We Brits (and we Japanese, too) love a drink, especially now that summer is allegedly here (although it doesn’t look it from where I’m sitting). But maybe not as much as we love a cup of tea, according to a brand new report from research firm Mintel. The survey found that 62% of people see drinking tea as a good alternative to booze.
Now, we’re not advocating that you all immediately switch to becoming teetotalers – summer wouldn’t be the same without Pimms at Wimbledon or beers at a barbecue or even lukewarm cider at Glastonbury – but there are times when tea – iced or hot – can be a suitable substitute for the strong stuff. Here are ten perfect occasions when tea can be a excellent alcohol alternative:
1. At dinnertime. Asian food is perfectly complemented by tea. Sen Cha or green tea is perfect with Japanese food while more delicate Jasmine or Oolong complements Chinese food perfectly.
2. At the pub. We realize it’s a bit weird sipping a cuppa while the rest of the world quaffs pints or knocks back Jager bombs but one London drinkery (not sure if that’s a real word) has set itself up as a tea pub http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/bars/somethings-brewing-specialist-tea-pub-set-for-balham-10313667.html
3. After a night out. We’ve all done it – you have a night out, you come home and decide to have a ‘night cap’ (which is still the most seventies expression ever). Instead why not keep some sweet decaf ice tea or a bottle of cold Oolong tea in the fridge – you’ll thank yourself for it in the morning.
4. At a BBQ. Don’t dispense with the beer and wine completely, but keep this great BBC Good Food Citrus Ice Tea recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4618/citrus-iced-tea to hand.
5. At a picnic. If the weather picks up and you can get outside for a picnic, why not try this deliciously different cranberry and orange ice tea all the way from Australia http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/18850/cranberry+and+orange+iced+tea
6. For Birthdays. Thinking of buying tour loves ones a pair of socks or a four-pack of Old Speckled Hen (and yes, this has happened to one of us at Iron Kitchen)? Why not make their day with a our colourful IWACHU ARARE teapots instead? Remember a teapot is not just for a birthday, but for life.
7. At lunchtime. The days of boozy three-hour Mad Men style lunches are over (sadly?) but most of us are still partial to odd lunchtime pint or glass of Pinot. If you need to be fresh for the afternoon, why not switch to ice tea and keep a clear head.
8. For a treat. Anniversaries and birthdays normally involve a boozy night out but they don’t have to. Why not treat your loved one to a special afternoon tea http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9124793/Londons-ten-best-afternoon-teas.html ,instead?