Clarch! #1: “Blending Tea and Dating”

This one is for the fellas.

About three years ago, I received an invite to go to a bar trivia night in downtown Portland. I usually got the call when a group of friends required a “guy-that-knows-useless-shit”; that was me. Need  someone that knows the composer for the “Death of Optimus Prime” scene in the ’86 animated Transformers: The Movie? I’m your man. I am a fountain of frivolous knowledge.

Our track record this night was fairly steady. I was contributing answers to about a third of the more non sequitur questions – a little off my game but not too badly. A question came up that I wasn’t expecting, one that I thought I instantly had in the bag.

The Q/A emcee asked, “What group of people has better sex? Coffee drinkers or tea drinkers?”


My primary geek hobby – tea – started because of sex. There were at least three-to-four blends and tisanes I knew of that were beneficial for…er…”blood flow”. That and normal tea was a primary ingredient in many male enhancement products. (Don’t ask me how I know that.) Tea also made for a great conversation starter; plus, the rest of the world drank tea. It was a given.

The answer? Coffee drinkers.

I cost us the game.

How could I have been so wrong? All my perusals – scholastic and palate-related – pointed to tea as being the clear victor. How could the swill of Satan be the better boffing brew? The question plagued me on the drive home.

It hit me when I was in the shower the next day.

First off, tea was not a ubiquitous beverage in the United States, not since we dumped crates of it over a perfectly good harbor. Coffee dates were considered the universal icebreaker, almost to the point of cliché. If a guy wanted to get to know a potential…um…playmate, there were only two viable routes – coffee and alcohol. In some cases, both if the conversation went really well.

I looked back at my track record with tea dates. The first one I ever went on was with a girl from Craigslist. She was older than me by a month. Other than showing complete uninterested in me, she also related how she answered an ad to be an old man’s “sugarbaby”. In short, it was a bust.

The next – oh – several attempts ended one of two ways. The less common occurrence was that we hit it off in terms of conversation, trading barbs like old friends. But that was it, “friends”. Either one didn’t feel that mandatory “oomph” or the other – or both. The outing was so completely non-threatening and informal that any tension from the event was rendered impotent.

The more common outcome? The girl never showed up. Seriously.

A last attempt at a tea date was in March. I considered it the make-or-break for this anti-Friend Zone field test. In theory, tea dates should work, especially if one had some knowledge of the beverage prior. It was classy. Girls dug classy…right? Well, apparently not.

While it may be a sad conclusion – and one that most bros of brewdom don’t want to hear – tea dates don’t work. At least in my experience. It might be just an American conundrum; it may even be that I’m no good at dating in general. The simple summation is that tea and dating are a one-way ticket aboard the HMS Platonic.  That isn’t to say, however, that there aren’t ways around that.

Just because you, fellow steeper, have this one peculiar hobby doesn’t mean you have to be ashamed of it. You can mention it in passing on a normal-ish date. Once an actual rapport and/or relationship are established, then you can let her into your wulong-rich world. A second – more lowbrow – approach would be to find establishments that serve tea-infused alcohol drinks. In my neck of the woods, I know of five. Can you think of a better gateway to “Awesome!”? I can’t.

I’m almost certain this entry will garner some amount of, “You’re wrong! My wife and I are the exception.” In statistics, you would be known as an “outlier”. For you to be an exception, there first has to be a general rule. Of course, I could be completely wrong on this. So, please, do relate your success stories if you have them. Prove me wrong, I beg of you.

And while you’re at it, kindly tell me where you’ve parked your unicorn.

Awesome Doodles by Aaron Grayson

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Monday, September 19th, 2011 Clargh!, Steep Stories

33 Comments to Clarch! #1: “Blending Tea and Dating”

  1. Love it.

  2. Shani on September 20th, 2011
  3. pahahahaha! Brilliant. Just brilliant. What a fabulous read. It’s very true what you say about coffee dates vs. tea dates—though I’ve never actually attempted to use that line with a woman: “Fancy a cuppa tea?” I bet it works in Ireland or England though…

  4. Drew on September 20th, 2011
  5. just seems a shame, tea is so good. go on coffee dates to places that have tea and coffee then everyone can have what they want! Find out where the ex pats are.

  6. margo on September 20th, 2011
  7. @Shani – 🙂 Yay!

    @Drew – Y’know, I’ve never used that line either. Although…I have used similar. To less effectiveness. And, no, it doesn’t work in Ireland or England. Odd that. Thanks for reading.

    @Margo – Even if you ordered tea in a coffee shop, at that point, it’s still in the realm of coffee dating. However, you’re right, I should’ve put that in there.

  8. Geoffrey F. Norman on September 20th, 2011
  9. I learned a long time ago to drink tea alone. Americans just don’t understand it. I married a coffee-drinker who only requests tea when he’s sick. But he’s well trained to make me a strong cup of Rosie Lee-often. Keeps me amorous!

  10. cj on November 16th, 2011
  11. and glamorous.

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  13. I’ve never even HEARD of Rosie Lee. Making a mental note.

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