How come the hipsters got coffee and the hippies got tea? Is that a coincidence or is there something about tea that makes it more friendly to the granola-crunching, patchouli-smelling set?
— Geoff, Normal Heights
Neither group can stake an exclusive claim to either beverage. After all, the hippies have to share tea with the Brits and 99 percent of Asia. Either way, I somehow doubt that the Style Gods used their immortal knowledge and benevolence to apportion beverages to cultural sub-groups. I also doubt that it’s a coincidence.
Fair warning: here be 150 words of wild speculation.
In much of the United States, coffee is the beverage of the working class. Elevating the working man’s morning drink to cult status makes perfect sense, considering how hipsters thrive on turning stereotypes around and repurposing them quicker than you can wallpaper above the bathroom wainscoting with vintage Monopoly money!
Plus, coffee is delicious. Who wouldn’t love it?
Across the aisle, most hippies will agree that tea is “good for you.” They don’t always have specific words for it, but many factions of hippies — who come in flavors as disparate as hipsters — share a common belief in some form of alternative medicine. From the filthiest, dreadlocked trustafarian to the OG 1960s flower child still keeping it real (real down to Earth Mother), hippies express deep concern over the state of their yins, yangs, chakras, and auras. Tea drinking as path to “wellness” makes perfect sense to them. Also, tea is delicious.
I’m sure there are coffee-slurping techno hippies out there who will beg to differ. Perhaps the tea-sipping vegan hipsters will back them up.