A Cuppa Tea
Expat Life

A Cuppa Tea Solves Everything

Although I’ve been in England now for over three years, I have not yet developed an appreciation for tea.  Maybe it’s just that I haven’t really tried. What with all my coffee drinking, when do I have time to fit it in?

But I am continually amazed to discover that tea is the most powerful beverage known to man and can make any problem you have go away.

Take EastEnders, quite possibly one of the most depressing shows ever on television.  On the show dear Dot Branning is always at the ready with a cuppa to make everyone’s problems go away.

Just found out your house burned down?  Here, have a cuppa. It will all be OK.

Just found out your boyfriend slept with your mother?  I’ll put the kettle on and we’ll have a cuppa.

But it’s not just on TV and in popular culture where I’ve seen this.

I’ve recently been in and out of the hospital with my Crohn’s.  And I’ve been amused to find that each time when I wake up from my procedure, the first thing they offer me is a cup of tea.  I haven’t eaten for two days, I’m completely dehydrated, and I have low blood pressure.  Wouldn’t a bit of water or juice be a more appropriate beverage for the situation?  Apparently not.  Never mind the wisdom of leaving a porcelain cup with a scalding beverage in the hands of someone just coming off heavy sedatives.

Is there no situation that doesn’t call for a cuppa tea?

The British are the largest per capita tea consumers in the world.  Maybe it’s because they know a secret the rest of us don’t.  That tea isn’t just a nice warm beverage.  It will fix everything that’s wrong in your life.

Tea drinkers, please help me understand.  I’ll put the kettle on.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Matma February 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Fame for my China after 30 years of waiting ….

    Just cannot let this one slip by without comment.
    But these probably say it better than I can

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5281046.stm
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3356550/Healthy-drinking-Tea-total.html

    … and ‘the bible’
    http://www.tea.co.uk

    Cheers

  • Reply Matma February 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    P.S.
    Almost as much reverence as me?

  • Reply BritMums Carnival: all things Spring! | Domestic Goddesque March 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    […] And Rays of Light ponders whether a cuppa tea solves everything […]

  • Reply Heather Greaves April 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog entry and smiled. As an Englishwoman who lived in the US for many years before returning here, the offer of a cup of tea no matter the weather, company , emotional and physical state took me by surprise as to how often it happened every day from friends to family to new acquaintances and definitely most especially in hospitals! I had forgotten what it was like here till I came back.

    • Reply katherine April 23, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Heather thanks for the comment. I do find it so difficult as an American not used to the tea culture to remember to offer everyone tea. Everyone, in every circumstance. I feel like I’m such a bad hostess!

  • Reply Tempest Devyne May 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The Kinks sang a song about it in 1972…..here’s the vid on youtube, don’t worry it will explain everything about the restorative properties of a cuppa tea: http://youtu.be/c3rxNCzzJpY

    BTW I’m a Brit stuck in the USA who stumbled across your blog on the BBC EastEnders page….and in dire need of a cuppa tea and some of the rain you’ve been having….I live in Phoenix, AZ.

    • Reply katherine May 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Great video! Thanks for the link. I’d be glad to send some rain your way…

  • Reply Zeff May 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    It’s the ritual of tea-making too. My Mum gets very particular about the heat of the water and the amount of milk, etc. I used to think she was just annoying, but of course as I’ve got older…
    I’m actually mostly a coffee drinker, even when I was in the UK. But a cup of tea refreshes in a way that coffee can’t.
    I’ve got my stash of Earl Grey and my Breakfast tea in my Massachusetts kitchen and wouldn’t feel right without it!

    • Reply katherine May 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      I think maybe that’s it, the ritual. Naive American just thought it was about boiling water and letting a tea bag sit in it for a few minutes. But it’s really much more elegant than that. And I certainly know now to always have some on hand for company!

  • Reply Cat Piggott July 15, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I moved to the UK from the US in 1989. For awhile I went along with the tea ritual, but soon reverted back to coffee, as all I had tasted was PG Tips, which, in my humble opinion, tastes of nothing. Or bath water. Anyway, years later, I was given a free sample of Yorkshire Tea. I have never stopped drinking tea since my first “sup” of this lovely brew. NOW I get what the fuss is all about! It’s strong, it’s good, and, yes, it can fix pretty much anything, now you mention it…
    In fact I would say I might be a teaholic…

    I just stumbled upon your blog and it’s really made me smile.

    I worked for Ford in Basildon for a while, and there were lots of US colleagues there, who helped me fumble my way along in Britain, gave a few tips here and there (for instance that cocktail sauce can be made from horseradish sauce and ketchup) and they used to bring me goodies when they went back now and again… sigh…

    • Reply katherine July 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Glad you found me and made you smile! I’ve recently tried to give up the coffee myself and find myself trying to replace it with tea but it’s just not quite the same. How great that you had a good network of US colleagues to help you figure things out!

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