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.”
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.
Nobody Said It Better!:
2700 wise & witty quotations about famous people
By Miriam Ringo
Chicago, IL: Rand McNally
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.”
Another Funny Memory
By Justin Pinnick
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
Coffee is not my cup of tea. You get it? Yeah, it’s just a lame joke, I know.
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By Cal Orey
New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Coffee isn’t my cup of tea. —Samuel Goldwyn, American film producer (1879–1974)