I’m going to be talking about tea today.

I think the UK has a long history of tea drinking.

Perhaps not so much America, because I believe America is more of a country known for drinking coffee, but certainly ‘when it comes to’ [when we’re talking about] a national beverage, the word ‘beverage’ just means drink, so when it comes to a national drink, I would say that the UK’s national drink has to be tea.

Now tea in England, tea in the UK, is often drank with milk.

Of course, this also depends on the type of tea, so for example, if I were to drink Earl Grey, I prefer that without milk, but if I’m drinking normal tea, actually I should probably explain what I mean by normal tea.

So in England we have tea which is just sort of called tea, branded as tea.

So you have popular brands such as Yorkshire Tea or PG Tips, and then you have different types of tea.

So there’s like Assam and Earl Grey and Darjeeling, Lady Grey, Ceylon and so on.

So by normal tea, I’m just talking about the sort of regular, everyday tea that people drink.

So occasionally I will have Earl Grey, but it’s more of occasionally, you know, sometimes.

Whereas normal tea, that’s the tea that I’m drinking almost always.

So if you were to buy this sort of normal tea abroad in another country, then it might be marketed as English Breakfast Tea or just like a blended tea, blended black tea.

So yes, anyway, back to what I was saying.

If I’m drinking this normal tea, common tea, then I usually drink that with milk, almost always with milk, and that’s a really common thing here in the UK.

Personally, I prefer my tea without any sugar, but there are certainly those people who like to put sugar in their tea.

Usually a single spoonful of sugar and sometimes ‘quite a bit’ [a lot] more than that, but it depends on the person.

Now during the day, I have been known to drink between six and eight cups of tea.

So I have been known to.

That means like it’s not uncommon for me to do something.

I have been known.

So I have been known to drink between six to eight cups of tea.

And I don’t think that’s like very high.

It’s not unusual drinking that much tea in one single day.

Because you will have people who work in an office and they’ll be drinking tea throughout the day.

So perhaps in some offices, people will make what’s called ‘a round’ of tea.

So perhaps one person stands up and says, “I’m going to make tea.

Does anyone else fancy [want] a cup of tea?

Does anyone else want a cup of tea?”

And then they go and make the tea for everyone.

Now that probably can’t work in like really big companies, of course.

But I have worked in companies where I’ve ended up making like around 12 cups of tea or perhaps even more than that.

So it can take a fair chunk of time out of your day.

So a fair chunk, a fair chunk means like a large amount.

So it can take a large amount of time out of your day.

It can take a fair chunk of time out of your day.

It can take a long time to do whilst preparing all of those cups of tea for everyone.

And of course, if everyone is always drinking tea and then they’re offering tea to you when they go and make tea, you usually end up saying, “Well, yeah, actually I will have a tea.

I do fancy a cup of tea.”

So if everyone’s always drinking tea and asking other people if they want to drink tea, everyone just ends up drinking lots of tea, don’t they?

Sometimes you might refuse and say, “Actually, no, I’m fine, thank you.”

So yes, like I was saying, between six and eight, I don’t think is a lot.

I don’t think it’s unusual drinking that much tea.

Now, at the moment, I’m not actually working in an office.

I am a freelancer and so I have tried to cut down on the amount of tea that I drink every day and all, well, just because I wanted to cut down on the amount of caffeine that I drink every day.

Caffeine is the sort of like drug that’s inside tea and coffee.

So normally, I will have between one to two cups of tea every day now.

So that’s a big change, cutting down from six to eight to just like one or two cups of tea.

One other thing I’d like to mention, I’d like to talk about is sometimes when you say tea, it can mean a different thing depending on which country you are in.

So take for example, Japan, if you say tea, it means green tea.

But obviously in England, if you say tea, it means black tea.

Now green tea, I think it is common in England, but not that common.

Everyone’s heard of it and everyone has the idea of it being like a sort of healthy, like a healthy black tea, sort of like a healthy kind of tea that’s good for your body.

But the tea that you can buy from supermarkets, the green tea that you can buy from supermarkets in England isn’t very nice to be perfectly honest.

It doesn’t taste very great.

But the black tea that you can buy, the normal tea you can buy is really good and very cheap.

You can get 200 tea bags for something like three pounds and the quality of the tea is very good tea.

If you want some like not normal tea, so you want some like a bit more fancy tea like Earl Grey or something or Darjeeling, then that’s going to be more expensive.

But like I say, that’s not the common tea.

That’s not the tea that we drink every day in England.

Okay, since we are talking about tea and since I mentioned earlier the, what?

Like everyone making ‘a round’ of tea, I’d like to introduce you to some probably British, some very British phrases that you’re likely to hear when people are talking about tea.

So one way of asking if you would like tea is to ask, “Shall I pop the kettle on?”

Now this means shall I switch the kettle on?

And of course switching the kettle on means that you’re going to be boiling water so that you can enjoy a nice cup of tea.

So you’ll notice when someone says, “Shall I pop the kettle on?”

There’s no mention of tea.

[No one uses the word ‘tea’] No one’s saying, “Do you want a cup of tea?

Do you want to drink tea?”

It’s just, “Shall I pop the kettle on?”

It’s like I’m going to be making hot boiling water.

So of course I’m making it for tea.

That’s how common tea is in the UK.

Another phrase you’re likely to hear is, “Would you like a cuppa?”

Now cuppa is short for a cup of tea.

It gets shortened to cuppa.

So this is a very slang way of saying a cup of tea.

I also hear people sometimes saying, “Who’s for tea?”

Or “Anyone for tea?”

Which is just sort of saying, “Who would like some tea?”

Or “Would anyone like some tea?”

So yes, there are quite a few ways that we like to refer to our tea drinking habits.

Now I’d like to finish today’s episode by talking about another usage of the word tea.

So in the UK, tea doesn’t just mean the drink tea.

It doesn’t just mean black tea.

It can also mean an evening meal.

So it’s what you might call dinner or supper.

This can also be called tea.

This can sometimes make it a little confusing when someone is offering you some tea and it’s near dinner time.

And they would ask, “Would you like any tea?”

And sometimes there have been cases where I’ve been a little bit confused about which tea that they’re asking me about.

So that’s something worth keeping in mind, something worth remembering.

Just in case you’re in England or you’re visiting England in the future and you’re in someone’s house and it’s around about dinner time, maybe around 5pm, 6pm, and someone asks you, “Would you like some tea?”

It can mean dinner.

And there have been times, like I said, where maybe my mother’s asked me, “Would you like some tea?”

And I’ve said, “No, no thanks.

I had like a cup about 10 minutes ago.”

And she said, “No, no, no.

Not tea.


Okay, so I think that brings us to the end of this episode.

I’d like to thank you for listening to it and I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s episode.

If you weren’t able to understand all of the words or if I’ve used a few words that may be a little bit difficult for you, just try to listen to this podcast a few times and you’ll start to be able to hear more words and understand more words.

Of course, if there’s some words that I’ve used that are completely new to you and you might want to look at the transcripts for this podcast, then they are available at englishgo.co.uk.

If you read the transcript and then listen to the episode once more, you will understand a lot more of what I’ve just said.

Okay, until next time, I wish you very good luck learning English and improving your English listening skills and until next time, bye-bye.


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