English Tea Revolt: Pound-Per-Cup Uprising

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Anyone who has been to the British Library, the London library which among its many treasures also houses the Magna Carta and some Beatles manuscripts, knows well that the coffee shop on the ground floor is one of the most popular places to stop and write while sipping a good Cup of tea. Now, however, prices have increased dramatically and the English are rebelling.

Price increases in museum cafes

A biscuit filled with marzipan costs £5.95, a simple cup of tea to take away costs £2.25. It happens at the library but also at the National Maritime Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National Museum of Scotland. And not just in museums: coffee shop chains like Costa or Caffè Nero have raised all prices, including tea, to the point of charging between 2.45 and 2.65 pounds for the classic English Breakfast (a simple bag of black tea in hot water).

If in museums – which remain free to enter – an increase in the cost of services may be understandable, in café franchises the issue is very different. But how much should a cup of tea cost? According to the Guardian, no more than a pound. The author Luke Turner wrote it, who decided to undertake a campaign to lower the prices of the product most loved by the English. Yes, but how?

Onequidtea, fixed price at one pound for tea

The writer seems to have a solution. Just take for example places like Humphry’s Café in Highams Park, north-east London, a community-supported venue created in a former post-war prefabricated warehouse. There you can enjoy a cup for just one pound, then choose from the accompanying food options, from sourdough toast with avocado to a yoghurt bowl. In short, he focuses on food, leaving the drink to be automatically chosen by everyone.

We are not talking about valuable leaves, of course, but about simple sachets of medium-low quality which have a negligible cost for activities. No preparation, no technique: you throw the sachet into the cup with hot water and you’re done. This is why Turner is convinced that the drink, an institution in the United Kingdom, should remain a comfort, one of those products that is ordered by default, and then indulged in a slice of cake or a sandwich.

Democratic, popular, tea must be for everyone. This is why the Guardian author invites the British people to carry on the battle with the hashtag #onequidetea (one pound tea) so that big brands lower prices throughout the United Kingdom. Paying 6 pounds for a marzipan biscuit is madness, but if there really are no other options, at least there is an English breakfast with a drop of milk nearby.

This article is originally published on gamberorosso.it

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