ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH TEA
Since the eighteenth century, the United Kingdom has been one of the world’s greatest tea consumers, with an average annual per capita tea supply of 1.9 kg (4.18 lbs). The British Empire was instrumental in spreading tea from China to India; British interests controlled tea production in the subcontinent. Tea, which was an upper-class drink in continental Europe, became the infusion of every social class in Great Britain throughout the course of the eighteenth century and has remained so. Tea is a prominent feature of British culture and society.
In both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the drinking of tea is so varied that it is quite hard to generalise. While it is usually served with milk, it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, with sugar being a popular addition to any of the above. Strong tea, served in a mug with milk and sugar, is a popular combination known as builder’s tea.
MORE ABOUT THE ENGLISH TEA
British workers by law, have the right to a minimum of a twenty-minute break in a shift of six hours; government guidelines describe this as “a tea or lunch break”. More informally, this is known as elevenses, i.e. a couple of hours before the midday meal, traditionally served at 11 am.
Builder’s tea in a mug is typical of a quick tea break in the working day. Tea is not only the name of the beverage but also of a light meal. Tea in England is not a mere beverage, it is a way of life. It is a religion. And it is a tradition. It is often accompanied by some of the best tasting cakes and breads.
Try this authentic and exquisite recipe of the original English tea!