Tea for England is like that elixir that cannot be replaced. Since the 18th century, the United Kingdom has been clinging tight to its position as the world’s largest tea consumer. Tea has become a part of the daily diet for British people. Statistics reveal that British people consume close to about 100 million cups of tea every day.
The habit and practice of tea drinking are richly rooted in the British people’s traditions and way of life and they have always put the tea in high regard. But, from where did this deep-rooted love and affection for tea come?
It is believed that tea in Britain was first introduced in the 17th century. At that time, it was not consumed by the commoners because it was expensive and hence only the rich ones could afford it. In 1717, the first ladies’ tea shop was opened in England by Thomas Twinning and within a short span of time, multiple other tea shops emerged, spread pretty quickly across Britain and this was essentially how the culture of drinking tea began to take shape. With the publicity of tea on a large scale, people started to incorporate teas in their lifestyle, prioritizing tea over other beverages.
Know more about the most popular tea in England!
Aren’t the words “Teatime” and “Afternoon tea” quite common when you watch a British TV show? This shows how tea has effortlessly integrated itself into the lifestyle of the British people. There are about 1000 different teas consumed in Britain currently. So, the question arises, which tea is the most popular tea in England?
The answer is Black tea. Yes, black tea tops the list!
Black tea is prepared from the most fermented leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. This tea is mostly taken with milk or simple on its own without a sweetener. The fast steeping process that produces a stronger and punchier taste is attributed to the fine tea particles and the most preferred types of Black tea are those from Assam (India) and Kenya.
There is another less commonly known reason for Black tea being consumed the most. In England, people drink hard water that cannot extract much flavor and taste from Green tea or unfermented beverages. However, for Black tea, which is fermented and processed quite a bit, this hard water works well and gives the tea a rich flavor and color. Also, England is famous for producing high-quality milk. The milk is rich, creamy, and has a natural sweetness too. By adding this milk into tea, it’s like doubly enriching the flavor and aroma.
So, compiling the reasons isn’t the luscious, creamy Black tea justifying the love for tea in England? We think so! Apart from the taste, flavor, and aroma, there is a myriad of health benefits that Black tea has to offer. The health benefits include fighting off bad breath (because Black tea contains polyphenols which can fight off bacteria), weight loss (caffeine present in the Black tea reduces appetite which can further aid in losing weight), improving heart health (due to the presence of flavonoids) and keeping you energetic and full of life every day. (Quite obvious, isn’t it?).
The second topmost popular tea of the English is Earl Grey tea. It was named after a gift (of tea) was presented from China to the then UK Prime Minister Charles Grey. Originally, it came under the category of Black tea but with time, as new varieties emerged, Earl grey tea occupied a separate domain altogether. It is mostly consumed without milk and is steeped for longer than traditional Black tea.
Earl Grey happens to be one of the most recognized, loved, and popular flavored teas in the world. This British tea is typically a Black tea made by infusing it with oil from the rind of bergamot orange (a citrus fruit with the appearance and flavor somewhere between an orange and a lemon) to mask its bitterness and to add to its health benefits. Thus basically, Earl grey is a Black tea that has been flavored with the oil of bergamot but that itself gives this tea such a unique, beautiful flavour.
Earl Grey tea has been hailed for its health benefits that are diverse and varied just like the flavours of the tea. The resulting citrusy and chocolaty flavors make this tea unique and delightful among its consumers. The contrasting flavors of lemony and malty notes make this beverage a distinctive tea loved by many.
Some health benefits of Earl Grey tea include detoxification of the body by eliminating harmful microbes thus improving heart health and enhancing digestion.
The list is followed by Green tea (undergoes less oxidation), Herbal tea (made from the decoction of various herbs), and Oolong tea (semi-fermented tea) respectively.
Britain boasts the consumption of about 2-3 cups of tea per individual, every day. This accounts for adding 60.2 billion cups every year and they prefer the usage of Teabags over Loose tea because it’s less time-consuming. However, aware of the fact that Loose tea gives a more flavourful experience, they do opt for Loose tea for fancy tea experiences.
So, what we infer from the above discussion is that the British people absolutely adore Black tea and they try all the permutations and combinations to yield the best-suited combination of Black tea. Their love and inclusion of Earl grey (basically a modified Black tea) are denotive of their taste and posh lifestyle.
The way tea has blended itself in people’s lives indicates how promising this beverage is in all terms. The extravagant taste of the British has made some teas classic favorites worldwide. Their love for black tea is inexplicably intense. The passion and commitment for tea that Britain encounters among its citizens are breath-taking and overwhelming.
Aren’t the reasons for Britain being called “Tea-lover’s country” justified? Indeed, the English are the proud, true fans of the Royal and vast legacy of Black tea. They can really never get enough of this tea to quench their desire…nope they can’t!