“For all the tea in England” – a fantastic short documentary about various traditions of tea drinking present in modern Britain

We all know how wonderfully multicultural modern Britain is… but do we realise how many tea drinking traditions are present here?

A short documentary by Kerry Mc Leod ‘ For all the tea in England’ (2007) explores various different methods of preparing tea cultivated by immigrants from China, India, Tanzania, & Poland (sadly not much about Polish ‘tea with lemon & honey’ there but i guess time did not allow.. ?:) together with  a short interview with a British professional tea taster who, for a living, drinks over 500 cups a day:).

Drinking tea is indeed so omnipresent in the British culture (Britain was for years the only country in Europe where you could find tea and tea merchants coming from its colonies with the valueable stock) that some people would even believe tea comes from here… It does not 🙂 but thanks to British turbulent history which made it the most multicultural country in Europe, if not in the world, it is now home to numerous special tea making traditions.

“Tea solves all the problems” says one of the characters featured in the film. “Tea making makes you calm, not only the tea you are preparing & drink later calms you, but the whole process , the whole experience is calming” says the other. You can understand why the immigrants cherished their tradtions & recipes of making tea when settling in a new country among people they did not know, and surroundings they were not familiar with. A cup of their favourite warm drink made them feel at home. Tea is an unseparable element of any social event both in Britain and in the countries whose citizens moved here in search for a better place to live. Coming here, they took their tea almost as a ‘symbol’ of their homelands, representing all memories and traditions of the places they had to leave, & in that way they made Britain a true tea capital with so many distinctive rituals of preparing this marvelous & irreplaceable drink.

You can watch this little gem here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/films/p005c2n8

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Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 4:36 PM  Leave a Comment  
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