Voice Acting

A Perfect Cup of Tea Among Other Things

Tara Parachuk | May 29, 2008

As voice professionals, I can confidently say that each one of you has your own favorite tea or beverage of choice, but to that end, I know not what!
What’s steeping in your studio?

Cuppa Cuppa

In this article

  1. Cuppa Cuppa
  2. Why Do Voice Actors Drink Tea?
  3. What Kind of Tea Do You Drink?

“A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards.”
~ A.A. Milne, Author of the Winnie the Pooh series

Lesley Lafferty, a British voice talent who is residing in the United States, has become a good friend of mine and I believe it all started over the mention of sharing a pot of tea.
While she’s on the west coast in the US and I’m on the east coast in Canada, we both know that there’s a cup of tea waiting for me at her home in San Francisco and one for her waiting here in London.

Why Do Voice Actors Drink Tea?

Just like anyone else, voice actors drink tea for pleasure, however, many find it is a great tonic and comfort as well when recording in the studio, especially during long or particularly strenuous sessions.

To revisit a couple of examples from this past week regarding voice acting and tea, Michael Hollick, star of Grand Theft Auto IV, referenced drinking Earl Grey tea with honey during scenes where he was required to yell and scream for his character Niko Bellic.
I’d also like to weave Narnia in here with this quote from C.S. Lewis, which I believe rings true on both fronts with voice over talent and a good script:
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
~ C.S. Lewis

According to Catherine Douzel, “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage”, as does each script that you narrate as a voice actor. An ancient Japanese proverb relates that if man has no tea in him, he knows nothing of truth and beauty. My personal favorite is Orange Pekoe. You can’t go wrong with Orange Pekoe!

I also happen to believe that “There is nothing so sweet that should come between friends than a good pot of tea.”

What Kind of Tea Do You Drink?

Looking forward to hearing from you,
P.S. There are a couple dozen more tea quotes at QuoteGarden.com that might interest you if you liked what you read here.
©iStockphoto.com/Tjasa Maticic

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  • Avatar for Chris
    May 29, 2008, 2:55 pm

    I prefer standard Lipton tea. It helps when I have a sore throat or chest congestion, and sometimes I’ll add honey if the urge strikes me. The sad part is that I have a very low tolerance for hot beverages, so I’ll often wait until the tea is half cold to start drinking it, which requires reheating and more waiting.

  • Avatar for Greg Houser
    Greg Houser
    May 30, 2008, 6:46 am

    My guilty pleasure with tea is something called “immune enhancing blend” which I can only find at the Reading St. Terminal Market in Philadelphia.
    Long story short, it’s got a ton of stuff in it, but a healthy dose of spearmint. Bad for the voice, but tastes yummy!
    Usually though, I take either an apple or green tea straight or with a touch of honey.

  • Avatar for Jason Barrett
    Jason Barrett
    May 30, 2008, 10:10 am

    Hi Stephanie,
    I could not help but to respond to this article. I am a tea fanatic! It puts me in a very relaxing, focused mood. My favorite tea would be peppermint tea. The smell and the flavor of peppermint is very invigorating to me. An additive that I have come up with is raw honey. Since raw honey has a lot of healthy benefits, the combination gives me more of an organic feel, besides just using sugar.
    I hope this helps. Thanks for the articles.
    Jason Barrett – Voice Actor, Singer, Proud tea drinker

  • Avatar for Stephanie Ciccarelli
    Stephanie Ciccarelli
    May 30, 2008, 10:13 am

    Hi Chris, Greg, Joe and Jason,
    Thank you very much for commenting and sharing your tea preferences!
    I hope to hear more of your thoughts on the blog in the future 🙂
    Best wishes and happy weekend,

  • Avatar for Chet Kelley
    Chet Kelley
    May 30, 2008, 12:55 pm

    Hi Stephanie
    Definitely orange pekoe here, too. Lipton, Salada, almost any brand will do. But I like it strong, and it must have a big glob of honey!
    Have a great weekend,
    Chet Kelley

  • Avatar for Karen Commins
    Karen Commins
    May 30, 2008, 9:14 am

    Hi, Stephanie. I don’t drink tea before/during voice sessions, preferring instead lots of water. In fact, I am such a proponent of water that I may have to write a blog entry about it! 🙂
    However, I have started enjoying hot tea on cold winter days instead of hot chocolate. I love a white tea named Snow Geisha from Teavana.
    Thanks for an interesting topic!
    Karen Commins

  • Avatar for Stephanie Ciccarelli
    Stephanie Ciccarelli
    May 30, 2008, 1:18 pm

    Hi Karen and Chet,
    Thank you both for commenting.
    Karen, I’ll have to be sure to keep my eye out for that article on H2O 🙂
    Chet, Orange Pekoe is the best for day to day, that’s for sure. It’s like teas equivalent to coffee. It’s strong and flavorful without the caffeine overload.
    Anyone else have a tea preference to share?

  • Avatar for Joe J Thomas
    Joe J Thomas
    May 30, 2008, 9:56 am

    I don’t drink tea very often, but when I do I am partial to “Genmai Cha”. It’s a mix of green tea, roasted brown rice, and matcha powder. It has a nutty, almost barley flavor to it.
    If you’re interested, you can get it from the “Takaokaya” company.
    Happy Sipping!

  • Avatar for Jefferson Feil
    Jefferson Feil
    May 30, 2008, 11:29 pm

    “Yogi” tea makes different varieties of organic tea. I like the plain “green tea” mainly for its antioxidants, as well as being just a good green tea. I’ll drink tea or hot water when I’m in the studio to warm up the vocal chords and clear the sinuses.

  • Avatar for Liz de Nesnera
    Liz de Nesnera
    June 1, 2008, 11:04 pm

    Hey Stephanie!
    I could have sworn I responded to this thread!… ACK… my mind is slipping 😉
    My faves right now are:
    – Twinings “Herbal Unwind”
    – Arizona “Green Tea with Pomegranate & Acai”
    and of course….Traditional Medicinals “Throat Coat!”
    The Twinings & the Throat Coat are what got me through a 10-hour VO session last week!

  • Avatar for Claudia Litvak
    Claudia Litvak
    June 2, 2008, 9:39 am

    Hi Stephanie,
    Can’t help but let you know of my favourite tea… black tea mixed with green and add crushed (fresh) cardomom and sweetened with honey! Also popular in my house- fresh mint (from our garden) with a touch of green tea!
    I enjoy your vox daily!

  • Avatar for Regina Forrence
    Regina Forrence
    June 3, 2008, 9:02 am

    Wow! Sorry I was slow on the uptake with this one. In the U.S., we tea-drinkers are second-class citizens. Every time a waitress brings me a cup of clear, warmish water with an still-wrapped tea bag sitting beside it on a plate, I want to scream (but it will hurt my throat and there’ll be no soothing it with the inferior tea product offered — sigh).
    It’s nice to hear from so many kindred spirits.
    Favorite cuppa: Barry’s Irish Gold
    Favorite quote:
    “Thank God for Tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.”
    – Rev. Sydney Smith
    Regina Forrence

  • Avatar for David Seys
    David Seys
    June 6, 2008, 11:10 am

    Tea is a subject close to my heart.
    Best cup of tea is in the Fountain Bar at Fortnum & Masons in Piccadilly in London. There are a selection of teas, but the best for me is their Royal Blend with milk and sugar (served with tongs of course). No tea bags and a little silver strainer – the real deal. Naturally, you have to pour the milk into the cup before pouring the tea.
    For every day tea, it has to be “builders’ tea”. I have at least half a dozen a day being a true Brit. This is how it is done. One tea bag (PG Tips) of a basic blend of Indian tea, not particularly good quality but that doesn’t matter. Then put the tea bag in a decent sized mug. Pour on boling water and leave for 30 seconds. Pour in lots of milk. It then looks very weak and unappetising. Use a teaspoon to squeeze the teabag and stir it around until the brew reaches a good brown colour. The point of all this is that the flavour of the tea goes into the milk as well. Usually I drink this without sugar, but going into sessions as a treat I add 2 teaspoons.
    It is all a matter of personal taste. I cannot bear the scented teas such as Earl Grey and Lapson Suchong…..nor do I like the fruit flavoured teas. Mint tea in Africa is good though.
    David Seys

  • Avatar for Torry Clark
    Torry Clark
    June 7, 2008, 1:34 pm

    Hey there Stephanie,
    A spot of tea is great at any time as is friends and family. As for voice work, ohhh so soothing on the throat, and definitely calming to the nerves, a very needed attribute in most cases. I find a nice mint tea or chai works the best, as for honey… I’m sweet enough.
    And that’s, my cup of tea.
    Warm Regards,
    Torry M. Clark
    Big Toe Productions

  • Avatar for Tom Conklin
    Tom Conklin
    June 8, 2008, 8:40 am

    Help!!! I’m addicted to Coffee!!! I know coffee is probably one of the worst things a voice actor can drink, but old habits are hard to break. I do like tea as well, but that cup ‘0 joe in morning is tough to resist.
    Tom Conklin

  • Avatar for Brad Venable
    Brad Venable
    January 8, 2009, 11:07 am

    Stephanie, I love three things:
    1) Lipton Diet Green Tea in the bottle at room temperature. Keeps the mouth from being dry and tastes great, too.
    2) My hybrid tea that I brew. Two Lipton quart-sized tea bags and two regular-sized green tea bags, steeped for 5 minutes. Makes a great hot tea with equal parts of water, or an incredible iced tea blend.
    3) Earl Grey with honey, just like Michael Hollick.
    I also love Thayer’s Tangerine lozenges. Thanks to Gabby Nistico at Voicehunter for giving me my first few at VOICE 2008! 🙂
    Brad Venable

  • Avatar for Maxine
    January 8, 2009, 11:42 am

    Since I write mystery tea party plans, there’s no mystery that I prefer tea! A nice, hot cup of English Breakfast perks me up. The extra perk is that it is loaded with anti-oxidents, so it’s good for me, too!

  • Avatar for Arnold Zeman
    Arnold Zeman
    January 31, 2013, 8:41 am

    I always take my tea loose leaf, at least when I’m home. And, Darjeeling is in a class of its own; my personal preference is Second Flush (the growth after the first plucking of tea), without adulteration by milk or sweetener. But that of course is a matter of personal taste: De gustibus non est disputandum! The authentic Darjeeling is not cheap but it’s worth it, and there are many reliable on-line dealers.