I did warn you that the beverage may feature in my posts every once in a while- yet so far, I’ve only included it in one post, which was actually more to do with art. So I felt that it was about time that I dedicated a post solely to The King Of Hot Drinks.
The above video is simply a silly little film by Charlie McDonnell. I wanted to include a relevant video and said video came to mind. If you haven’t already, give it a watch.
I’m unsure who I would be out of the two main characters in the video- the tea drinker (because I always feel obliged to drink a tea that someone has made for me, even if I don’t really want it- rare), or the tea maker (because I always try and coax people into letting me make them a tea).
So, more about The King.
I find it interesting that Britons consider themselves the most avid tea drinkers.
“Oooh a pot of tea and a slice of cake? Why, yes please! Wotwot old boy.” (the English don’t actually speak like that, of course)
But my point is that it’s funny that the general consensus in Britain, and most probably a handful of other countries as well, is that tea is an incredibly English drink and that we are in fact the tea drinkers of the world. But that isn’t really the case, is it?
Though the British have been drinking it for over 350 years, tea was actually born in China.
According to Chinese legend, in 2737 BC (basically, long before Britain got their hands on their first cuppa), the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a tree whilst his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. The emperor decided to try the accidental creation and voilà! Tea was born.
This legend may or may not be true. But either way, tea drinking was established in China way before we started drinking it here in Britain. And they initially got dibs on it as their national drink (damn), though I believe it has now also been reclaimed by India as theirs too. I’m unsure whether us Britons can also claim tea as ours, as we only actually have one or two tea estates (compared to goodness knows how many in China and India, the largest tea exporters in the world), though the drink has most certainly become a renowned part of our culture. I consider it at least partly ours.
After a little bit of Internet research, I finally managed to find this, which is a visual list of (as I’m sure you’re quite capable of reading for yourself below), the world’s biggest tea drinkers. And as you can see, the United Kingdom is in the top three, not far behind Ireland and, much to my dismay, miles behind Turkey. Third in the world isn’t bad though, let’s face it!
I must admit, considering they’re the largest tea exporters across the globe, I had thought that India and China would drink far more tea than they do. Perhaps they’re sick of the sight of the stuff! I know that I would certainly be drinking a hell of a lot more tea if I had it growing right on my doorstep (not literally- unless they do grow it on their doorstep….what a brilliant idea!). I would probably end up drinking so much tea that it would become a health risk. Perhaps it’s best that I remain here in England.
“Why does she like tea so much??” I hear you ask.
Why don’t I love tea! That’s the question isn’t it.
I love it because it’s warm, there’s an abundance in flavours, it’s comforting. Tea is there when no one else is (as long as you have teabags in; if not, you are on your own). And, most importantly, tea pairs perfectly with a good book. And cake. And breakfast, and bed, and the midday sun.
The bottom line is that you can drink tea at any time of day, with anything, and it’s always the perfect time of day, or the perfect pairing with whatever else you happen to have to hand. That’s because tea is the perfect drink.
Don’t get me wrong, coffee’s nice too. But isn’t “nice” such a mediocre word?
The Cosy Onion