Lisa's week: Fancy a cuppa?
The weather has turned colder, the days are getting shorter and autumn is definitely here. For this weather loving, autumn adoring girl, this is a good thing. I’ve been smiling broadly for the last couple of weeks as the season changes and the sun starts to head south.
For some, this is the time of year to get back into drinking hot drinks. Tea perhaps? Of course, us Brits have been drinking tea all summer long which some think is rather strange but it certainly helps to keep the difference in temperature between your body and the outside to a minimum and can have a cooling effect. No, really! Trust me!
Now, when I say “tea” as a Brit, what I really mean is my kind of tea. And that means black tea, served with milk. Not fruit tea, not herb tea, in fact not any other kind of tea whatsoever! When Germans offer tea, they might mean anything from a herbal tea on its own, an Ostfriesland tea with Kandis or an English Breakfast tea with Kaffeesahne. None of which is for me! So I very politely ask what type of tea they are referring to and if they have real, fresh milk. Not even UHT milk is right for my perfect cup. More often than not, I’ll go for the coffee.
There are many different types of tea that British people enjoy: Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Lapsang Souchong, Assam, Ceylon, English Breakfast but I prefer the ordinary blended tea available from every brand or supermarket. Just regular, strong, black tea. Nothing special. Nothing fine. Nothing delicately flavoured. I refer to it as plumber’s tea but you might also hear people call it builder’s tea – just a strong cup of tea with plenty of milk as drunk by people across the country. It’s not fancy. It’s just an ordinary cuppa!
I buy my tea in bulk and bring it over from the UK, which is always funny at Sainbury’s when I pile up my 10 boxes of 240 red label teabags! In my cupboard I have at least a few month’s worth of tea bags at any time and start to panic a little when I get down to the last couple of boxes. And you can guarantee that there’s always fresh milk in my fridge.
The water must be really boiling when you pour it over the tea – in my case normally just a tea bag in a large mug – and left to brew (we don’t “cook” tea and coffee!) for a few minutes. Then I add fresh milk until the desired shade of brown has been achieved and it’s done.
Can I let you into a secret? I rarely drink a full cup of tea. I am very particular about the temperature of the tea – too cold and I don’t drink it anymore. I usually only manage half a cup before it’s past its optimum temperature and then down the drain it goes. Yes, it’s a bad habit. But one that makes me, me!
What is Lisa's week?
"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"
Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday
Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?
Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?
Episode 4: The sound of London
Episode 5: Not just a last resort
Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise
Episode 7: Title talk
Episode 8: The Union Jack
Episode 9: Why Thursday?
Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?
Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!
Episode 13: Up in the Highlands
Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends
Episode 15: Pie in the sky
Episode 16: Through the tunnel
Episode 17: Keep left!
Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise
Episode 19: How do you say that?
Episode 20: Back to School!
Episode 21: Sweet cravings
Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?
Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"
Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)