Let’s drink tea! – Давайте выпьем чаю!

Давайте выпьем чаю! – Let’s drink tea!

Tea remains one of the most pervasive symbols of ‘Britishness’ abroad. The list goes: The Queen, Mary Poppins and then tea. Sherlock Holmes and ‘fry-ups’ are also up there, but those are definitely the top three. This is despite the fact that, the consumption of tea in the UK had consistently fallen since the early 1970s. If you were to ask what Russia’s national drink was, without any hesitation, most people would say vodka. However after spending a decent amount of time here, I can honestly say that it is tea. Evidently stereotypes aren’t the best sources of information on other cultures and countries.

The consumption of coffee per capita in the UK has continued to rise, and according to some statistics has overtaken that of tea. In my opinion the most convincing explanation of this occurrence is that tea in the UK is a just a little bit boring *insert dramatic gasp here*. There are numerous coffee shops specialising in artisanal blends made from beans ardently scoured from around the world. When it comes to tea is rare to find a place that really making that kind of effort. A sachet of Earl Grey isn’t exactly pushing the boat out.

Loose leaf teaRussians on the other hand- know how to serve up a decent brew. Of course there’s the traditional samovar- the ornate urn-shaped container used to brew tea, but even just regular everyday tea drinking is almost an occasion. When you visit a Russian home you will, without doubt, immediately be offered tea. Admittedly, less offered and more told that you’re having tea- but that’s fine too. Yoafternoon teau really can’t knock Russian hospitality. There is always a choice of aromatic and robust loose leaf teas thoughtfully brewed in a teapot and served with a selection of biscuits and pastries. There something very satisfying and comforting about these lovingly enforced teatimes- plus it always comes with great conversation.

‘Going round for a cup of tea’ over here is miles away from the sad looking teabag unceremoniously doused in hot water. From now on if I’m invited me over for tea back in London, I expect a full Afternoon Tea worthy of Claridges. PG Tips and a couple of Digestive biscuits just don’t cut it anymore- I’ve been spoilt now.

 

This post was brought to you by Lola, currently studying at Liden & Denz Moscow

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