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I've known for a long time that tea was endemic in Britain, staple comfort drink and source of caffeine. I've observed all sorts of instances of this over the years. Nothing, however, had quite prepared me for today's class.

The class began at 1 pm. There were approximately 25 students. Every single last one of them of them had already drunk at least one cup of tea.



( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
...well, what did you expect?

*is confused*
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
About a third of the class is Eastern European. I thought that might have some effect on the numbers.
Oct. 23rd, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Tea is also big in Eastern Europe. Think of all those samovars!
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
only one cup by lunchtime? most of my colleagues would be on five or six by then!
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
*at least* one cup. A minority had drunk more than that.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
I would be on at least one pot by then, possibly two (caffeine is irrelevant; tea doesn't wake me up and I feel no more or less awake without it, I just like it).
I do freely grant that my tea consumption is above the UK average, but I assert it is not greatly above.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Goodness, is that all?
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
About a third of them aren't from this country. I thought that might have a bearing on it. Or that there would be one or two people who would be coffee addicts instead.

But no.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
There's a woman I have some classes with who's just moved here from Cali to do a degree and has instantly converted to drinking tea - the thing that changed her mind being electric kettles. She'd never seen one before. I was boggled by this.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 23rd, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
Target and Macy's. 'swhere I got mine.
Oct. 23rd, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
Electric kettles are unknown in other parts of the world?!?

Oct. 23rd, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure electric kettles are not uncommon in Canada and I would guess the Northern US (if nothing else for making stuff like instant hot chocolate and instant coffee).

What's strange to me is that the kettle that keeps a couple of litres of water on boil for you seems ubiquitous in Asia (and among immigrants from there) but the Brits I know boil there water up as needed. My parents are ex-pats and they instantly converted to Asian way of doing things when they discovered it.

Personally I find coffee way to bitter to drink, so I stick to (relatively weak) tea. I also don't go in much for caffeine though, I'm often too lazy to make it and too cheap to buy it or other caffeine sources. In principle you can make tea as strong as coffee by adding more tea bags/leaves, also I just checked different varieties of tea have different caffeine content.
Oct. 24th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
Huh. They have them readily available in most shops around most college campuses in my experience, in the U.S. because many dorms will allow an electric kettle, but do not allow hot plates, due to the fire hazard.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Substitute "Starbucks beverage" for "tea" and then you're in my classes. ^-^;;
Oct. 22nd, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Every single last one of them without exception?
Oct. 22nd, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Not every time, but it has happened.
Oct. 23rd, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
That sounds familiar. I think most people I knew in Britain would have at least one cup of tea by lunch. Although for some I think coffee would have been more likely. Personally, I think tea is one of the greatest things about Britain. I've learned that there really isn't anything more comforting than a nice cup of tea. In fact, I think I'll go make myself a cup right now.
Oct. 23rd, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
You remind me that it's 1.30 pm and I have not yet had any tea. Must fix, at once!
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 23rd, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)

I can cut it out entirely if it is not available, and not suffer, but if it's there ...

Someone else who just likes it and isn't addicted to its caffeine! I can do fine without it but everyone around me at work refuses to believe this and claims I'm in denial about my caffeine addiction. No, tea does not provide me with any caffeination or other stimulation. I just like it.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 23rd, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
I am not sure about this. I can certainly sleep very well after coffee - but then, if I don't get my two cups I CERTAINLY sleep, so it's a matter of raising my threshold.

That's why I can't do tea in the morning. Just doesn't has enough caffeine to keep me awake.
Oct. 23rd, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
And the tea is good, and strong, and not what you get here...

This reminds me that I need to bring milk into work, because I can't drink tea without milk, and this is why I turn to the dismal coffee we make...
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 23rd, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
I'm willing to bet that they'd all drunk black tea. (Now I'm tempted to do a more thorough survey next time the class meets!)

I'm just baffled that there were no coffee drinkers in this class. I'd be willing to believe 90% tea consumption and two coffee-or-other-drink people, it's the 100% I'm struggling with!
Oct. 23rd, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
Perhaps you should check whether any of them had drunk coffee as well. Quite a few of my colleagues will alternate between.

I find it hard to cope with how little tea the rest of the world drinks...
Oct. 25th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
I'm willing to bet that they'd all drunk black tea

Almost certainly one of the standard tea-bag "British workman's strong and murky". But black as in "without milk"? Heresy!
Oct. 25th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
I don't quite get the surprise. Granted, I' expect one or two to be coffee-drinkers instead, but tea is a very routine morning drink for most folks, old and young. In the war it was considered important for morale, even though it had to be imported via convoy in place of foodstuffs offering more actual nutrition.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )