Finally! This tea blog get a a bit of life in the form of an absolutely awesome tea post from a TeaMan (rhymes with He-Man!), Derek. He makes a strong case for manly tea.
In some circles, tea has a bit of a bum rap, especially if you’re a man.
“Oh you drink tea? Do you like to drink it while reading Confessions of a Shopaholic or Twilight Saga?”
“Tea’s your favorite beverage? Is netball your favorite sport then?”
Prepare yourself for an onslaught of snide remarks challenging your machismo. Well, the mark of a true man is not violence but restraint; and intelligent rebuttals.
The next time your manliness is called into question because you enjoy the beverage of intellectuals and royalty down the centuries, you have a ready comeback on hand. In fact, from anyway you spin it- real men drink tea.
A Historical Perspective- Tea Drinkers Rule
From Emperor Tang Dai Zong to Emperor Qian Long to Chairman Mao- all these dudes helmed the nation of China at some point or another. Few things scream ‘manliness’ as much as power and that was something these guys didn’t lack.
Another commodity they had abundance of was tea, of course they did- the best teas were earmarked for their private consumption. Tribute tea or 贡茶 （yup, I think many of you can pick up the reference） was the generic term for the best teas reserved for those who rule, literally.
A Cultural Perspective- A Manly Grip
How many drinks differentiate between a man’s way of drinking and a lady’s?
I know mine does. A man grips firmly with his thumb, index and middle while the ring and little finger are curled into place to show he’s in control.
The stance even has a manly name- 三龙护鼎 or literally ‘3 dragons protecting the cauldron’. How much more masculine can you get than that?
For the sake of completeness, a lady’s grip has the last 2 fingers in a more relaxed posture, to signify elegance. As for a photo of that- ask the Tea Lady, I’m not going demonstrate that- it damages my credibility as I’m arguing this case!
A Scientific Perspective- Testosterone Charged (Literally)
As most of us are aware, estrogens are the primary female hormone and testosterones are the primary male hormones. Ergo the most scientific way of proving your masculinity is through your testosterone level, no?
Here’s an extract from a Newscientist.com article on this subject:
“Large quantities (of tea) might even provide a legal performance boost by raising levels of testosterone in the blood.”
If you are so inclined, you can read the rest of the article here but here’s the skinny- gulping tea boosts you testosterone levels (and hence your masculinity). So you can shove that scientific factoid down the throats of those sissy doubters with lower testosterone levels!
*With the usual wishy-washy scientific disclaimers of course*
A Social Perspective- Slurping
Slurping your soup may seem immensely gratifying but it’s the surest way of ensuring you’ll never be invited back again.
Well, it is not only socially acceptable to slurp tea, it is encouraged. Slurping tea helps aerate the tea and spread it evenly on your tongue so you can better differentiate the subtle nuances of the tea.
For good measure, it is also perfectly acceptable to ‘chew’ your tea. How’s that for masculinity, you can slurp and move your jaw as you drink, unleash your inner Viking without alienating your entire social circle?
So any way you spin it, real men drink tea. Now if you excuse me, I am returning to my Big Red Robe (what a masculine name eh)?
When he is not busy proclaiming his masculinity, Derek owns and operates Peony Tea S.- an online tea shop based in Singapore and hopes to make tea converts out of everyone he meets.