Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tea drinking (Twinings) - the British favourite pastime

Twinings+tea+store+LondonWhat's the favourite drink of the Britons?

Nope, it's not cheap beer, though some may disagree, but it's tea. Tea drinking has become quintessential to the British life. Picture a couple of British ladies sipping tea while their husbands occupied themselves with cigars and a shot of whiskey. There you have it.

In fact, tea is so ingrained into the British life that it's a culture and the daily life is built around it. Up till the invasion of cheap supermart alcohol and Labour government's 24 hr drinking policies that is.

Instead of serving cappuccinos and espressos, quaint cafes lined the streets (as some of them still do) serving tea, sandwiches and scones with cream. Tea is so popular among the British that there's even a variety of tea named after them - the English Breakfast Tea or commonly known as just breakfast tea.

Twinings+tea+store+LondonHere we have Twinings, one of the original tea brands, at its flagship store along the Strand. The rather cosy interior is not exactly what you would expect of a flagship store. But the variety of tea available is absolutely staggering; there are some that are commonly found in supermarts and there are others that you would have probably never heard of.


Twinings+tea+store+LondonGet them in a packet, loose leaves or purchase them in individual satchets at 15p each. You'll be spoilt for choice. What's more? There are tea boxes with the word 'Twinings' engraved onto them that can only be found in this store. These don't come cheap. A box a quarter the size shown in this picture cost a cool £12.

Of late, probably due to the economic downturn, the store has extended its opening hours to include Saturdays as well. Well, that just makes it more convenient for us to drop by and replenish our supplies, doesn't it?

If you have to be there, skip those English Breakfast Tea and go for one of those more exotic ones instead.

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My cup(s) of tea

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14 comments:

Kew said...

Twinnings earl grey... my favourite...

eMz said...

awww, i would love to go there. i absolutely live on twinings green tea & fruit teas (not the english breakfast or earl grey kind though, i'm not a big fan of black teas. ewww.)

C K said...

@kew,
You know what? The funny thing is that I cannot stand the minty taste of earl grey. I will stick to my English Breakfast. Not exactly the most adventurous tea drinker I must admit.


@emz,
Fruit teas! Well, I don't supposed you add milk and sugar to those, do you?

Perky said...

Tea + scones = perfect evening :)

A. said...

I take two boxes of Twinings breakfast tea to France every time we go. It never lasts quite long enough but it helps. Don't mock the afflicted :)

Dutchie said...

Why do Brits call their dinner "Tea" ?

My bro married at a time when High Tea was all the rage. The younger generation did enjoyed the spread but our older aunts n relatives were simply miserable it seemed.

I supposed the concept of going for tea is also meant to treat oneself to cakes n sandwiches at the same time, in the UK ?

I hv tried many fruit-flavoured tea but doesnt like the clingy sweet aroma's, so am sticking to good cups of chinese tea, which by the way was what we were weaned on from a tender age. It also helps with digestion, doesnt it ?

Condo Blues said...

I was a tea drinker way before I learned to like coffee. Twinings is still a favorite. But I prefer Ahmad when I can find it in the US.

cchiovitti said...

Whenever I go to London I come home with a suitcase FULL of lovely teas from Whittard of Chelsea. My absolute FAVORITE tea shop in the whole world!!

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Great post! I love Twinings...My mom used to have Twinings at home...the orange pekoe, darjeeling, and Earl Grey.

Good luck in our BotB battle!

C K said...

@perky,
Evening? I thought that would be for afternoon tea? A bag of crisp would do just fine for me in the evening. :)


@a.,
I would think that they have it over in France itself. But how does the French brands compare with Twinings?


@dutchie,
I didn't realise that the British actually call their dinner 'Tea'. Do they?

Yep, tea usually mean a whole bout of high carbo food as well. In fact, you'll be surprised that some 'tea' sessions cost more than an actual lunch or even dinner. Tea at Ritz and Mandarin Oriental cost £30 pp and £34 pp respectively.

Other than tea of your choice, there'll be free flow of scones, sandwiches and cakes with an array of jams.

For me? I stick to my Lipton. And yes, that too helps in my digestion. :)


@condo blues,
I've not heard of Ahmad. Is that a Middle Eastern tea? The name sure sound like it.


@cchiovitti,
Hey there, glad to have you back again. Whittard? That's another new name to me. So what's your favorite flavor over there?


@matt,
Hey, enough already, you're trashing me at BotB! Just kidding, glad to see you at BotB.

You know what? We should be betting on boxes of Twinings instead. Say we start at 2 boxes of Orange Pekoe? :P

Mik said...

My type of place, being a Brit I like my tea with lots of milk and real sugar.

eMz said...

@ ck

no, no milk in fruit teas. just hot water. hehehe. it's weird really, it's like drinking warm juice -- so it's not for everyone! ^_^

Erik said...

I like your blog, but it doesn't mean I hope you will win our battle of the blogs. Keep up the good work.

C K said...

@Mik
I, too, prefer real sugar (if at all) than those artificial "zero calories" ones. Who knows what is put in them. But for me, brown sugar over white sugar anytime. You?


@emz,
Agreed. It can get quite bad with some of the cheaper brands. It's like drinking syrup. Erks.


@erik,
Thanks for dropping a comment. Do I sense a snigger there? :P