Written by Madeline Kohlberg. Media by Andrea Freeman.
So, I have something of a confession to make: I do not like coffee.
I do really try to like it. I know the caffeine would be useful to me as a student, and it’s easy to find just about anywhere you go… but I just don’t like it. And God forbid you give me iced tea. Tea’s not meant to be iced!
I’m nothing more than a hot tea drinker, and proud of it!
But what does tea mean to you?
A great deal of Americans (particularly in this area of the country) would probably say something along the lines of iced tea. Perhaps Lipton or AriZona, or any of the other brands that we find in the union. A great deal of Brits, on the other hand, would scorn the idea of iced tea and proclaim that drinking it hot is the only way to go.
I’ve learned that the Brits have a very particular way of making tea as a whole. Namely that milk and sugar must be added; the one time I tried to drink it black, my English friends looked upon me as though I was a heathen sent to live among them. For them, the question is not “should I add milk and sugar.” The real question becomes: “Milk or sugar first?”
When you have tea enthusiasts in other parts of the world, part of their fun comes from trying all kinds of different varieties of tea. Black, green, red, white, the list just keeps going on and on. You honestly can’t say you dislike all tea as a whole entity if you haven’t tried a few different varieties from all over the family tree. But if you go for tea at someone’s house in England, the only kind of tea that you’re likely to get is… tea.
Brits simply aren’t as fanciful in their selection as other people might be. They know what they like, a black tea similar to what we would refer to as “English Breakfast” here in the States. Spot of sugar, dash of milk and you’re good to go!
That isn’t to say that tea is the only hot beverage enjoyed in the United Kingdom; coffee makes its rounds all over, and many consumers enjoy it very much. Yet there is something about the culture of tea that’s definitely here to stay, and it’s one that I’ve always admired. I must confess a certain amount of aggravation and jealous when I consider how much easier it is to get a cup of tea “across the pond” than it is here!
It’s said that a cup of tea is truly the solution to everything; whether you’re trying to get over a breakup, you’ve lost your job, or you’re celebrating the birth of your child it’s a cup of tea that’s going to help you keep your chin up and keep on with your life. That is, keep calm and carry on. And I know that I certainly look forward to my cuppa at the end of the day, for it is the perfect way to unwind and prepare for bed after a stressful day in the life of a college student.
And it is on that note, that I must bid you all adieu, for I can hear the kettle calling my name… time for a cuppa of my own!
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