So I’m going to pretend I’m a Brit on April 21st and celebrate National Tea Day. Does anyone want to join me? Yep, it’s just another excuse to drink more tea, but we really don’t need one to enjoy tea, do we?
National Tea Day is celebrated on April 21st every year in the United Kingdom to celebrate and honor the drinking of tea. Tea is the favorite drink in the United Kingdom, and it is their national drink. This day is also known as British National Tea Day because the British celebrate their special love of tea on this day. National Tea Day has become more and more popular worldwide, giving us another reason to celebrate and drink tea.
National Tea Day is not simply a holiday - it’s a movement that provides an opportunity for future generations of tea drinkers to understand and appreciate the world of tea. Founded in 2016, April 21st was chosen because it is Queen Elizabeth’s birthday! By coincidence, it was also my Grandma’s birthday, and she enjoyed tea, so it’s easy for me to remember.
Tea is like a culture or an experience. The best way to enjoy it is with friends and family. National Tea Day also celebrates tea for being the second most loved drink in the world; water is first. I know you coffee drinkers thought coffee was number one, but it’s really number three. Call me tea biased, but I’ve enjoyed pointing this out to my coffee-drinking friends.
A little history about British tea. A Portuguese woman named Catherine of Braganza popularized the drink in England in 1662 when she married King Charles II. Her dowry included several cases of loose leaf tea. She drank a cup every day and encouraged her ladies to enjoy with her.
Another famous British tradition is afternoon tea. The Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, introduced afternoon tea in the late 1840s. She needed something to tide her over between meals and liked to share good food with friends. Hence Afternoon, or High Tea as Americans call it, was born. There is a difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea, but that’s for another article.
Uptown Tea Shop has joined in this fun tradition and offers High Tea on select dates each month.
Henry James, author and nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, said that few hours in life were more pleasant than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
How can you celebrate National Tea Day? Well, that’s easy. Drink a cup or two of tea!
There are literally hundreds of types of tea, and National Tea Day is the ideal time to enjoy some new teas.
Uptown Tea Shop carries over 150 different kinds of tea.
So, if you usually drink Black Tea, give Green Tea a try. Ever tried Rooibos or Oolong? How about White Tea? Be brave and venture out. You’ll be surprised by the flavors and depth of taste that’s available.
Brits tend to drink mostly hot tea over iced tea, but here in the United States, we also enjoy iced tea. I know they think we’re unsophisticated if we drink iced tea. But as the weather warms, there’s nothing like an iced cold glass of iced tea served in a tall glass on a hot day. Many of my teas do double duty and are great, either hot or over ice.
I hope you’ll think about getting some friends together and celebrating National Tea Day on the 21st with me.
“Tea is always a good idea.” – Author unknown.