Men. It’s Time We Talked.

I’ve seen a lot of tea lately. Nothing unusual there.

Much of it has been in lovely china or fine glassware. I can’t see that as a bad thing.

I’ve also nibbled on quite a few tasty and delicate savouries, mini sandwiches, petite cakes, scones and other confections: even a massively over-decorated cupcake.

Yes, I’ve been partaking of afternoon tea with great regularity.

Being on tour across America with Lady Devotea, it has been a mix of private afternoon teas, get-togethers with American friends and several that were actually arranged as events on our tour.

We’ve had some lovely tea. Some events featured our own teas, some featured some others. Most have been in the range passable to excellent.

At each event, whether it be just the two of us in a room with other diners or packed out private functions, we have enjoyed wonderful little islands of tea, conversation and friendship. And more.

And, er, guys….where were you?

Mandarin Bay Vegas: Approx 8% males in the room.

Four Seasons Vegas: 2 males out of 11 people

Event in Harlem: less than 20% male.

Annual White Tea Event: Packed room with only 2 male attendees

Maybe I should wait until the last afternoon tea event in the US is over, but since that will be the Ladies Victorian Tea Society of Philadelphia, I’m going to predict right now that it will be quite tilted toward a strong female presence.

Some of these events have been purely social, Some have involved myself and Lady D telling our story and our stories, but been very social as well.

The fact is, when you put a bunch of people and a bunch of tea together, and spice up the mixture with a few tasty treats, it’s hard not to chat.

Lady Devotea and I sat with the charming Claudeth and Aileen at the White Spring Tea Event. With their Caribbean background being very different to ours, the only conversation starter I could come up with was cricket, but Lady D soon rescued the situation and there was much chattering going on during the first part of the event.

Afterwards, there were conversations to be had with almost everyone in the room. Including conversations between people who might be known to each other over the internet but were face to face for the first time.

Men, it’s not okay to stay away. Never mind the tea you are missing, this is human interaction. You don’t have to talk about Jane Austen, your feelings, hats or any other tricky stuff. Talk sport. Talk politics. Talk cold nuclear fission. Talk tea!

Dress nicely: this is also not hard. Turn up on time. Drink tea.

Maybe chintz is not your thing. Maybe you prefer mugs to china cups. Maybe your idea of  good sandwich is a side of beef between two loaves of bread. Well, suck it up, Princess.

If you’re single and straight, think back to what I said of the male:female ratio.

If you’re in any other category, come anyway. Bring your significant other, a relative. Treat your mum. Bring your teens for a laugh.

Come along and have fun, have cake, have conversation and have tea.

Quite frankly you’re missing out, and it’s about time someone told you.

I’m glad we had this talk.

13 thoughts on “Men. It’s Time We Talked.

  1. It is part of my focus to increase the numbers, hence taking a course at World Tea Expo “Beer and Tea Pairings”. Just recently I met a young man from Houston in my local grocery store standing in front of the boxed tea selections. He was in a quandary as to which choice to make, needless to say I made some recommendations. Bringing more men to tea is not an easy task though I have had some success just ask my hubby a staunch Lipton drinker who has expanded his palate considerably and now visits tea shops when he is on the road inquiring “how much sugar?” is in the brew 🙂 Also note that out of 6 male participants at the White Spring Tea, two have been to 8+ tea events and two were returning for the second time. Slow steady progress.

  2. So far the only one to reply is a woman.
    Bunch of wusses the lot. Of course it is quite possible that a large proportion of men are closet tea partiers.I have on occasion popped into people’s houses for tea, and found small groups of men hiding in cupboards, clutching dainty tea cups. The worst? They’re tucked away in small herds, not man enough to sip the tea while alone. Of course, I don’t really think they should be in those closets at all.

  3. I often cannot attend tea events due to poverty. Also, the male/female ratio incentive breaks down when you realize that most of the tea ladies are married/involved/85 years old.

    Otherwise, I’d be there in Brooks Brothers suit with a china cup with my pinky out every time.

  4. I can only attest that most tea or related merchandise are geared toward female in Japan

  5. I love tea, drink it multiple times a day. In fact, I wish there were more tea shops here in Columbus. I so miss Lovejoy’s in SF.

  6. It doesn’t help that I blend right in with the fairer. I am, essentially, a Stealth Male. It skews the numbers.

  7. I’m actually quite fond of afternoon tea and high tea. What I’m not fond of is the price of either of those rituals. Seriously, they break the bank. And my meager (and manly!) wallet can’t support it.

    My reasons for shying away aren’t wholly testosteronal.

    That said, if you were in attendance, I would of sat the S**T out of those tea parties.

  8. I guess I fall into the category of “getting all dressed up to drink tea” is not my thing. Each to their own. Plus most shops in my area concentrate on coffee/espresso and think nothing of handing your green tea with boiling water.

    Plus I agree with Chbenchen. From what’s available in my area, most tea stuff is rather frilly and not even remotely male driven.

    My $0.02, keep the change.

  9. @HAPPYGAIWAN I agree with you, but I have more than one Japanese male friends confessing to me that it is ‘difficult’ for them to walk into a tea store, unless accompanied by ladies 🙂

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