Coffee + Tea pouring tea

Published on November 19th, 2010 | by Jeannie Moulton


Tea Makes Warm Feelings

At my work, when you get up to get yourself a cup of tea, it is customary to ask others around you if they want tea as well.  This is one of my favorite things about my workplace…and now I know why: warm drinks foster human kindness (according to a research study).

Scientists set up experiments where a participant met a researcher in a lobby.  The researcher walked in carrying a clipboard and a coffee cup and asked the participant to hold it for them.  The cup was either hot or cold.  The participants were then asked to evaluate ‘Person A’ on personality traits.  Those holding the hot drink consistently evaluated the person as ‘warmer’.

Another scenario set up by researchers had participants hold a therapeutic hot or cold pack in a situation which appeared to them to be for evaluating the product.  After holding it, for participating they were offered the option of a snapple for themselves or a $1 ice cream voucher for a friend.  Those who were holding the hot pad more often chose the gift for a friend.  The results held when the snapple was made the gift and the ice cream the reward for participating.

The research results suggest that the physical feeling of warmth is very closely related to the emotional feeling of warmth.  Take away: if you want someone to like you, offer them a warm drink.


Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by kevindooley

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About the Author

I spent the last five years earning my PhD in Engineering. I enjoy all types of science and writing, so I am trying out a new career path in science publication and communication. Recently, I have moved to Oxford, England. As an environmentally-conscious person, Oxford is a great place to live...notably there is no car required. I love to talk about vegan cooking, plant-based diets and the benefits of such, so just ask if you are interested. I do ballet for fun and love kitties.

4 Responses to Tea Makes Warm Feelings

  1. Aw, this is awesome! I love having friends over for tea…maybe this is part of the reason.

  2. ines says:

    Very interesting research and results. I love drinking hot tea or coffee at the office.

  3. Pingback: Make Your Own Mulled Wine for Christmas – Eat Drink Better

  4. Pingback: The Role of Tea and Coffee in the Office – Eat Drink Better

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