"Shall I put the kettle on?" or "Would you like
a nice cup of tea?" are questions you might be asked if you
visit someones home in the UK. The traditional English drink
is tea - it is drunk throughout the day and is often made during
social occasions. Coffee has become popular in recent years, but
many people continue to drink tea.
In the UK there are as many different ways of making and drinking tea as there are
flavours. People drink Indian teas, Chinese teas, herbal teas, and fruit teas. English tea
is specially adapted for UK tastebuds.
To make a cup of English tea the first step is to boil some
water - usually in an electric kettle. Traditionally the drink is then made by pouring the
boiling water into a teapot and adding tea leaves. The leaves are left to infuse, or brew,
and when it is ready the liquid is poured into teacups through a strainer and drunk with
milk. Nowadays, many people use teabags, which are perforated pockets of paper with leaves
inside. There is some controversy over the use of milk in tea - some people say that milk
should be put in the cup or mug before the tea, and others are equally insistent that it
should be put in afterwards.
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Photo courtesy of Bob Burch