Visiting London, England by Rebecca Sutherland

OCTOBER 1, 2012 It is October; autumn is officially here. This means crisp evenings walking through crunchy leaves while sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. In Wisconsin, that is.

London is an entirely different story. It is wet and rainy and still a bit too warm to comfortably cuddle up on one’s favorite fall sweater, mostly because it will become wet and soggy. And there are no Pumpkin Spice Lattes. That’s right, not one.

However, there are other warm and delicious drinks to be had and they seem a good combatant to the dreary wet of London’s autumn. The best of these drinks: a good cup of tea.

It is true the British have perfected the art of tea-drinking. Until arriving in London, the art behind a good cup of tea had eluded me. I have only ever watched tea be drunk in a clear form and the first sip appears to leave a shadow of a bitter grimace as the body adjusts to such a “plant-flavored” drink.

The British cup of tea would cause no such response. It is served with cream and sugar and cookies; everything we have with our coffee. Why has it not occurred to treat our tea the same? Because we are silly Americans, that is why.

It is still a shame that the British continue to resist the delight of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yet, their tea has changed me. I have realized that coffee has a sibling who may be equally dressed up and enjoyed: tea.

The next time you find yourself in a position where no Pumpkin Spice Latte can be had, remember the British and the art of drinking tea. Put on the kettle, take out the cream, sugar, and cookies, and have a cup, British style. Cheers.

Rebecca Sutherland
Study Abroad Reporter

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