A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“A man is washing the car with his son. The son asks, ‘Dad, can’t you just use a sponge?‘“ (6/23)
“Don’t waste a moment of your life trying to be normal” (6/23)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/23)
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Entry from September 21, 2013
“Coffee is not my cup of tea”

Someone’s “cup of tea” (what someone likes or prefers) has been an idiom since at least the 1920s. “Coffee is not my cup of tea” is a jocular one-line saying that has been printed on many gift items—especially cups.

Movie producer Samuel Goldwyn (1879-1974) is sometimes credited for the line (along with many other language “Goldwynisms"), but there’s no evidence that he ever said it.  “Coffee is simply not my cup of tea” was cited in print in 1959 and “Getting up at 6 to fix your coffee is not my cup of tea” was cited in print in 1965.


19 May 1959, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Remoulade” by Howard Jacobs, sec. 1, pg. 11, col. 2:
“Coffee is simply not my cup of tea, and while the other chaps are nipping their java, I merely unfurl my teabag.”
(Mary Brookeman—ed.)

17 August 1965, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Wee Women” comic strip, pg. 16, col. 8:
“Getting up at 6 to fix your coffee is not my cup of tea.”

7 June 1977, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Demise of the Dishwasher” by Virgil Smith, pg. B2W, col. 1:
Drinking coffee from a paper cup is not my cup of tea.

Google Books
Nobody Said It Better!:
2700 wise & witty quotations about famous people

By Miriam Ringo
Chicago, IL: Rand McNally
1980
Pg. 270:
Other Goldwvnisms: “Coffee isn’t my cup of tea,” ...

4 March 2001, The Gazette (Iowa City, IA), “IC author wants exxxcess sales of wordplay” by Marlene Perrin, pg. 2:
Goldwynism: a quote attributed to motion picture magnate Sam Goldwyn. Examples: “No, thanks, coffee isn’t my cup of tea,” or “When I want your opinion, I’ ll give it to you.”

Google Books
Another Funny Memory
By Justin Pinnick
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
2008
Pg. 53:
Coffee is not my cup of tea. You get it? Yeah, it’s just a lame joke, I know.

Google Books
The Healing Powers of Coffee
By Cal Orey
New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp.
2009
Pg. 208:
Coffee isn’t my cup of tea. —Samuel Goldwyn, American film producer (1879–1974)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, September 21, 2013 • Permalink