I grew up watching Star Trek. As a kid, my dad took me and my friends to conventions where adults would dress in full Klingon garb in forehead ridges and carried bat'leths.
While I certainly enjoyed DS9, Voyager, and some Kirk-Spock-McCoy shenanigans as a child, Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) made the largest impression on me. Star Trek TNG taught us that different cultures did not need to be feared. That brains, courage, and perseverance can overcome challenge. And that most adversaries could become allies given understanding, patience, and time.
Star Trek TNG did not contain lessons for tea making, but the beverage did contribute to the show in two ways.
Earl Grey, Hot
Of course, tea’s major contribution to Star Trek was as Captain Picard’s go to beverage: Earl Grey hot.
Why Earl Grey? Internet theory is that they were trying to make Captain Picard more English. Since Picard grew up in France and his first name was Jean-Luc, this theory seems a bit strange.
When asked “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit, Sir Patrick Stewart, the actor who played Picard- and too many important roles before and since then—he likes Earl Grey fine, but his favorite tea is Yorkshire Gold. Which he drinks regularly seeing as he actually English. Also, Sir Patrick has enough Earl Grey to open a tea store thanks to fans sending him tea bags.
Since I’m writing about Sir Patrick, and all discussions about the man inevitably become about how awesome of a human being he is, here is a video of Sir Patrick discussing his inspiring work for domestic abuse victims, and veterans suffering from PTSD.
Klingon Tea Ceremony
Tea made a hilarious cameo as part of a Klingon ceremony. After a helping him hide the fact he has succumbed to the Klingon Measles in an un-honorable fashion, Worf shares a ceremonial cup of tea with Dr. Pulaski as a thank you. This starts as a lovely ceremony featuring an orchid like flower, and some nice cups. Of course, this is a Klingon ceremony, so the tea is poisonous. Tt is a matter of honor to drink the stuff without dying while reciting poetry about, you guessed it, honor and death.
While everyone here at Chota Tingrai describes Worf’s beverage as an herbal infusion, in honor of Star Trek week, we will boldly go where we have not gone before and consider this tea.
Live long and prosper, and enjoy the tea!