That the American Revolution began with the symbolic rejection of tea in Boston Harbor, in other words, makes perfect sense. Real revolutionaries would naturally prefer coffee. By contrast, the freedom fighters of Canada, a hundred years later, were most definitely tea drinkers. And where was Canada's autonomy won? Not on the blood-soaked fields of Lexington and Concord but in the genteel drawing rooms of Westminster, over a nice cup of Darjeeling and small, triangular cucumber sandwiches.
from Java Man by Malcolm Gladwell
There's much more in this essay that I want to talk about, but this seemed like the easiest place to start. In addition to writing of different teas I like and their origins, I've talked about religion and sex in relation to tea. I did this partly because I knew it'd attract readers, but also because the topics really interested me.
Something I've purposely avoided thus far, though, is politics. Not that I don't have opinions regarding politics, but I just thought it had no place here. It is a bit frustrating that most searches with even the mention of tea will send you to tea parties and all the politics that I'm veering away from talking about.
I'm sure I'll mine this Gladwell essay for much more material. It's a treasure trove of ideas not just about caffeine but about the difference between tea and coffee. So many people writing about tea want to fight this image of it being a drink for emasculated intellectuals. I've written about the stereotypes of tea drinkers, and been surprised that not many people came to our defense.
So I'm opening it up to debate here again. Would coffee really attract true revolutionaries? Is tea truly better paired with quiet drawing rooms and hushed conversation?