Tea and the Olympics: An Introduction

Day 51 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles.
Day 51 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles.

In the run up to the London 2012 Summer Olympics, it seems that every publication out there—major international papers, tabloids, even women’s magazines—is running feature-length articles and full-page spreads on the upcoming events. Articles focus on everything from athletes’ fitness tips to London sightseeing and detailed analysis of the city’s transformation. In some cases, it even seems like the fact that the games are being held in London is generating more excitement than the games themselves.

With London being my home city, I can’t really blame those who take this attitude. But, like many Londoners, I have mixed views on how the city is being altered by, and entirely focused on, the upcoming games. However, I am looking forward to following the events and will be celebrating them in style: the Olympics are being held in one of the countries most associated with the drinking of tea, so what better way to enjoy the games than over a well-brewed cuppa?

I’ll be following the Olympics on this blog one cup of tea at a time, pairing different events with different teas in a series of articles. [Ed. note: Due to how articles are posted here, these will appear during the first two weeks of August.]

Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea is another great choice for the Opening Ceremony!
Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea is another great choice for the Opening Ceremony!

I’ll start with the much-anticipated Opening Ceremony that will occur on July 27. Olympic opening ceremonies traditionally present an array of events representing the host country’s culture, hence the inclusion of a film with Daniel Craig as “James Bond,” and a performance by Sir Paul McCartney (hopefully there will be some less stereotypical representations as well). In keeping with the ceremony’s theme, I propose toasting the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics with a time-tested cup of English tea—black tea (perhaps English Breakfast, Earl Grey, or PG Tips) with milk and a touch of sugar, if you like your tea sweet. If I’m in need of something to nibble on as well, I’ll probably make up some of these delicious scones, or you might try out one of these Olympic-themed treats. Enjoy the Opening Ceremony!

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