Let's Get to Know British's Tradition : Biscuits and Tea

Tea and biscuits are as essential to Britain's cultural history. Everyone has their preferences on how they drink their tea... but one of the more important details to discuss with tea is biscuits. (Because tea really shouldn't be drank without biscuits. And biscuits should definitely always be eaten with a hot cuppa.)

If you’re not familiar with why the Brits insist on serving these tasty companions (not the savoury ones our good friends across the Atlantic are more accustomed to!) with a cup of tea, let us enlighten you. As far as we know, the trend began in the latter part of the 1700s when the upper and middle-classes hosted tea parties to fill the gap between their lunch, usually taking place at midday, and their dinner, usually a grand affair towards the end of the day. Hosts would invite their guests over for a pot of tea which was always served with sweet treats, including small cakes and finger sandwiches (a nod to the more fashionable afternoon teas that are popular today).

The British know a thing or two about biscuits. No, not the fluffy, buttery ones we eat in America (although we love them with all our hearts), but the packaged cookies that they eat at tea time or whenever they damn well please. Britons consumed 141 million packages of biscuits in 2010, and the younger generation is not losing its taste for the things. Seventy percent of young Brits "have an appetite for traditional biscuits," market research firm Mintel reports.

So what do the British know that we don't? They know that it's always a good time to eat a biscuit -- whether it's as an afternoon snack (the most common timeto eat one is at 3:10 p.m., apparently), or as a mid-morning pick-me-up with a cup of tea.

They also know biscuits are the ultimate cure-all -- the ideal comfort food. The Guardian sums it up well: "There is little doubt that a choccy digestive and a sulk is often the best medicine."

Ah, the humble cup of tea. However you make it and however you take it, a cup of tea is comfort in a cup and often the first port of call in the morning and the last in the evening for the Great British public.

As tea became more accessible over time, people amended these traditions to fit in with their own affordability and so biscuits and tea became the household staple it is across British homes today. Other than the fact that tea and biscuits is often the highlight of the day, science has also proven that it can help make you feel better in more than one way.

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