"My cup of tea” (or, “not my cup of tea") indicates a personal preference, something a person likes or dislikes. The term “cup of tea” appears to have originated in the 1920s, while the United States was under Prohibition laws against alcoholic drinks.
“Cup of tea” also became popularly used in 2009-2010 in stories about the political “tea parties.” Tea party issues and candidates were and were not some people’s “cup of tea.”
Wiktionary: cup of tea
cup of tea (plural cups of tea)
1. A cup full of tea.
Would you be a dear and get me a cup of tea, please?
2. (idiomatic, singular only) Whatever suits or interests one.
Daytime television is not my cup of tea.
Wikipedia: Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States, also known as The Noble Experiment, was the period from 1920 to 1933, during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption were banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Under substantial pressure from the temperance movement, the United States Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Having been approved by 36 states, the 18th Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 and effected on January 16, 1920. Some state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the 18th Amendment.
On December 5, 1933, the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.
Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Definition of CUP OF TEA
1: something one likes or excels in “I see already that storytelling isn’t my cup of tea” — John Barth; also : a person suited to one’s taste
2: a thing to be reckoned with : matter “poltergeists are a different cup of tea” — D. B. W. Lewis
First Known Use of CUP OF TEA
(Oxford English Dictionary)
one’s cup of tea: what interests or suits one.
1932 N. MITFORD Christmas Pudding xiv. 211 I’m not at all sure I wouldn’t rather marry Aunt Loudie. She’s even more my cup of tea in many ways.
1933 P. FLEMING Brazilian Adventure I. iii. 31 The desire to benefit the community is never their principal motive...They do it because they want to. It suits them; it is their cup of tea.
1936 AUDEN & ISHERWOOD Ascent of F6 II. iii. 96, I had an aunt who loved a plant—But you’re my cup of tea!
1937 N. COWARD Pres. Indic. III. v. 121 Broadway by night seemed to be my cup of tea entirely.
House and Garden
Volume 163, Issues 9-12
“Lovely, but not my cup of tea, you know.”
The return of William Shakespeare
By Hugh Kingsmill
Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill Co.
... bemused, read out, “who recently got married and who more recently still went round the world, make perpetual use of the expression: ‘That’s not my cup of tea,’ which is applicable to almost any person or thing in almost any circumstance, as are most of these expressions.”
4 March 1930, New Castle (PA) News, “Bo-Broadway” by Joseph Van Raalte, pg. 8, col. 6:
Humor and sophistication have refreshingly replaced names of grandeur. A recent collection of 85 models in Paris is variously dubbed “Circus Cissie,’ “Spinster’s Spine,” “My Cup of Tea,” “Convent Connie,” “Dog’s Dinner,” “Back to Nature” and “Widow’s Pique.”
“Getting to Know You” lyrics (The King and I, 1951)
[Singing] Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.
Getting to know you,
Putting it my way,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea.
Pound of Flesh
My Cup of Tea
by Bill on Oct.26, 2009
Before I speak to the “Tea Party” specifically I have a few comments about those in their ignorance who belittled and disparaged the party attendees.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Not My Cup of Tea
I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night after Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. The ground trembled as hell froze over and poor Teddy spun in his grave, and the wailing of the damned echoed all night.
Piercing the Panopticon
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Not My Cup of Tea
I’ve not exactly been in denial about the Tea Party political movement. Today, however, its presence seemed to thread its way throughout my day.
Posted: September 7, 2010 01:58 PM
NOT My Cup of Tea
Finally! Jane Mayer’s identified the engine and the mind of the PR blitz know as the Tea Party. She’s blown Charles and David Koch’s cover sky high, doing the work we should expect of a reporter.
The Hour (Norwalk, CT)
Is this the GOP’s cup of tea?
Posted on 09/19/2010
It will be interesting to see the impact, if any, of the Tea Party Republicans in the Connecticut election this fall. Certainly they have made their presence known—witness the protests during President Obama’s appearance in Stamford at a fundraiser for Senate candidate Dick Blumenthal, the attorney general.
Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN)
Published: September 19, 2010 3:00 a.m.
Extremists aren’t all Republicans’ cup of tea
WASHINGTON - It’s one thing for a political movement to nominate someone unconventional. It’s quite another to choose someone whom senior Republicans called “delusional,” a bit “nutty” and unelectable even as “dogcatcher.”