Tea is a huge part of British culture and heritage. They treasure tea breaks, teacakes, tea parties, afternoon teas and high tea. And despite the increase in coffee houses, tea remains their preferred beverage. So much so, they consume over 165 million cups of it every day.
Tea was a relative latecomer to British shores. Although it dates back to the third millennium BC in China, it wasn’t until the mid-17th century that the beverage made its appearance in England. Samuel Pepys first mentioned drinking tea in his journal entry for September 1660. Since Pepys was a member of the wealthy and fashionable London set, his failure to mention tea earlier suggests that it was still unusual at that time.
Yet it became known in Europe very quickly after its introduction there. Two years later King Charles II married Catherine of Braganza. Catherine was a Portuguese princess, and a tea addict, and it was her love of the drink that established it as a fashionable beverage at court and among the wealthy classes.
Tea was particularly interesting to the Western world because it was very easy to prepare and it revived the spirits and cured mild colds. In fact, in the 18th century tea was thought to be a wonder cure for all manner of illnesses. It even played a big part in the Industrial Revolution because the stimulants increased the number of hours labourers could work in factories.
Nowadays, whatever the occasion, the nation puts on the kettle for a cup of tea. It’s a drink that cheers and consoles, and it’s good for health and well-being.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) Coffee is drunk as much as tea in England.
b) Tea was known in England before it was in China.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
a) Why is tea a highly recommended drink? Give at least three reasons.
b) How did tea help during the Industrial Revolution?
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) rich (paragraph 2): wealthy
- b) not severe (paragraph 3): mild
- c) raised (paragraph 3): increased
- d) comforts (paragraph 4): consoles
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) Experts say that if / when you want to enjoy a nice cup of tea, you should / must / have to / ought to drink it without sugar.
- b) Since the 19th century, tea has become (become) the most popular drink for the British.
- c) The art of making (make) tea was so important for George Orwell that he wrote about it in London ́s Evening Standard in 1946.
- d) Complete the following sentence to report what was said.
- “What would you like to do when you finish High School?” Mary asked her son.
- “Let ́s have some tea” → I suggested having some tea / that we should have some tea / that we have some tea.
5.- Write about 100 to 150 words on the following topic.
- Describe the celebration that you and your family most enjoy.