well, TEA, you can now get all kinds of dark delights (see what I did there?) such as:
You could also celebrate your love of a good ol' cuppa by wearing a teacup hat, necklace or ring. Just be careful not to take it too far...

There's even a sport that the least athletic Goths could potentially get behind, and it's known as tea dueling. I can see this happening at future meet-ups everywhere.

So. Tea. Love it? Hate it? Theories or, y'know, actual knowledge on why it's suddenly popping up alongside bats, spiders and skulls as a Gothy staple?

43 comments:

Traicetrak said...

I love tea (with teacups & saucers and teapots -- the whole bit), but I never saw it as a goth-related interest. I thought the stereotype was that Goths love their coffee, because it helps them stay up all night reading Anne Rice (or perk up in the morning after staying up all night), which they drink while smoking clove cigarettes, of course. X^D The tea culture does seem to be new to me, but then again, what do I know. Maybe an extension of the surge of interest in Steampunk?

Katherine :) said...

I think it may have something to do with the more antique spectrum of goth? Tea in china cups paints pictures of Victorian days, posh manor houses and upper class life. (To some anyway) which of course the Victorian etc goths will love.

Anonymous said...

I know alot of goths that are health conscious, many even vegan or vegetarian, so perhaps it has to do with the (relatively) new resurgence of tea being touted for its health benefits? Also, here in the US, sushi is pretty big amongst goths, so maybe it's the Eastern influence. Or it could be so simple as (at least here), many don't like coffee, either, and started ordering tea at the late-night diners after the clubs, as it's easier to get a fresh cup of decaf tea than a cup of decaf coffee that hasn't been sitting around for 3 hours (I've waitressed in many diners-decaf coffee is not a big seller, and it's only made fresh after the pot is empty).

Amy Asphodel said...

Traicetrak - ooh yes, I forgot to mention the original coffee stereotype... "My coffee is black, like my sooooooul..."

xxxx Little Darkling xxxx said...

Eeeeep! I hate tea! I prefer coffee-with loads of sugar, frothy milk and chocolate sprinkles!!! NOT the stereotypical black coffee..... But I haven't had much of my non-goth coffee lately.....

xxxx little darkling xxxx

xxxx Little Darkling xxxx said...

Forgot to mention, I have a skull shaped mug, a mug with a cute spider, a gorjuss mug and a mug with blackly clad people on....

xxxx little darkling xxxx

Amy Asphodel said...

Heheh... I do love a caramel latte with marshmallows and extra syrup >.<

xxxx Little Darkling xxxx said...

Sounds nice :-) but really sweet >.<

Caroline Carnivorous said...

Hate it! Not sweet enough, no matter how much sugar you put in it, and it tastes like nothing >-<

Anonymous said...

* I also forgot to mention, in my circle (which is fairly large), "going for coffee" after a club is actually a euphamism; there is no actual coffee involved (I'll just leave it to the imagination). Perhaps a bunch of goths started drinking tea, because if after the clubs, if they mentioned going for coffee, others may get the wrong idea.

Bored_Homeschooler said...

I love tea. Growing up,it was pretty much the only food item we always had in stock. I even make my own herbal blend from time to time,though I'm admittedly not very good at it.
I can't stand coffee. I just don't care for the taste,too bitter and strong for my mouth. Vile stuff.
Though I don't really think of tea as a goth thing,and it is probably Emilie Autumn's fault that tons of her fans are bugging their parents for some earl grey from the supermarket,as much as I hate to admit it .All in good fun,I suppose.

gin said...

I'm a big tea drinker, but always have been as my grandfather, whom I spent most of my childhood with, is an avid tea drinker. Add that with my fiance being Chinese, and you get a cupboard full of all types of tea. And American coffee is horrible and lacking in flavour. That's why if I do have coffee, it's usually from overseas.

Twisted Princess said...

I'm afraid I can't stand tea. If I drank it more often I'm sure I'd acquire a taste for it, but for now I'm happy downing Mocha Frappucchinos loaded with sugar and chocolate and far too many calories ^^

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

Love it, need it.

For me I guess it comes from my mum's side, the Welsh side of the family tree.

Lauren Salas said...

I love tea. I loved it before I went goth, and the fact that it's become part of goth culture's really just a nice little bonus for me. Really never been fond of coffee. Something about the taste just puts me off.

Mary Lykoris said...

Wow

TheHalloweenLadybug said...

I love tea!! ^-^ and coffee, and yes I need it black with no sugar, just pure coffee ;) but I really love tea, I used to read up on tea etiquette all the time XD I'm planning a proper tea party with my friend...except she wants a British theme and I was thinking along more spooky lines ^-^

SkeleDuck said...

I love coffee, but tea (like absinthe, funerals and picnic-ing) has an antique atmosphere of ritual, proper environment and gentility. A softer, feminine, gracious kind of thing that lends itself to goth just as it is, or roughened in some way. Like adding macabre / gloomy details.

Darling Violetta said...

This whole tea thing has me mystified as well. Actually coffee was the cliche drink of Goths back in the day. I think it's because local coffee shops were kind of the hang out spot for many Goths who were unable to attend club, events, or gigs due to their age. There are still meetups titled "Goffee" (a mixture of Goth and Coffee). We have one in my town. It's where the local Goth community meets up at a local coffee shop for conversation and enjoyment (you know, the old cliche of Goths hanging out at the local coffee shop with their friends and discussing the newest Anne Rice novel or attending a dark poetry meeting). Some do prefer this sort of interaction over clubbing since you can have a nice conversation without having to scream, "WHAAAT?!" over the music.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to the stereotype, I prefer my coffee very creamy. Just a shade or two darker than my pale "goth girl" skin.

Arcaline said...

I still love my Coffee. I think it smells better than Tea.

I haven't actually tried Tea yet though >_>

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

I've been drinking tea out of boredom. XD I love tea regalia, though! Teapots and saucers and cups everywhere! I'm a coffee girl, but I love dried berry teas.

You've all seen my Tom Baker mug, of course.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I just really love a good cup of tea, is all...

Photographer Leia said...

I positively love hot tea, but it has nothing to do with the goth subculture. I started drinking it when I was really young becasue my mother drank it, and I thought it looked very grown up and dignified. I have long since believed that tea is pretty much the cure for all ills. In the present (besides the taste which I love) my interest in the late Victorian area cultivates that love.

Nightwind said...

I'm definitely a coffee drinker. I can't imagine starting my day any other way. Even so, I do belong to a tea society that meets one a month locally. Interestingly enough, several of its members, including the founders, are Goths.

OddGhoulOut said...

I've always loved tea. I've even got a couple of cat mugs, and a mug from Salem, Mass. I like tea because there's just such a variety of flavors and types, and it's a good excuse to sit down and relax. I can't say why it's suddenly become popular with goths, but that's why I like it.

akumaxkami said...

I've always loved tea, way back when my grandmother first got me hooked on it. To me, its reminiscent of stuffy Victorian culture and fairy tales. Besides, you can't have a good tea party without actually serving, well.....tea.

Lesthi said...

I dont drink tea :P I stick to my coca-cola.

kakuidori said...

coffee at work (nightshift...), tea at home. i have a collection of teas and usually get 'those looks' when i ask if someone wants a tea *lol*

but so far only boring plain white mugs.

but i know in my case it definitely was not ea but i would like tea to be more popular! <3

Nina @ Death Books and Tea said...

I think it's because of Emilie Autumn and the more Victorian-y side of things.
Why I love it? Legal drug! Er...not just that. But that's part of it. I love it because I can do things with it (blending it is fun), teapots and cups are adorable, and tea parties are the best thing ever (especially when you have friends like mine who get you pretty much high).
And tea duelling? That looks so fun...
Thanks for the post!

Loupie said...

I'm English and don't like tea :p or coffee for that matter. Yes I know I'm a freak of nature.

Though I will admit to liking fruit teas, blackberry and nettle being my current favourite.

Also have a large purple mug with a molded spider that forms the handle.

LadyRowenaSaew said...

I self medicate with tea.
I also collect teacups, so far i have a purple one with bats on it, a black and orange one that says ''coffee'' a bloodstained one, one with a black unicorn on it, a spiderweb one, one with a thorn pattern, a fairy one, a chinese tea cup with a dragon on it, a green one with an ivy pattern, a skull shaped one, one with a picture of a raven that says ''nevermore'', a black glitter teacup, a black and light purple gothic lolita teacup, a teacup with bible verses on it, a halloween teacup with two witches on it, and an alice in wonderland tea cup i got recently on a trip to london. :)

Zere said...

Don't kick me for this, but it could perhaps be because of the lolitas too. Tea is a VERY big part of the lolita community, and many lolitas are also... Eh... Part-time-goth? I dunno. Not saying they're the only reason, but it could be one of the influences. Though it most probably is what you say. That it ties back to eras where tea was a big and important part of daily life and that many goths strive to live in such a time.

Personally I'm not that fond of tea... I have tried many kinds, some kinds I can drink, but I don't particularly enjoy it. I'm not too fond of coffee either (unless it's mocha coffee), so I usually just sticks to tons and tons of bottles of water :p ... Or mint cocoa. Yum!

The Cemetery Dreamer said...

I'm one of those odd English people who do not like tea. At least I don't like 'real' tea. I'm more of a herbal and/or fruit tea lover.

It gives me an excuse for owning 2 pretty teapots and and a couple of tea themed necklaces at least.
I even have a teapot clock!
(http://cemeterydreamer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/were-all-mad-here.html)

theEmocarebear said...

My buddy started at British Club back in Junior year of high school, and we threw a giant tea party for the entire school.

It was a blast, and where my love of chilled Earl Grey became a reality. ^^

Xanthy said...

I like tea, mainly because it's delicious and healthy and I grew up drinking it.

Not because it's supposedly 'goth'.


By the way, my teacups (as the rest of my tableware) are a bit steampunky, with a clock-face theme. Does that get me extra Goth Points?

Anonymous said...

After reading more comments, specifically the ones about tea parties, I've another theory. Pretty much all the goths I know *love* anything Disney (here in SoCal, we have Bat's Day in the Fun Park, aka, Disneyland), so maybe it has something to do with Alice in Wonderland and The Mad Hatter? Plus the whole Tim Burton association... I don't know, just a theory. I personally like coffe & tea, equally.

Leena said...

I love tea! And I have many many cups <3

Princesssookeh said...

Tea is pretty much my life. we currently have, green, black, peppermint, lemon ginger, chai, and lavender tea in the house right now. the green and peppermint are perfect for the summer.

also, for your "A Great Big List of Dark Alt Bands"
you should probably check out:
Asphixia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI2DqqdTm2A

Buck-Tick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d7Tb3SdJ_E
^_^

Louise said...

Another English person who's doing nothing to discourage the 'Brits love tea' stereotype. I'm not sure how it caught on in the subculture, but I'm not complaining. XD

Dani DeathBiscuit said...

I love tea.

I won't even go into how many teacups I own.. or teapots...

Maybe I should just do a teacup/teapot post? :D

Also I just realised.. I forgot my blog has teacups n shizzle icons everywhere!! Hehehehe.


I've also noticed that Australians like plain black tea. A lot (personally I don't like it as much as other types of tea... CHAI, EARL GREY. NOM.)

Serenity said...

I think tea has such Gothic associations because of the romantic influences. It was huge in the Victorian Era, and that sense of privilege and... overall fancy stuff, is suggested when one drinks tea. It's strange because, here in the U.S., it's considered gothic to stay at a Denny's or IHOP till past midnight and drink coffee. I love tea and like to dress like a tea faerie with gothic influences, and I get some flack for not being gothic enough. I don't mind or care, as long as I got my sugarcubes. :D <3!

Sal Kaye said...

Love tea! Always have. I enjoy at least one cup a day, usually more.

Sal

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