Q2255

 

Задания 10-17

 

Tea

 

Everybody knows that Britain is a tea-drinking nation. Tea is more than just a drink to the British – it is a way of life. Many people drink it first with breakfast, then mid-morning, with lunch, at tea-time (around 5 o’clock), with dinner and finally just before bed. As a nation, they go through 185 million cups per day! No less than 77% of British people are regular tea drinkers; they drink more than twice as much tea as coffee.

A legend says that tea was discovered in China in the third millennium BC. When a Chinese Emperor was having breakfast in his garden, a tea leaf fell into his cup with hot water. The water became coloured and the Emperor was delighted with the taste of the new drink. To Britain, tea came much later. It happened in the 17th century, when the British ships landed on the shore of China and came back with a load of tea.

Tea drinking became fashionable in England after Charles II married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. She adored tea and introduced it to the royal court. Just as people today will copy celebrities, people in the 17th and 18th centuries copied the royal family. Tea drinking spread like wildfire, starting first among the nobles and then spreading to wealthy businessmen who liked to sit down for a nice “cuppa” in coffee houses. Tea was an expensive product. It was only for the rich and often kept under lock and key.

In the 17th century the British really had two daily meals – breakfast and dinner. Dinner was the heaviest meal of the day, and was usually served in the afternoon. The custom of eating a regular “afternoon tea” began during the 1700’s, as people began serving dinner later and later in the evening. For the aristocracy, or at least for the Duchess Anna Maria of Bedford, 6 hours between meals was simply too long. She began to ask for a cup of tea and light snacks to be served around 5 pm, and then began to invite guests to join her. The custom of “afternoon tea” was born, and it spread among the upper classes and then among the workers, for whom this late afternoon meal became the main of the day.

The first tea shop for ladies was opened by Thomas Twining in 1717 and slowly tea shops began to appear throughout England making the drinking of tea available to everyone. The British appreciated the new drink for its taste. It was also believed that tea cured lots of diseases. However, the most important thing was that drinking tea prevented lots of diseases – to make the drink people used boiled water and drank less raw water.

For centuries now, tea has been the national drink of Great Britain. Tea has so thoroughly integrated itself into British culture that during World War II the government was seriously afraid that the country’s morale could suffer from the lack of tea and made a special decision to ration it.

Tea has worked its way into language too. Nowadays people have tea breaks at work, even if they drink coffee or cola. Many people call the main evening meal tea, even if they drink beer with it. When there is a lot of trouble about something very unimportant, it is called a storm in a tea cup. When someone is upset or depressed, people say they need tea and sympathy. In fact, tea is the best treatment for all sorts of problems and troubles.

 

 

10. In Britain coffee is more popular than tea.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

11. In the 17th century a Chinese Emperor sent tea to the British royal family as a present.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

12. At first the tea was drunk only by the royal family and the wealthy people.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

13. The “afternoon tea” tradition was started by a woman.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

14. The working people never joined the “afternoon tea” tradition.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

15. In the first tea shops tea was sold as a medicine for lots of diseases.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

16. During World War II the British government prohibited drinking tea.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

17. Tea has influenced the English vocabulary.

1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

 

 

 

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