Whilst many countries love their tea, UK citizens, and the English, are particularly proud of being ‘tea people’. Frankly, this reputation is not just a typical stereotype. The average UK citizen consumes nearly 2 kilograms of tea
each year. When you take into consideration that quite a few persons drink little or no tea, the amount of tea a British tea drinker actually consumes is even higher. The stereotype of the British tea drinker is generally a positive one. The proof for that is that even those who don’t partake will happily use phrases like ‘as English as a cup of tea’. Here is everything you need to know about British tea culture and how British enjoy their tea.
Serving the British Tea
Usually, you will be given the standard English Breakfast Tea
. It typically comes with milk and the choice of additional add-ins. This is the most common way of drinking tea. Furthermore, it is also known as ‘builders’ tea’ as this was the drink of choice by workers taking their morning tea break. Most of the time, tea is brewed directly in a mug with the tea bag. Then, milk and sugar are added if needed. Most British people drink a lot of tea this way, starting with the first cup of the day upon waking. Tea often comes with a biscuit, a sandwich or a slice of cake when. This is a very typical British tea culture.
Popular Types Of Tea in the UK
There are many varieties of tea
, from English Breakfast tea, to Earl Grey and the tarry Lapsang Souchong. It is interesting that they all come from the plant Camellia Sinensis. Black tea mixtures are still the most common type of British tea culture, and it can be a shock for visitors. Black tea makes a darker brew, because the leaves have been allowed to oxidize before drying.
This is why the British usually serve it with milk, although it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon. You may still find tea made with loose leaf tea leaves, served up in a pot, and poured into the best china cups with saucers for visitors. However, it usually comes in a mug. Green tea is made by not allowing the leaves to oxidize as much, thereby producing a more delicate flavor. It is also very popular, as it has many health benefits.
What Is Afternoon Tea?
Afternoon tea used to be a very popular pastime. People sometimes have a cup of tea
with a sandwich and a slice of cake at teatime. However, traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’ is often takes place in a treat in a hotel, cafe or tea shop. A typical afternoon tea is usually loose tea in a teapot with milk and sugar. Along with the tea, you will find traditional British style sandwiches such as cucumber, egg and cress, tuna or ham. Cakes, pastries and the very British scone with butter, clotted cream and jam is also a part of British tea culture. If you want to try an authentic afternoon tea when you are in Britain there are many hotels which serve it at teatime.
British Tea Culture Today
Tea is still a big part of daily life in the UK today, but it seems to be on the decline. The amount of tea purchased in the UK fell by more than 10% in the five years leading up to 2002. Tea sales
fell by 6% in 2014 alone, and most restaurants report selling more than twice as many cups of coffee as they do tea. More than £1 billion was spent on coffee in high street stores in 2013. That is more than twice when compared to tea bags. British tea is definitely not going away any time soon. Fancy a cuppa?
Throughout the years, various people have had different opinions on tea and Britain. However, they can all agree on the fact that tea will always be a part of the British tea culture. It seems that a cup of tea or a “cuppa” as they call it, solves everything from sickness to crisis. Great Britain truly is one of the tea capitals of the world. For many more tea traditions and interesting stories, visit Teabloom