Naturally, drinking tea itself has become an art that is most certainly unique to each country and region. It can also be a very sensitive subject that your cafe waiter or household might take quite seriously. If you’re crossing Europe, not only will you find those countries keen on adding milk to their tea, such as my native Britain, next to a good portion of continental Europe which insists on just sugar, but even styles of serving and the number of accessories that come with.
Another cool tea blog!
I am myself a huge fan of the accompanying cookie or pastry that comes with the finer tea selections. This is usually in the nicer cafes in cities, but you never know what you’ll come across, be it scaling the seaside or wandering through vineyards. One common rule of thumb i’ve found, just to keep your heads up, is that waiters are not usually keen on refilling your cup with hot water with an old tea bag. Once, I got into a long discussion with a waiter who seemed to think some people couldn’t handle the taste of a reused tea bag. Perhaps I’m not refined enough for that, but what can I say, I like to economize my tea usage. Especially since I know they are good for at least one or two refills.
Concerning my native UK, there are a few taboos that one must watch out for. First, of course, tea always comes with milk. Crumpets as well, if you’re lucky. Tea time is a valued and important time of day as well, so when that becomes a priority in certain households, don’t be surprised. Furthermore, watch out for what you call your tea. If you’re into black teas, you should most certainly be careful. There’s English breakfast, Scottish breakfast and even Irish breakfast. In all honesty, the variance is slight, but what can you do. However, I’ve seen it myself, waiters can give ugly looks that will stain your experience if you aren’t sensitive to the local names. If you’re in Edinburgh, it’s Scottish breakfast, simply put!