Tea Folklore and Superstitions We Just Have to Share!

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Tea Folklore and Superstitions We Just Have to Share!

From reading tea leaves through to the way you stir your tea, there are plenty of delightful superstitions regarding the humble cuppa that have evolved from centuries of tea drinking. We’re thrilled to be able to share a few of them with you today including Michelle's (the Stir Captain) shared folklore:

Interesting Tea Superstitions for Tea Drinkers to Ponder

Psychologists have said superstition is a form of reinforcement; it’s simply one way of learning. For instance, if something hurts us, we don’t do it again. It makes sense then that because tea has been a popular beverage for thousands of years, there are plenty of superstitions around the acts of drinking, brewing and storing tea.


Michelle's shared folklore:

As a young child my father shared as fact that tea stem floating on top of your brewed cup of tea meant the imminent arrival of a visitor - the gender of which was determined by the shape of the stem.  He would then continue his factual account by removing the stalk to place it on the back of his hand, tapping the hand while saying aloud the days of the week.  The falling stem would determine the day the visitor would call by.  This memory roots me deeply into my family and tea.  


Here are a few other favourites we’d like to share with you:

  • Throw your used tea leaves onto the fire for good luck and financial well-being  (perhaps this is the start of the modern practice of people storing used tea leaf (mainly teabags) to be used as future fire starters when tramping in the bush).
  • If bubbles are in the edge of your teacup, you can expect romance and kisses to find you
  • Bubbles in the centre of your teacup mean you will receive money. The more bubbles, the more money you’ll get.
  • If you have tea leaves floating in your cup, expect a visit from a lover
  • Sprinkling tea leaves in front of your home will ward off evil spirits – we’ve got plenty of amazing loose leaf teas you could use too (but only a little, as they’re too good to spill!)
  • A strong brew means you’ll gain a new friend, while a weak brew leads to the loss of a friendship – avoid both of these scenarios by downloading our PDF on How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
  • Putting milk in your tea before sugar will leave you with a life of solitude
  • Accidently spilling tea leaves inside your home is said to give you good luck
  • If two spoons are placed on the same saucer, you will marry twice or have twins
  • Forgetting to put the tea in the pot before the water, is a very bad omen  (we predict the resulting cup of tea will not taste as good as when water is poured over the leaf first - that is a bad omen)
  • The families of fisherman will not empty their teapots on the day they set sail to prevent the fishing boats from sinking
  • If two women pour from the same teapot, one will have a baby within a year
  • A hard floating tea stalk in your cup means a gentleman will pay a visit, while a soft stalk predicts a female visitor
  • Putting tea leaves into a coffin gives the departed enough refreshment for their onward journey

Tea superstitions, just like any other, provide us with rituals we can use to connect us with our culture and family. They allow us to feel a sense of community with other tea drinkers and best of all, make us giggle when we share them with others! We’d love to hear about any superstitions you know about that we haven’t shared above; please tell us so we can share with everyone. 

Contents Tea Culture  

Posted: Tuesday 3 December 2019