Sales figures are clear enough: the Brits are drinking less tea, and that’s a shame since research at London’s City University supports your gran’s belief that in moments of stress a cuppa is the best way to calm down. Explains research leader Malcolm Cross, “It’s not so much the tea itself that does it, it’s the ritual of making and drinking it. Something at the very core of British culture which keeps stress at bay.”
But, you might wonder, isn’t tea basically a stimulant? Yes, but theine, which is chemically identical with caffeine, is weakened in its effect by tannin, not present in coffee. And it is worth, by the way, importing your English teabags or – better – buying them at Geoffrey’s or Brittain’s: as we pointed out a little while back, they contain 3.125 grams of tea, their French equivalent only 2.5 grams.