Scottish actor Sean Connery changed movie culture forever in the first scene of his debut role as 007 when he introduced himself in Dr. No: “Bond. James Bond.”

Connery died this week at the age of 90.

I was reminded of the post I wrote eight years ago about the imaginary tea habits of the world’s most famous spy. I have resurrected my story today in honor of Sir Sean Connery.


October 25, 2012 Story:

James Bond fans worldwide were both “shaken and stirred” recently by news that the sophisticated MI6 agent will forgo his usual shaken vodka martini in favor of a Heineken beer in “Skyfall,” the 23rd Bond film. 

This high profile product placement deal netted the production a frothy $45 million.

Filmmakers often go where the money is, something with which current Bond star Daniel Craig would likely agree. Despite the deal’s financial impetus, Craig told Moviefone that the Heineken sponsorship is still true to Bond’s character.

“The great thing is that Bond is a drinker. He always has been. It’s part of who he is, and—rightly or wrongly—you can make your own judgment about it. Having a beer is no bad thing; in this movie, it just happens to be Heineken.”

But what if 007 had been a teetotaler? What tea would he drink?

We know Bond referred to British tea as “mud” and claimed it was partly responsible for the British Empire’s downfall.

There will be no tea bags for 007, and indeed not anything his grandmother would drink.

Builders’ tea? Forget about it!

His cup of tea would have to be exotic. Maybe a Pre Qing Ming Long Jing Dragonwell or a bug-bitten Oriental Beauty from Hsinchu County. 

Caution! A discerning screenwriter must know that 007 would not have time to savor a Ti Kwan Yin before a sharp-toothed villain crept up behind him, somewhere between infusion three and four, to take advantage of Bond’s blissful state of mind.

I say 007 might prefer a Jasmine Pearl green tea steeped in a paper thing porcelain gaiwan. This tea ritual shows impeccable refinement, exemplifies his ties to the East and calls attention to his feminine side—something no well-schooled femme fatale can resist.

What’s your choice for a perfect tea for Ian Fleming’s hero? Tell me your selection and why it matches the polished persona of the world’s greatest spy.


Tea Maestro Bruce Richardson has been a lifelong devotee of Bond films, beginning with Goldfinger, which was filmed at Fort Knox near his Kentucky hometown when he was in middle school. 

One thought on “What Tea Would 007 Drink?

  1. I think it would have to be a rare and exotic Pu erh–an ancient and musty brick, it’s aroma and flavor hightened with just a touch of smoke from being wrapped in an old initialed silk handkerchief and carried in a Moroccan leather case with a little Walther PPK.

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