My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Tea And Coffee

Caffeinated HouseCat
You only ~have~ to drink tea & coffee if you actually like them. 


I've noticed a trend of people drinking tea to seem more Lolita or more like Emilie Autumn or even more Goth. Sometimes they video themselves drinking tea really awkwardly. It seems strange and sort of pretentious behaviour. They are clearly trying really hard to look like they are enjoying their tea and their tea-party, and while they might be enjoying the rest of the tea-party, they are trying very hard not to grimace at the actual tea. 

(An aside: I know that tea is an everyday beverage in the UK, and that there are places where tea being made with hot water, a tea-bag and possibly milk and sugar is something of a rarity, but it is a very simple process, and should be quite hard to get wrong.) 

Anyway, this is not about getting making tea wrong, this is about people trying too hard to be quaintly British-esque in search of being more subcultural. I am inherently quaintly British so have never had that as something I wish to become, and can't exactly see the reason why people so desire to be like this. The only motivation I can see is an idealisation of Victorian society and a belief that all Victorian people did is sit around on sunny afternoons drinking tea, playing croquet and, if female, doing embroidery. Victorian life was not actually like that. 

Maybe it is a reaction to the culture of youth binge-drinking, with drinking tea being a stereotypically "civilised" thing to do, and I quite agree that afternoon tea is far superior to evening drunkenness, but there are plenty of soft drinks that are not tea to drink if you dislike tea. There are exceedingly elegant and refined tea meals and ceremonies, and yes the 1840's Afternoon Tea, earlier 18thC tea and of course various Tea Ceremonies from the Orient are all elegant and refined occasions, but that requires more than simply the act of consuming tea from pretty containers or of eating cake off a tiered stand. And engaging in any of the above activities for the purpose of becoming 'more Lolita' or 'more Goth' is silly and a bit appropriative. 

Not drinking tea does not make one any less goth, in the same way that drinking tea does not make one any more goth. I'm not sure why this has become a hugely 'Goth' thing to do, any more than why drinking coffee black was a hugely 'Goth' thing to do when I was a teenage babybat. 

☕ "Give me coffee, black, black as my soul!

I happen to rather like coffee, but I have a caffeine intolerance and get a little too wired if I have anything other than decaff, and I like lattes. This does not make me less Goth. I also like frappuccinos. Most of all, I like rose milkshakes with real vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream on top, served in a tall glass with a straw and marshmallows. Hideously pink, calorific, and decidedly fabulous. Aesthetically one would look fitting in the hands of a Sweet Lolita, but food should not be about what it looks like, or which culture it is from, but about the taste. Really, only drink or eat things because you like them. This does not just apply to tea and coffee, but to sushi and other Japanese food, absinthe, red wine, snakebite & black or anything else that is edible and related to a subculture. 

Be yourself. Eat and drink what you enjoy (in healthy moderation, of course). 

22 comments:

  1. I like coffee. Black coffee. For the sole reason that I find the taste of black coffee to be superior to any coffee that has milk in it. I'd drink my coffee 'black' if milk-less coffee was Barbie pink.

    I'm actually rather new to the world of tee, but I kinda like it. Not to the point, however, that I suddenly say to myself 'know what I fancy? A cuppa tea'. And if there's coffee available, that one always wins out.

    And I have no idea what I'm trying to prove with this comment. :P
    Anyway, nice read. Fully agreed. Doing anything for the sole purpose of 'being more X' is stupid.

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    1. Hello :)
      I must admit that I find black coffee too strong for me, and prefer things involving milk. I like coffee, but I prefer tea.

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  2. I always thought it's great drinking tea especially after eating a piece of cake.

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    1. I have to have my cake after my tea, otherwise the sweetness of the cake makes my tea taste strange.

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  3. I admit to being a total tea addict, I seriously can't survive without it although I know the version I drink is classed more as a waste of a teabag than actual tea. My excuse being it goes into Ravens tea as he takes his much stronger, and is therefore not wasted. Having seen a housecat on coffee how many time to I have to say this YOUR BARRED FROM COFFEE

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    1. This is my (and Raven's) home, and you can't bar me from coffee in my own home, and as Raven says I can drink what I like in the daytime, I shall have coffee if I wish. You'd be amazed at the chores I get done when caffeinated...

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  4. Why do I have to read this at twelve o'clock at night, now my sweet tooth has awoken again...
    My favourite drinks are cocoa and hot choclatte... so my drinking habits would fit a kindergarden child xD. The only way I can bear coffee is with 2 parts of milk to one part coffee and enough sugar to make the spoon stand upright.
    But I switched to tea because I'm currently doing slim asleep and water only between meals is dull.

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    1. I must admit, if I go out to a cafe, I'm most likely to order the extra-large hot-chocolate with a shot of hazel syrup, whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, a spoon and a straw. If I'm going to be indulgent, I'll be VERY indulgent.

      I'm not sure what "slim asleep" is, but it sounds like a diet. Teas, especially herbal teas, are known to be healthy. Herbal teas are usually served without milk, making them less fatty, or you can try ordinary tea with rice milk , oat milk or soya milk, which apparently have less fat content than cows' milk. Try tea in a glass mug black, with lemon, maybe sugar.

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    2. Damn... that sounds goooood.
      I'm eating after book called 'Schlank im Schlaf' ... it's basically some kind of food combining diet thing.
      I've found some tea called 'sweet chai' that comes with vanilla flavour. It tastes really nice without adding anything. (Yay for chemicals xD)

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    3. Vanilla essence is natural, it's from vanilla pods.

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    4. I don't think the tea bag factory has ever seen real vanilla pods... but maybe I'm just too sceptical. The naming conventions for differing between artificial and real flavours in germany are too complicated for mere mortals to understand.

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  5. I've always been quite addicted to both tea and coffee. You couldn't make me choose, it's impossible.

    That both of those beverages happen to have some merit for making one look refined or "something" is just a perk in my book. And even if they were completely despised in my subcultures of choice, I wouldn't stop drinking them. ;)

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    1. I'm not sure why drinking tea is seen as refined. Everyone in the UK drinks tea; it's not just an upper/upper-middle class phenomenon, you see workmen with their rear ends showing and potty mouths drinking tea from flasks as well as little old ladies with fine bone-china tea-sets and home-made cakes. And the British aren't inherently refined.

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  6. I've noticed this trend also. To the point that confessing that I hate tea has gotten me rather rude insults.

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    1. I'd been known to jokingly call friends "heathen" for not having tea in the house, but that was back when I lived in England, and tea really is very, very common beverage there. And they were good friends who knew that I was only joking... How anyone could actually genuinely be rude and insulting to someone for disliking tea is unimaginable. It's... such a small and petty thing to get worked up over!

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  7. I attend the monthly gatherings of a local tea society here, of which a few members are Goth. I enjoy both the tea and the company. Still, I'm a coffee drinker and that's what occupies my thoughts when I wake up.

    I don't drink coffee because I want to be fashionable or fit into any mode. I do it because I like it and I can't think of a better start to my day.

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    1. That tea society sounds nice - do you have formal afternoon tea, or is it just a tea social? I wish there were things like that where I live! I'm actually thinking of starting a Goth social local to me.

      My day starts with a cold drink to wash the taste of sleep out of my mouth and then a cup of tea when I need something warm and sweet, or two cups of tea if I'm still drowsy, or a cup of coffee if I need a bit of a jolt.

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  8. I wouldn't call our tea society formal, but some members do like to dress creatively for the occasion. We meet on the third Saturday of every month in a rented room at the local public library.

    There are generally two or three different types of tea and finger food available and we munch/drink away as we discuss a chosen topic associated with our various creative pursuits. Later on, we just socialize.

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    1. I'd love a tea society, it sounds wonderful!

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  9. Ha ha! I love this! I am a big tea drinker, but usually only peppermint and green tea, and no milk, because milk makes me feel sick. I think I do wince a bit at citrus flavoured teas when I have to drink them at someone else's place. I don't drink coffee, or any soft drinks, so it's just tea, water and the occasional orange juice for me.

    I love how tea has become so popular now with the popularity of Steampunk. I've always loved all things Victorian, but I think I just drink it because I am part English, so it's in my genetics!

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  10. Many of the girls wearing Lolita dresses drink tea, but I do agree with you that tea has nothing to do with gothic.

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