I am writing to inform you (and a certain selection of the American people) that, contrary to popular belief, not all British people drink tea.
Though it is true that Britain produces some of the most well known brands of tea - including PG Tips, Tetley and Typhoo - and that a sizable portion of the British population are known to partake of it, it is by no means accurate to assume that 100% of the people do.
Let's use me as an example: I could quite honestly take it or leave it (pun intended). If I had to choose between a glass of water and a mug of steaming hot tea, I would choose the former on almost all occasions. Why? Because tea doesn't quench my thirst nearly as much as the old H2O, and it simply does not satisfy my taste buds!
Tea is just so-so, mediocre, middle-of-the-road. There has not been one occasion in my life where I have suddenly stopped what I was doing and declared: "I could really do with some tea right now." (I would appreciate it if you did not share this information with my British friends).
And I am apparently not alone. A 2003 study by Datamonitor indicated a sharp decrease in tea consumption throughout the United Kingdom at the turn of the century, as Brits turned to "more flavoursome or healthy alternatives".
I realize that this may come as quite a shock to you and a number of your citizens, who also appear to be under the impression that all Brits routinely eat crumpet - a food item that I, myself, have eaten only 4 times. Ever.
Here's the bottom line: yes, a good number of Brits do indeed drink tea. But, as with all British stereotypes, it would be considerably naive to think, even for one minute, that consumption is a mandatory pastime. It would be like me asserting that all Americans drink coffee.
So next time one of your people feels the need to ask me why everyone in Britain drinks tea, please be kind enough to read them this letter.
A British expat.
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