At times of crisis, Britons put the kettle on. It’s no surprise then, that sales of tea have increased sharply since lockdown. And today, 21 May 2020, we’re celebrating International Tea Day!
Tea is used to soothe nerves, enjoy with a biscuit or cake, gossip over with a friend. It’s the first beverage you offer a visitor.
Britain is second only to Ireland in its tea-drinking habits, and that’s going some. We drink an estimated 100 million cups of tea a day compared with 70 million cups of coffee.
Although fruit and herbal teas are available and increasingly popular, black tea (with milk mostly) makes up 85 % of our tea consumption. You can see why a recent translation citing lemon as Europe’s most popular tea tested my British roots.
And why my family looked on aghast when I returned from a year in Germany with ‘fancy ideas’, suggesting an alternative to our standard cuppa.
Keeping the Workforce Going
Standard everyday tea is what our nation is built on. Literally. It’s called Builder’s Brew partly because 90 % of tradesmen rely on access to a kettle and a constant supply of tea while they work.
Despite being a southerner, my favourite is the northern Yorkshire tea. Pop in a mug, add fresh boiling water and let brew for a couple of minutes. Add a splash of milk (you know you want to) and a little sugar if you like it sweet.
If you really can’t stand the idea of milk, I’ll allow you a slice of lemon and honey as my friend Agata prefers.
Fortunately for us tea lovers, black tea is said to have a raft of health benefits, including the antioxidants it contains that help fight inflammation. Any excuse to put the kettle on I say. Here’s to International Tea Day, cheers!
For more fun facts and a bit of the history behind our humble cuppa, head here: https://www.tea.co.uk/tea-facts