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!


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Submitted by kerimcalisir on Mon, 04/03/2019 - 15:56

Hi everyone, I live in Turkey. And Turkish people do love tea like British people. They drink it every hour of the day. For example my family, They wake up and then my father prepares tea then he goes to work. When he arrives to work, his first job is to prepare tea :). Then about he comes home at about 7.30 pm. And again his first job is to prepare tea. They drink about 10 cups of tea every day. I used to drink too but I do not drink any more. And there is another drink here called Turkish Coffee. This drink looks like mud and taste is terrible. I can't understand why people like it.

Submitted by Nancy Nguyen on Mon, 17/12/2018 - 13:21

Hello everyone, I don't drink coffee or tea. But when my family has friends or guests visit, we usually make some tea to invite them. We pour the boiled water into green tea leaves in a teapot. After 5 minutes, we pour the tea into a teacup and drink it without milk or sugar. The green tea is very good for health and beauty. In my country, people drink both tea and coffee. Every morning, they drink iced black coffee and iced tea. But I like the fruit juice more than tea.
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Submitted by Oksi1001 on Sat, 08/12/2018 - 18:11

Hi,everyone! I prefer drinking cofee.I can't imagine my day without coffe. Coffe when i'm coming at work-it's ritua for me.l It's black cofee,without milk.I can drink coffe only with sugar,usally it's 2 spoons. But when i drink coffe with some sweets, i try to put less sugar. Sometimes i drink tea too and it's green tea without sugar. Scientists and nutritionists believe that green tea more useful than black tea. Via green tea is cleaned our body and removed toxins. On the whole i'm sticking this opinion too. I use to drink a lot of very sweet of tea before ,but it's in the past..)) By the way my favorite tea is milk oolong,it's really tasty.I think it can replace tea with milk)

Submitted by jonancbr on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 15:53

Hi, Usually I drink coffee, It's the national drink and It has several ways to prepare it, You can drink like an express, with milk, Capuchin, the coffee could be served cold or hot, Normally You'll see more kinds of varieties of coffee's preparation. Sometimes, mainly when I'm sick, I drink aromatic´s water, They are similar to the Tea's recipe, but They use aromatic plants.
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Submitted by Kostya B on Wed, 24/10/2018 - 20:30

I prefer drink coffee with condensed milk, but there is also tasty tea which I like when I am tire of coffee, regarding the people of my country I think they are drink both of that drinks in equal quantities.

Submitted by User_User on Fri, 05/10/2018 - 15:58

Hello Series 3 episode 9 - How I use the podcast Today I want to write something how I use these podcasts. First of all I want to mention that Elementary podcast series 1 and 2 are more difficult than podcast series 3. I first listen 4 times to the podcast without transcript. Then I listen to it 4 times again and I also read the transcript. I mark all words which I don't know and look them up. I don't learn words which aren't very common e.g. 'cuppa' or 'brew'. I also mark the sentences which doesn't sound familiar. I repeat the podcast so often because I want to know by heart which prepositions are used and the different ways to express ideas. My aim is to be able to 'hear' if something is right or not. Bye

Submitted by Idar on Tue, 28/08/2018 - 21:03

I drink tea every day. When i am in Republic of Bashkortostan at village of my grandma, i drink tea with milk because it is our ritual. Actually i am not very like drinking tea with milk but i just can't fail my granny in this not easy custom. When i am in city, i drink tea without milk. From where i come from Republic of Bashkortostan tea is more popular than coffee because coffee was arisen a little bit later than tea. I drink coffee too but very rarely. We used to drink tea from piala but now from teacup. Also we add different useful herbs to tea like that mint and etc.

Submitted by Tomoaki Hachiya on Sat, 18/08/2018 - 20:43

I sometimes drink tea or coffee, but in Japan tea is usually Japanese green tea. Yes, we have Westerners' "red" tea, but I drink less frequently. And if I say "a drink", I usually refer to a variety of juice, milk, or coke, especially cold one, not hot drinks. Japan is located southern than U.K, so its climate is warmer and more humid, so people like cold drinks rather than hot drinks. I once travelled aborad and I ordered "iced coffee" but they didn't have any iced coffee, the place was Dubai, which is in a hot country and yet they didn't have iced coffee! I was shocked.
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Submitted by krig on Mon, 06/08/2018 - 05:45

Coffee is more popular than tea in my country. People drink tea in the main in winter to keep warm.
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Submitted by Nathalie on Mon, 30/07/2018 - 07:24

Hi We are going To London this holidays with m'y family And i have any questions about pubs Can we go To the pub with my teenagers ( 13 and 14 )? Thanks for answers