By Alexander Rodgers
To celebrate International Tea Day, today’s article will explore the significance of tea in British culture and how English Path has recently embraced this during King Charles III’s Coronation. With 800 million cups consumed globally every day, and 60 million of those within the UK, we cannot deny the long-lasting popularity of this hot drink. But tea is not only a drink, for it's also considered a comfort, a social glue that binds people together. A common mindset shared by Brits, for example, is ‘A cup of tea can solve anything.’ In Morocco, green tea with mint is commonly served at family gatherings.
Tea is Britain’s favourite drink; there is no denying this stereotype. The story of tea predates Britain itself, stretching back to 5000 BC in ancient China. With trade increasing between Britain and Asia in the 17th century, the aristocracy quickly adopted this beverage. By the late 1700s, tea became the mainstream drink we all know and love today. Brits agree on the three quintessential elements that define a good brew: tea, milk, and sugar (or honey). Fun fact: for a perfect cup of tea, let your teabag steep in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.
Whilst tea is consumed throughout the day, afternoon tea refers to a light meal. Commonly served during the late afternoon, afternoon tea bridges the gap between lunch and dinner. At this time, tea is traditionally accompanied by scones (baked, sweetened muffins), Bite-size cakes, and sandwiches cut into ‘fingers’. Classic sandwich fillings associated with afternoon tea include cucumber, salmon, egg & mayonnaise, and coronation chicken: a sandwich filling created for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, consisting of chicken in a curried sauce with sultanas and herbs.
Earlier this month, Britain was in the international spotlight with the recent coronation of King Charles III. With celebrations worldwide, English Path embraced this historic event with afternoon tea across our UK campus. As part of our weekly social programmes, students were invited to have tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes throughout the coronation week. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the royal celebrations as they learnt more about afternoon tea, British culture, and the royal family.
At our London and Leeds campuses, staff showed students how to prepare, serve and enjoy scones (with accompanying condiments of clotted cream and strawberry jam); Suffice it to say that the students fell in love with this British treat! At English Path Birmingham and Manchester, students played royal family quizzes and tucked into fluffy Victoria sponge cakes. Finally, at English Path Canary Wharf, students joined monarchy-themed elective classes and had the opportunity to try pork pies!
Here at English Path, we’re want to see how you drink your tea, no matter where in the world. Feel free to share your tea-loving pictures on Instagram and tag us at @EnglishPathSchools. If you want to see the range of student activities at English Path, be sure to click here!