What is an English Afternoon Tea? Plus how to make a good cuppa!
You will find help with vocabulary below the article
As everyone knows, people in Britain drink an awful lot of tea. Tea with milk, that is, popularly called a cuppa, or a cup of char, or in Cockney rhyming slang a Rosie Lee (cup of tea).
Nearly all British people drink tea, and people in the north of England and Scotland can easily consume 10 to 20 cups a day. Whenever housewives visit each other's houses almost the first words uttered are I'll put the kettle on for a cuppa! And every cuppa always becomes at least two or three cupfuls.
In fact, it is estimated that about 200.000.000 cups of tea are drunk every day in the United Kingdom -
The famous tradition Afternoon Tea originated when the East India Company began shipping tea in the late 17th century (one of the ships which brought it over can still be visited in Greenwich, London -
The Afternoon Tea tradition is still going strong and is enjoyed by rich and poor alike, although globalisation and heavily marketed coffee are taking their toll on the custom. Nowadays, however, Afternoon Tea is mostly taken not in people's houses, but in the many quaint tearooms which are found the length and breadth of Britain.
Many people still read the tea-
These days, Afternoon Tea found in tearooms usually consists of a pot of tea, milk and sugar, two scones or toasted teacakes, a small pot of clotted cream, and "home made" strawberry jam. Yummie! Enjoy!
a kettle = a utensil or container, nowadays nearly always electric, for boiling water. Just about every household in Britain has a kettle.
to stagger = to walk unsteadily, as if drunk. If the amount is staggering, it means simply that you're so surprised when you hear it that you stagger!
to ship = to transport by ship
the wealthy = rich people. In English we can also use such adjectives preceded by "the" to mean all the people in that group, without adding the word "people". Here are some examples: the wealthy the rich the idle rich the blind the lonely the poor the deaf the homeless the unemployed the stupid the illiterate
take their toll on = have an effect on
quaint = nice, old fashioned or picturesque
breadth = width. broad -
scone = a small, round soft cake
a teacake = it looks like a hamburger bun, but is sweet, with currants.
clotted cream = extra thick cream that looks like soft ice-
1. The traditional way
Use loose tea leaves.
Pour a little into your teapot to warm it. This is essential.
When the teapot is warm, empty the water out.
Put in one teaspoonful of tea for every person, and one extra "for the pot".
Pour boiling water into the teapot -
Put the lid on the teapot and a tea-
Wait about 3 minutes for the tea to brew.
Use delicate china cups and saucers.
Pour in a little milk.
Pour in the tea, "backing" the pot to make sure the tea comes out of the spout brewed and strong.
Add sugar if desired.
2. The modern way
place a teabag into a cup
pour boiling water on it
Add milk after a minute or two.
Add sugar if desired
Enjoy (but maybe a little less than the traditional method!)