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 Peter M. on Tue, 31/07/2018 - 07:02

In reply to by Nathalie


Hello Nathalie,

Yes, it's quite common for families to take children to pubs for a meal or just to sit down and have a drink, especially in the afternoon. Of course, they can't drink alcohol! Naturally In the evenings the atmosphere in pubs varies and some might not be suitable for children for that reason, but it's certainly not uncommon to see families together in pubs. Pub food especially is a long-standing tradition in the UK, and many pubs have 'beer gardens' where people can sit outside. Some even have facilities for children to play which their parents relax.

In certain rare cases the landlord may have a rule about not allowing children inside. If you are not sure then you can always ask the person behind the bar.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Hal55 on Fri, 15/06/2018 - 02:43

I don't drink tea so much. but I often drink a cup of coffee. I make it with special butter. Put some the butter into a cup of coffee and drink it. It doesn't taste good but it helps diet. I used to drink this coffee every morning. Once I drink it, I don't feel hungry for five or six hours. so I can stay without eating breakfast until lunch time. but Obviously, this might not be healthy.

Submitted by John Fan on Thu, 31/05/2018 - 17:25

Hello everyone, I like green tea more than black tea. If I drink hot tea, I don’t like add sugar. But if I drink cold tea, I will add sugar. Because I think cold tea is bitter than hot tea. I must drink tea in the afternoon, it give me good energy. In the night, before go to bed I don’t drink tea, or I can’t sleep. In Taiwan, bubble milk tea is very famous. Sometimes I feel a bit hungry, I will drink bubble milk tea.

Submitted by pickplayer on Sat, 05/05/2018 - 05:50

Hello everyone! In Taiwan, we have lots of tea shops on the street. They sell all kinds of tea drinks to customers, such as black tea, green tea, oolong tea, milk tea and fruit tea etc. I personally like to drink Taiwanese milktea -bubble tea the most. It is representative of the“QQ” food texture that I love. I usually drink two or three cups of bubble tea a week.
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Submitted by alberto bastos on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 19:30

Hello! I like coffee very much. In Brazil we don't have habit to drink tea. In the afternoon between 3:00 at 4:00 hour, in our region the people drink coffee with or not milk and a bread.That is, of course depend of the region, because Brazil is a country but is similar a continet therefore exist diversity of the habit so is difficult for us to know the behave the other regions. Do you think to knew Brazil? visit us because we are a generous people. Thanks.