After centuries of ignoring Britain’s favourite drink – the traditional cup of tea – France is now in the midst of its very own tea revolution.

Drinking tea is increasingly popular with the French, especially when the opportunity arises to try a new or unusual blend. However, in today’s hectic and fast-paced world, who really takes time over their tea anymore?

We’re going to look at four different ways of drinking tea and we think you’ll agree that more of us should be taking a leaf out of French people’s book.

1. The French Tea Revolution

– A relaxing experience that is about taking the time to enjoy your tea.
– It is fashionable to select light, specialist teas.
– The French originally fell in love with tea as a way of imitating the English aristocracy.
When taking a stroll along the streets of France, it won’t take you long to find locals, who are often sat alone, enjoying a cup of tea. As you do, you’ll notice that it’s incredibly tempting to join them, as they carefully pick their favourite blends and take the time to really enjoy the whole experience.
Tea salons in France carefully select their teas to suit the tastes of their clientele and, as a result, home-made brands like Mariage Frères are increasing in popularity, to the extent that they now dominate the market over international brands.

2. Traditional English Afternoon Tea

– The origin of the traditional English afternoon tea as we know it lies with the aristocracy of the 1800s. However, afternoon tea is now seen as a treat for the middle classes too.
– There is an ongoing and never-ending debate in England about what you should put on top of your scones: jam on cream, or cream on jam? We think you’re safe to assume that jam on cream is the only way to have it…
– Britain has a long history of importing teas, especially from China and India.
Whilst the French tea revolution is largely focussed on the tea itself and enjoying the experience, afternoon tea is much more about the food. It is also extremely rare to see anyone enjoying an afternoon tea on their own, which is quite the opposite of the French tea drinking experience.
International brands of tea that are hugely popular in the UK would be considered too heavy in France, so not a lot of people buy them. The same goes for our use of milk and sugar; the belief is that we ruin the natural flavours by adding them.

3. Grab ’n’ Go

– In today’s modern world, we seem to be more interested in the convenience of drinking tea than the flavour, quality or experience.
– Most people will consume multiple cups a day and they are frequently served by the huge numbers of coffee shops throughout the country.
– The latest emerging tea trend in the UK is drive-through options.
In the UK, trends appear to show that we are increasingly looking for convenience, strong brews and cheaper products. The latest evolution is the rise in popularity of drive-through and takeaway options for drinking tea.
This tea drinking method has little to do with the company you keep, the experience you have or the food and drink on offer: it is all about the convenience, cost and caffeine boost!
As a result, this trend has largely been resisted in France and it is easy to see why – the Grab ’n’ Go culture is a direct contradiction of everything about the tea drinking experience that they fell for in the first place.

4. Cuppa on the Couch

– In Britain, every household will have their preferred brands and frequently individuals will insist on brewing their favourite teas.
– Just as we all have our preferred brand of teas, many people believe that having your own mug is a vital part of the home-made experience.
– Whilst you are in your own living room, every experience can be unique.
Whether you are inviting a friend over for a lengthy catch-up, want to unwind with a great book or simply plan to squeeze in a quick cuppa before the school run in the mornings, the key ingredient is to ensure that you have your favourite brew on hand to keep you company!
It is clear to us at Côte Brasserie that both the French and the English can agree that turning tea drinking into an experience is an enjoyable way to spend your days. Whilst modern life can sometimes draw us away from taking the time to enjoy the little things, we believe this is the perfect reason to slow down, take a break and enjoy a cup today.

Book your table for a spot of brunch alongside your cup of tea at Côte Brasserie.