phynedyning

It’s time for us (U.S.) to get “civilised”

In Lifestyle on November 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I lament the American loss of teatime.  An unfortunate consequence of the American Revolution was our subsequent abandonment of the afternoon tea.

The Ozzies broke with England, albeit with less fanfare, but held fast to the English custom of afternoon tea.  The equally rebellious Irish enjoy “tay” and India, another reluctant host of the English empire, also held tight to the practise…err, practice.

Americans got the coffee break.

“Coffee break” does not even sound civilised…err, civilized.  Breaking anything lacks civility.  One “makes time” for tea.  One does not “break” for tea.

Therefore, our previous complaints with the Crown not withstanding, our severance of cultural ties with our cousins was America’s loss.

Losing teatime was a catastrophe to us Yanks.  It is a loss to be lamented.

I enjoy coffee and I cannot imagine facing the day without the obligatory “morning cuppa”.  Without it, I would not be civilised…err, civilized until well past the cocktail hour.

The choice of beverage for a tea does not matter.  There is the civility of taking the better part of an hour to enjoy a tidbit and a respite from the day’s endeavors which matters.

That it is “teatime” does not requisite that the beverage consumed be tea.

My four-ish o’clock in the afternoons of late have been sometimes interrupted with steaming cups of jasmine tea and a tiny plate of Russian lepeshki (almond cookies) to be dipped in whipped cream.  Sometimes baklava, espresso, and a bit of arak stand in for the tea and lepeshki.

I am always the better man for having made time for tea.

Therefore, the Phyne Dyner highly recommends that the afternoon tea be resumed as a national custom of the United States.

After a quarter of a millennium, it is time for America to become civilised.

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  1. Although coffee is my drink of choice, I’m with you regarding taking a tea-time. Long live the Queen!

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