Tea Parties Making It Harder For Tea Parties?

The Mad Hatter

The Chicago Tribune notes that the relative success of the Tea Party movement has made things frustrating for lovers of tea parties.

Purveyors of fine tea and tea enthusiasts in general find themselves steeped in a linguistic shift, their beloved beverage now associated with a conservative political movement routinely praised or pilloried on talk radio and cable news shows. The tea party movement’s name, a reference to the tax protests that led to the Revolutionary War, has nothing, really, to do with tea. But that doesn’t seem to matter.

“I certainly can see and have seen some confusion with regard to the name they’ve chosen for their movement,” said Dan Robertson, owner of The Tea House in Naperville, a major tea distributor. “When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I can sell them some tea.’ Then I realized that probably wasn’t going to happen.”

He said he recently sent tea samples to a prospective client in Memphis, who is starting a business called The Memphis Tea Party. He searched that on Google and came up with nothing but news of political rallies and links to the actual Memphis tea party organization.

Personally, my own rough Google research (consisting of typing ‘[insert city] tea’) didn’t really bring up much confusion. (And lots of good places to get tea in my area.) However, I think that the potential for confusion is mildly humorous. I also agree with one of the Chicago tea sellers quoted in the article:

“I worry that they’re drinking bad tea,” Robertson said. “They don’t know how to relax. If you just sit back and have a good cup of tea and talk, things tend to work out.”

That is some sage advice. And now I’m thinking I’m going to have a nice cup of tea this afternoon.

FILED UNDER: Humor,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    I suspect if the Tea Party folks drink tea, it is mostly the iced kind. Come to think of it, that may be another reason the “elite” loath the Tea Parties.

    As for starting a business called the Memphis Tea Party, well, that name has other connotations. So the proprietor might want to modify his name or get his web presence established.

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    One of these days, I’ll understand why liking fresh, small-business crafted foods and drinks that taste delightful makes one an “elitist” and being a fan corporate-produced, watered down, processed crap with no nutritional value and even less flavor makes you a “common person.”

    I’d argue that the folks who seek out small farmers and craftsman are much more in tune with America’s Heartland artisanal and culinary traditions, as well as local business. If supporting my local community and desiring quality goods makes me an elitist, then I guess I’m an elitist, but good god that doesn’t make any sense.

  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    I find it impossible to work up much concern for for the sort of people who drinks tea.

    He said, taking a swig of black coffee.

  4. jpersonna says:

    “I worry that they’re drinking bad tea,” Robertson said. “They don’t know how to relax. If you just sit back and have a good cup of tea and talk, things tend to work out.”

    What a pinko!

  5. Grewgills says:

    One of these days, I’ll understand why liking fresh, small-business crafted foods and drinks that taste delightful makes one an “elitist” and being a fan corporate-produced, watered down, processed crap with no nutritional value and even less flavor makes you a “common person.”

    Because the latter is easily affordable to anyone and the former tend to be a bit pricy. That and you said delightful.

  6. Alex Knapp says:

    Because the latter is easily affordable to anyone and the former tend to be a bit pricy.

    It is at first, but I spend less on food now than I used to when I went out all the time and bought pre-made meals. Heck, I’ve got a nice 5-lb pork shoulder cooking in the crock pot that set me back $7, but it will provide me with dinner tonight and lunch all week. A bargain, I say.

  7. Michael says:

    artisanal and culinary traditions

    Now you’re just trying to earn your elitist title.

    Heck, I’ve got a nice 5-lb pork shoulder cooking in the crock pot that set me back $7

    A 12 hour dry rub and 18 hours on a smoker will do wonders for that. Though I use fine-ground coffee in my rub, not tea.

  8. Alex Knapp says:

    A 12 hour dry rub and 18 hours on a smoker will do wonders for that.

    Wrong weather for a smoker in these parts, alas. I did a 12 hour dry rub and 10 hours in the slow cooker. Came out beautifully.

    Though I use fine-ground coffee in my rub, not tea.

    I may have to try that. I mostly use chili powder and garam masala, with some salt, pepper and garlic thrown in.

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