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Each summer, the best of the best in tennis come together for an all-out tournament in Wimbledon, UK. As you know, the Championships at Wimbledon are the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis championship in the world. The start of Wimbledon according to some marks the official start of summer.

A well-known food at Wimbledon is strawberries and cream. When most Americans think of strawberries and cream, the cream is usually whipped. The English, however, take their strawberries with cream simply as-is. During each tournament, about 28kg (about 61lbs) strawberries are grown and consumed by spectators and sometimes the competitors! That’s about 2 million strawberries! Strawberries are in season and irresistible this time of year so try them with cream while you can!

You may or may not know this, but Robinson’s squash has been the official soft drink of Wimbledon since 1935. Their signature barley waters were created specially for Wimbledon in 1934 to help hydrate the players. Ever since then, people of all ages have enjoyed the fresh and fruity taste of Robinsons Squash. Try traditional orange and lemon barley water or go for plain squash. We’re not talking about the game of squash or the vegetable. Squash is another name for a juice that you dilute with water.

Here is some Wimbledon trivia. Test your guests if they are big fans of Wimbledon!

  • The type of strawberry used at Wimbledon is called the Elsanta strawberry. The Elsanta is considered one of the best strawberries for the summer.
  • The first Wimbledon championship was held in 1877 at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. They were first televised on the BBC in 1937. To this date, it is the oldest tennis championship games.
  • Wimbledon is the only tennis tournament that plays on all-natural grass.
  • People from celebrities to royalty attend the Wimbledon tournament. When royalty like Queen Elizabeth or Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend, they sit in a special section known as the Royal Box. Players used to bow or curtsy whenever they were in front of it but the tradition ended in 2003. They still do bow or curtsy whenever the Queen or Prince of Wales is in attendance.
  • The players must adhere to a strict dress code. They must wear all-white clothes and shoes along with their gear.

 

-CD

 

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People get excited about things, passionate. Thanks goodness. Otherwise we might as well be comatose. It’s just good to hold that excitement, that passion, a bit in check and not go overboard. I think of this as several major and passion-inspiring sports events have come and gone recently: the World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Tour de France, to name a few. Great events. Ones that inspire a lot of passion, a lot of excitement, a lot of team spirit. And, sadly, a lot of tea spillage. Let me explain…

Soccer, tennis, and cycling… a passionate sports season calls for lots of tea! (From Yahoo! Images)

Soccer, tennis, and cycling… a passionate sports season calls for lots of tea! (From Yahoo! Images)

The scene here is your living room, family room, or wherever you have that bigscreen TV. No wimpy TVs here. No tablets that can stream TV broadcasts. We’re talking 40” diagonal or larger. In front of this is the seating designed to certain specifications: well-padded with no springs poking up in very inconvenient places, a back that is at just the right angle for lounging (that means none of that Victorian horsehair-stuffed vertical-backed furniture where you have to sit up ramrod straight), an ottoman (unless you’re sitting in a recliner), and a table to hold your snackables, the remote control, and, most importantly, your tea!

Your timing is impeccable. You have everything ready well before the start of that sports event. You’re comfortable ensconced in that comfortable seating. The snacks are within easy reach. And the tea is at hand. Perfection!

Ah, but nothing is totally perfect.

As I said before, people get excited about things and even quite passionate. That team spirit is no exception. It’s great to cheer on your team, even when watching them on TV (those good vibes get through to them – honest!), and to get rather excited when they score. Even a non-team sport such as the Wimbledon tennis matches can have you crying out “Great shot!” or “It was in by a mile…are you blind?” (a bit of John McEnroe coming through there). The problem with such passion is that it can stir you into action… which can cause a rather messy situation regarding your snacks and tea. When the soccer ball makes it past the goalie, when that serve is smashed perfectly and your favorite player wins the match, or when those Tour de France cyclists pile up on top of each other on a sharp curve, you can jump up unexpectedly and passionately, sending everything flying. Cheese puffs, popcorn, cookies, etc., look like a snowstorm of food. But the tea is the real issue.

Hot or iced, tea is still a liquid. Therefore, it has a tendency not to stay put while you’re flinging your arm around with that cup or glass. Physics rearing its ugly head. So, make a point of setting that cup or glass down after taking a quick sip. The less time it’s in your hand, the less chance of spraying the room with tea. Of course, you could put your tea in a travel mug, so it has a lid. And then you can cheer on the victories all you want!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This summer has been a busy one for sports fans. While I do not usually consider myself a “sports fan,” there are a few international sporting events that I enjoy watching, namely international football (soccer to those of you in the States) and tennis. So, the almost simultaneous occurrence of Euro 2012 and the Wimbledon Championships over the last month or so (they overlapped for a week) was quite a cause for excitement.

A match on Centre Court at Wimbledon is the perfect chance to enjoy a cup of tea (image from Wikimedia commons).

A match on Centre Court at Wimbledon is the perfect chance to enjoy a cup of tea (image from Wikimedia commons).

Neither of these sporting events registers as heavily on the American sports radar as, say, the Superbowl, nor do they come with the same association of celebratory occasions filled with friends, food, and drink. Tea does not usually fit into that equation, so perhaps for us tea drinkers that is a good thing. But for something so inherently international, what better time to enjoy tea than during events where teams and individuals from all over the world compete?

During Euro 2012, I decided to theme my tea drinking to match the countries playing. Clearly the obvious connections were out, because the big tea producing countries— such as China, Japan, or India—were not in the draw.  But this gave me a chance to be a little more creative, and delve into the complex cultural dissemination of tea discussed in one of my previous articles. For example, when I watched Sweden play, I brewed up the last of my Söderblandning, the classic Swedish tea; for France I revisited the Harney & Sons “Paris” blend; for England, well there were countless options there, and I made my way through substantial amounts of Early Grey, Lady Grey, and PG Tips over the course of several games.

For me, the Euro 2012 matches were a more informal affair, and I often enjoyed a pot of tea with friends, chatting and following the games at the same time. Wimbledon, however, was another matter. Is there any sport more nail-biting than tennis? Often I would brew myself some tea only to get completely wrapped up in a nerve-wracking break point, or impossibly long rally, and forget all about it. I had to re-boil water or re-make over-steeped tea more than a couple of times. Hot tea cooled to room temperature before I got around to drinking it, and iced tea was decidedly not iced when I reached the bottom of the glass. That said, I found a cup of tea highly necessary to calm frayed nerves as the various players I was rooting for either held their game, or were knocked out of the championships.

Although tea is far from a traditional accompaniment to sports events, especially in the US, it is fun to explore the ways you can make it part of the occasion. And if you are not a sports fan of any kind, well, what better way to make any games you are made to sit through into an enjoyable experience!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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