England’s ongoing love affair with the humble cup of tea is no secret. In fact, our obsession with tea is probably one of the most well-known quirks about your average Brit. It makes up a huge part of English and British culture, both historically and today. It is the solution to all of life’s biggest problems: feeling a bit sad? Have a cup of tea! Need to relax in front of the television? A cup of tea would help! Whatever the situation, we find any excuse to go and put the kettle on. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is – we drink just as much tea in summer, even if it’s boiling hot, as we do in the winter.
I wasn’t fully aware of England’s fascination with tea-drinking until I moved to France and made a fast discovery: their preferred hot beverage is coffee! Quite shocking. Coffee, in its many different forms, is everywhere. Better still – it is very, very good! So good, in fact, that I now drink my coffee black – a fact which shocked my mother when I returned to England. I guess I still have a few things to learn though, a couple of weeks ago somebody commented on the fact that I drink coffee with my meal, as opposed to afterwards as is the proper French custom. Who knew there were so many rules!?
It just goes to show how much cultures can differ, even in terms of what we prefer to drink in the morning! A cup of tea will always remain my favourite hot beverage, but that doesn’t mean that trying new things, even if it is just coffee, isn’t fun and exciting!
Do you ever drink tea?