You, Me, and Cups of Tea

In this weeks column, Adam Finn celebrates tea, its diversity, its centrality to Irish life, and its remarkable capacity to serve as a metaphor.

I wasn’t quite sure what to write about this weekend. Well there’s always events but I like to think I can broaden my scope to life lessons and getting by in life/college. We have a load of society events on this week, but our main event is Class Rep Training on Tuesday. All the class reps will be trained up and pitched to by the venues in town, so your class can have the best class parties for you.

On to my main point. I’m sitting here in bed on a Sunday morning, hangover in tact, but I have a cup of tea to make life just that little bit easier. My main point is about tea. Some boiling water, a bag full of leaves, and milk and sugar depending on your preference. These things thrown together in a cup are a pivotal part of Irish life.

You call into a relative’s house, ‘throw on the tea’, sunday night, ‘throw on the tea’, long day in college, ‘throw on the tea’, what’s the letter after S? T.

For such a simple thing, it opens doors to a lot of things. If you need to have a talk with someone, whether it’s about college not going well for you, a break up, mental health, tea seems to be something that people feel able to open up with. Once that hot mug is sitting in your hand, as you feel the warmth travel through your body with each gulp, it brings a sense of security and comfort. God knows why, but we’re Irish, so we accept that, and we’ve no qualms with doing so.

Tea can be used for a lot of metaphors, and today I’m going to use it as a metaphor. You’ll meet a lot of different people in college, in life. Imagine everyone is a cup of tea, each brewed with care, each made to the drinker’s personal preferences. All the cups of tea are still cups of tea, all brilliant, all loved, just made up a bit differently. Regardless of the make up of the tea, different types can work together. One of my best friends has never had a cup of tea in his life, not even a taste. Madness. I have friends who live for their cup of tea at the end of the day, I have friends that don’t like tea, I have friends who take milk, friends who don’t take milk, have no sugar, have two sugars, people who leave their tea bag in, people who take their tea bags out. I’ve gotten a bit of grief for putting sugar in my tea but it’s not said in malice. Only a bit of a slagging, the mutual respect still remains due to the love of tea.

Don’t be overly worried of people’s opinions of you. It’s not the end of the day, hence the expression ‘not my cup of tea’. It’s just down to people’s taste. You’re a cup of tea, and you’ve sugar in you, and said person may not like sugar in their tea, or may never had sugar in their tea. It’s not too big deal if they don’t like sugar, they may never even tried it. People love cups of tea, some people have certain preferences, but it’s a love of tea all the same.

And on that note, I’ll put and end to this analogy and head downstairs to make another cup of tea.


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