A nice cup of tea.

Tea – there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea. The mere mention of the word will have made all the English readers sit bolt upright. Perhaps some of you saw the title, dashed to the kitchen, popped the kettle on and returned with a freshly made ‘brew’ ready to read on…. I hope so. This should be good.

"Oh, that's just made everything in the world seem better".

A nice cup of tea is a powerful thing. It is the solution to all problems – or so the English believe. In the book ‘Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour’ Kate Fox paints the perfect picture of typically English families in their typical English households with their insane belief that tea can do mighty things. Being English myself, I have to admit that tea-drinking plays a major part in social occasions – yes, even more so than wine or dare I say it –beer.

Fox explains ‘the universal rule (certainly for the English is…): when in doubt, put the kettle on. Visitors arrive; the English have the usual difficulties with greetings and say ‘I’ll just put the kettle on’. When the conversation runs dry and there’s nothing more to say about the weather, the English say ‘Now, who’d like more tea? I’ll just put the kettle on’. After a bad accident – people are injured and in shock: tea is needed. ‘I’ll put the kettle on’. World War Three breaks out – a nuclear attack is imminent. ‘I’ll put the kettle on’.

You see – tea has wonderful magic powers that can cure people, revive people, calm them down and give them the well-needed ‘get up and go’. It is so very true of life in England that we (the English) do say many of the things above. My mum loves a nice cup of tea. The ritual must be followed – milk in first then the tea (after it has been prepared in the teapot). Apologies to the readers who are shocked by the ‘milk in first’ comment – you are probably thinking ‘no, but it is surely milk in last’. I have heard an debate on this matter (honest – some people care that much about it.

So, who’s up for a lovely cup of tea then? I’m just putting the kettle on now…

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6 thoughts on “A nice cup of tea.

  1. As it happens I had just made myself a cup of tea.After many years of living in Europe I now drink mine black!!! Shock horror you might say but I do think it tastes better.
    I always make a cuppa when I sit down to read emails and really imaging myself having a cuppa with the friend that I am replying to. It does makes me feel good but I would not say I prefer drinking a cup of tea over a glass of cold white wine or flute of bubbly.

  2. I know this is heresy Jamie but I can’t stand tea! Don’t know where that started but it may have been my stern Scottish grandmother telling me I should drink it when I was a very small girl. Never did like being told what to do. Back in the day when I was a civil servant in London, I used to visit companies and quite often without asking someone would appear with a cup of tea for me. After all what is more English than a civil servant? She must drink tea, right? Ugh. But I’m a well-brought up girl so I would take a deep breath and drink it, trying not to gag. Didn’t like it before, didn’t like it then, don’t like it now – a good black coffee is the thing although I agree that’s not necessarily therapeutic. Really like your blog, by the way!

  3. Pingback: Do you really understand the English and all their ‘Englishness’? « One Life

  4. I have only tried tea once or twice and really did not like it. But I’m sure I didn’t try GOOD tea either. I’m a coffee drinker though… only in recent years. It took me some time to develop a taste for it. And it must have creamer in it!

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