Episode 09

Episode 09

Our listeners' musical talents are the topic for discussion this episode. Tess and Ravi tell you all about the drink British people are famous for loving.


Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: I’m Adam.

Rob: And I’m Rob.

Adam: And welcome to Episode 9 of our podcast. We’re going to hear from Tess and Ravi in a little while. They’ll be talking about a very British drink – any idea what it is?

Rob: But first let’s have a look at some of your comments on the last podcast – where we discovered some great new bands: Milky Way, As Borbulhantes (that’s 'The Bubble Girls' in English), Hope, Dead Flowers and The Mixture. They’re all bands that our listeners have been part of – so remember those names!

Adam: That’s right, we asked you for your musical memories and we’ve got lots of talented musicians listening to the podcast. We’ve got guitarists like Mandana in Iran and Azeriboy in Azerbaijan. We've got a trumpeter, Joao Oliveira in Portugal. Esdras and Nat Viegas in Brazil are both drummers and so is Flautas in Mexico. Nana Adel in Egypt plays the accordion and Guisouzarego in Brazil plays the saxophone. I think we should put together an Elementary podcast band.

Rob: We need a singer though. How about Karlalara7 in Mexico? Karla says: A musician told me that it is easier to play a guitar than to be a good singer, because in order to have a good voice you have to be born like that, and when you use your voice it's like another string that has to be in tune. Now I have the objective to find a place where I can sing, because I always liked it, but I didn´t notice what a special talent it is.

Adam: How about it, Karla? Do you want to sing with the Elementary podcast band? There were lots of other great comments too – too many to read out here. Kieu Trang even mentioned a special song about his city, Hanoi, in Vietnam. Check out ‘the Hanoi Boogie’ on YouTube. Is there a special song about your city? Let us know at the usual address. www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or look for Elementary podcasts on Facebook.

Rob: Now, we don’t have time to mention them all, but we do keep reading your messages. Navaho in China told us about people there who make their living by queuing and we think we found a place where people queue as politely as they do in Britain – that's Kenya. Thanks for that story, Kamore.

Adam: Now, last time we said that Tess and Ravi were going to talk about something British people like to drink and we asked what that drink might be. Kieu Trang had the answer. Listen and find out what it was.


Tess and Ravi

Ravi: Hi there, everyone. I’m Ravi.

Tess: And I’m Tess, and as usual we’re going to talk about something you think you know about Britain.

Ravi: We asked our listeners what they think is ‘typically British’ and they said things like fish and chips, London buses, the Royal Family and lots of people mentioned a particular drink. What do you think it is?

Tess: Tea. Lots of people said that they thought British people drink a lot of tea – and it’s true. A hundred and sixty five million cups of tea are drunk every day in Britain.

Ravi: A hundred and sixty-five million? Blimey.

Tess: I know. That’s more than sixty billion cups a year.

Ravi: Unbelievable. Why do we drink so much tea?

Tess: Well, actually, I don’t drink tea at all, but British people have been...

Ravi: Hang on. You don’t drink tea? What about coffee?

Tess: I sometimes have a fruit tea but, no, I don’t drink tea or coffee.

Ravi: Don’t you? I have a coffee in the morning and then about six cups of tea during the day. Is tea more popular than coffee?

Tess: Oh, yeah. We said a hundred and sixty-five million cups of tea every day. Well, the number of cups of coffee is seventy million, so we drink more than twice as much tea as coffee.

Ravi: Do we? How come the British drink so much tea? Is it because we used to have an empire or something like that? And how do you know all of this stuff, Tess? Are you just inventing these numbers?

Tess: It’s called ‘research’, Ravi. I looked it up on the internet. The British have been drinking lots of tea since the seventeenth century – it was mostly just rich people drinking tea at first but by the nineteenth century everybody was drinking it and that was when all the... rituals of drinking tea started.

Ravi: What do you mean by rituals?

Tess: Well, things like making tea in a pot and the way we make tea and serve it – and things like afternoon tea when we have a cup of tea and cakes and sandwiches.

Ravi: About once a year.

Tess: Well, yes, we don’t do it every day, but you know what I mean. You know that in other countries people don’t put milk in tea, but in Britain ninety-eight per cent of tea is taken with milk.

Ravi: Oh, you can’t have a cup of tea without milk, Tess. Not too much milk – you don’t want it too milky - and put the tea in first, then the milk, then the sugar.

Tess: See – that’s the kind of ritual I’m talking about. People have strong ideas about the best way to make a cup of tea. Do you make your tea in a teapot?

Ravi: Of course! You have to make tea in a teapot. It tastes horrible if you make it in a cup. If you want a good cup of tea, you have to make it yourself.

Tess: Do you think so?

Ravi: Definitely. In fact, all this talking about tea is making me thirsty. Do you want a cuppa? Oh, you don’t drink tea. I forgot.

Tess: I wonder if other languages have words like that. ‘Do you want a cuppa?’ or ‘do you want a brew’? You know, the way we say ‘a cuppa’ and everyone knows you mean ‘a cup of tea’.

Ravi: Didn’t it tell you that on your internet site? Right, I’m going to make a brew. You can’t beat a nice cup of tea.


Adam and Rob

Rob: I’m with Ravi – you can’t beat a nice cup of tea. But it has to be right, not too much milk.

Adam: That's funny, because I'm the same as Tess. I don't like tea.

Rob: What about you, listeners? Do you drink tea? How do you usually make it? With milk or without milk? Or is coffee the most popular drink in your country? I used to live in the south of Italy and the coffee there was fantastic – the best I’ve ever had. And actually, a friend of mine used to live in Argentina where they often drink another hot drink – mate. I’d love to hear more about that if anyone can tell me. So why not write and tell us what you – or people in your country – like to drink? Write your comments at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish

Rob: Now, I want you to listen again to something Tess said:

Tess: Tea. Lots of people said that they thought British people drink a lot of tea – and it’s true. A hundred and sixty-five million cups of tea are drunk every day in Britain.

Rob: I want to look at the verb forms – ‘British people drink a lot of tea’ but ‘165 million cups of tea are drunk every day’. Listen again.

Tess: Tea. Lots of people said that they thought British people drink a lot of tea – and it’s true. A hundred and sixty-five million cups of tea are drunk every day in Britain.

Adam: Why is it ‘British people drink tea’, but ‘Lots of cups of tea are drunk every day’? The second one is passive. Who drinks all those cups of tea? British people, I suppose, but the sentence is about cups of tea, not British people, so the verb is passive – ‘be’ with the past participle, 'are drunk'. Listen to another example.

Tess: You know that in other countries people don’t put milk in tea, but in Britain ninety-eight per cent of tea is taken with milk.

Rob: ‘People don’t put milk in tea’ – active, but ‘98% of tea is taken with milk' passive, is taken.

Adam: There are lots of activities on our website to tell you more about the passive and how we form it and use it. Give them a go.

Rob: And there are also exercises about short questions like this:

Tess: I sometimes have a fruit tea but no, I don’t drink tea or coffee.

Ravi: Don’t you?

Tess: So we drink more than twice as much tea as coffee.

Ravi: Do we?

Adam: Tess said ‘I don’t drink tea or coffee’ and Ravi asked ‘Don’t you?’ Then she said ‘We drink twice as much tea as coffee’ and Ravi asked ‘Do we?’ Can you work out the rules for short questions like this? The activities on our website will help you. You’ll find them at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish Look for Elementary Podcasts.

Rob: Well, that’s all we’ve got time for. We'll be back next time when we’ll hear more about Carolina and her job at the convenience store. So until then, bye!

Adam: Bye!


Language level

Average: 5 (3 votes)

Submitted by clauvera2016 on Sat, 11/04/2020 - 11:31

Hi everyone ! In my country coffee is drunk more than the tea. Lots of people drink one or more cups of coffee a day. Tea is drunk especially when people are sick, when they have a flu, a cold or when they are nervous or agitated. My favourite teas are chamomile tea, mint tea and linden tea. “Socata” is a traditional Romanian soft drink made especially in summer from the elderflowers (in Romanian “flori de soc”) and lemonade is another preferred drink by Romanians this season made by lemons with mint leaves and honey in it.

Submitted by Fares1980 on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 17:57

Hi everyone, I'm Fares from Algeria, for me I don't drink coffee or tea at all, but the majority of people in Algeria drink a lot of cups of coffee every day especially in the morning, drinking coffee is one of the very popular rituals in Algeria. In additional of the that in the south of Algeria most people of this region drink tea, really it's a very famous and popular drinking in this region, you can't visit the desert in Algeria without try to drink tea, it's very delicious and tasty, although I don't like a lot drinking tea but the tea in this region really it's amazing and unbelievable. All my unshakable respect

Submitted by Chouaib Mohammed on Sat, 02/11/2019 - 07:47

In Algeria and especially in the south of the country، prefer to drink tea than coffee.In fact, our tea in the south has a distinctive flavor.

Submitted by Chouaib Mohammed on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 22:14

here in our Bechar city and in all cities in the south of Algeria we like drink tea evry day and especially after eating meals. it's very special to prepare tea in these cities.we pour a water into kettle to boil it ,and after this ,we put a tea leafs into the teapot, then we put it on embers at boiling degree, then we pour the tea into the big glass cup,where we put sugar and mint in , then turn the tea over and over again in the teapot untill we see a white foam, that's the flavor for our tea, after this operation we can pour tea into the little glass cups for to present it to the guests in occasions.
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Submitted by Sergey Sh on Sat, 28/09/2019 - 23:49

In Russia except of tea and coffee people usually drink cocoa, chicory and traditional tea made of fireweed . Several cups of tea per a day and a coffee in the morning are the same as in Britain. As Tess said that 95 per cent of British people prefer drinking tea with milk, in Russia is opposite situation when milk is preferred by not so many. Ravi telling how he do his cup of tea according his ritual when it’s always added sugar, so a sweet cup of tea is made. Many Russians prefer tea or coffee without sugar but with some sweets while drinking. There are lots of different herbal kinds of tea potions here. One of them is Fireweed tea, a traditional one which was drunk here long ago. It’s considered to be very useful for health and used against many diseases even cancer.

Submitted by Andrew Utkin on Thu, 05/09/2019 - 17:15

How are you doing? I really like drinking tea especially with honey or peanut butter but I never drink tea with milk because I'm a vegan. Coffee is mom's favorite drink but I can't stand it at all. Good luck.

Submitted by Thelmo on Fri, 23/08/2019 - 05:47

I prefer coffee to tea because here in the Philippines coffee is everywhere especially in sidewalk vendors. It is easy to prepare when office breaks, just get a cup, a sachet of coffee, and hot water then stir and have a happy break time.

Submitted by parisaach on Sat, 04/05/2019 - 07:21

people in my country drink a lot of tea. My mother make tea all day long the only thing that she really enjoy to drink is tea with choclate. I usually eat three cups of tea everyday at work. I often drink my tea with a choclate, cake or biscuit.

Submitted by parisaach on Sat, 04/05/2019 - 06:41

I' d rather the way Tom , the teacher, taught grammer. If he were here he explained the structure of active and passive sentences but Adam and Rob don't explain about it . please make a podcast with Ravi and Tess and Tom