Sunday, September 21, 2008


Britons have always been renowned for being a nation of tea drinkers (although many people here do drink coffee too and some prefer it to tea!) However it’s hard to believe that we get through over a staggering 33 billion cups of tea every year. Wow! Certainly the credit crunch seems to be doing little to diminish Britons’ tea consumption, if anything we as a nation are probably drinking more cups of tea than ever. People often reach for a cup of tea as a pick me up or to cheer them up in times of crisis. A cup of tea has become almost like a national icon to many people in this country and is quite often referred to as “the best drink of the day”. Invented by accident by an American in 1908, British tea company Tetley saw the possible marketing potential of teabags a few years later and launched them as an alternative to leaf tea. They proved an instant hit with the British public. The company has never looked back since. Teabags can now be found in virtually every home in Britain. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without them.

It’s also interesting to note that according to secret documents released recently, government officials in Whitehall were worried about a possible tea shortage in the event of a nuclear attack in the 1950’s! Apparently the documentation revealed that a nuclear attack would result in the loss of 75% of tea stocks and the tea supply situation could be “very serious”. Never mind the radiation then!

According to the results of a recent survey, tea has been named as Britain’s favourite hot drink. Coffee came in second place, with Britain’s coffee drinkers getting through 20 billion cups a year. I personally prefer tea to coffee and get through several cups a day. I particularly enjoy Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas as well as ordinary tea. I also enjoy fruit and herb teas too. Researchers have discovered that drinking tea is even better for you than drinking water. It contains antioxidants and doesn’t dehydrate you. Three or more cups of tea a day can cut the risk of heart attacks whilst other benefits include bone strengthening and protection against dental plaque, one of the main causes of tooth decay. All the more reason to have a nice cup of tea!

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