I have a friend who is a committed coffee drinker, and doesn’t like tea. I, on the other hand, have been a tea drinker for a long time, and can’t stand coffee. To me, coffee ice cream is a travesty, and tiramisu is an abomination.
Both my friend and I enjoy quality. He likes Starbucks Clover coffees, and I like Teavana tea. No Maxwell house or Lipton for us, we want the good stuff.
My friend complains that tea drinkers are time wasters. He thinks tea takes too long to make, and to drink. I think coffee drinkers don’t know how to enjoy the beautiful moments in life – they are too busy being coffee achievers. Of course we are teasing each other. We enjoy spending time together as we each enjoy our favorite beverages.
One day we thought of something linguistic, something that gave credence to our differentiation between the personalities of tea lovers and coffee achievers.
When we tea lovers enjoy a cup of tea, we call it “teatime.” This calls to mind a lengthy time of enjoyment and relaxation. When coffee lovers enjoy a cup of coffee, it is called a “coffee break,” indicating a limited time in between spurts of action. Even the word “time” has a very different meaning than the word “break” in any context.
I know there are some people who like both tea and coffee. My parents were such people. They had coffee in the morning and tea in the evening. But many of us divide clearly into two groups; either you are a coffee person or a tea person.
Throughout the world, many cultures have specific social rituals around the serving of coffee and tea. The reading of coffee grounds and tealeaves is a popular divination method.
When we enjoy teatime or a coffee break, we may not realize we are observing ancient traditions, but we are.
In recent times, tea and coffee have become code words for political leanings – the tea party on the right and, in reaction, the coffee party on the left.
So how do tea and coffee show up in the tarot world?
The most obvious to me is a card from the Connelly Tarot. In the Nine of Pentacles from that deck, we see a woman sitting peacefully looking out a window at her garden. She is holding a cup. I am absolutely certain she has tea in that cup. Clearly, this is teatime, not a coffee break.
I must say, though, the tarot community is not all about tea. Scott Schumacher keeps a wonderful blog called Tarot for Coffee. Noted tarot author Corinne Kenner offers Coffee Cup Tarot Guides. These eBooks help you “master tarot on your coffee break.”
And that goes back to exactly what my coffee friend was saying. If you want it done fast, it’s all about the coffee. Had Corinne called them “Teatime Guides,” we would have known they would take a long time to read.