Sipping Tea and Watching Premier League Football

Sport is synonymous with beer. The pre-match and post-match pint. The six pack at a tailgate. But I’ve always preferred a cup of tea especially if I’m watching matches at home on television.

There’s something very comforting and relaxing about sipping tea and watching English football. My Saturday morning ritual is to wake up between 6am and 7am, and then head out to pick up a cup of tea, waking me up before the 7:45am kickoff and then watching the game in silence. Or, if my kids wake up early, watching it with them as we eat breakfast together. Nothing goes together better than a cup of good tea and commentary from Ian Darke.

Saturday mornings aren’t the only time I drink tea either. You can usually catch me sipping tea during most matches that I watch from home. I’m not a tea snob, by any means, but I do admit I’m addicted to Chai Tea (a recent ‘find’), as well as any traditional black teas (Lipton, etc). I’m not a big fan of the fruity, exotic flavors. Just a straight cup of tea is fine with me.

In the 28 years that I’ve lived in Florida, I’ve gone through plenty of different stages where I didn’t drink tea, or drank it. Most of my life I’ve had a cup of tea in my hand, but there were times in Florida when they grueling heat made drinking a hot cup of tea not my first choice. For the record, I dislike the taste of iced tea with a passion (sorry Americans, I know most of you enjoy it).

I’m sure that the ritual of drinking tea has a deeper meaning for me. One is a link back to my roots in the United Kingdom. It’s something I grew up drinking as a young child and teenager. Two is that it keeps me tied to my Britishness. But deep meanings aside, I love the way it tastes.

Whether you’ve realized it or not, but coffee is a huge part of American culture. I detested it the bitter taste as a teenager, and both my wife and I still dislike it to this day. But coffee seems to be such an integral part of American society. So just like how I feel like an outsider because I’m a soccer fan, I also feel like an outsider because I drink tea.

What about you? What’s your drink of choice while watching Premier League matches on television? And if you’re a tea drinker, do you relate it to English football, or is it a drink you just enjoy for what it is?

54 thoughts on “Sipping Tea and Watching Premier League Football”

  1. Guinness. I drink Guinness during my premier league viewing, regardless of the time of day. People often forget that stouts are a wonderful breakfast drink, some even use it in their cereal.

    1. When at home Tea (PG tips or Mighty leaf) and a Bacon sandwich at kick off, then, at half time more tea and biscuits (chocolate digestives).

      At the pub I’m stuck with Guiness as no one in america has Caferys (which is criminal by the way), Guiness is ok but still no replacement for Caferys, it really is the most amazing pint ever.

  2. Coffee^, steel cut oats, eggs, and bloody mary if my friends are in town for a party weekend.

    ^ w/ Bailey’s for a lil “spice”

    1. Now, now, Jason. For the record don’t lump “idiots” with everyone who drinks iced tea down South. 😉

      I live down South and don’t drink sweet tea, as it’s called here. Of course, my friends think I’m crazy, but that’s another story.

  3. I drink coffee for the early kicks. I drink Boddingtons and eat bagels whenever Arsenal is on the telly, even at 7:30 AM, just routine at this point.

  4. Great thread:-) I drink two cup of coffee on saturday morning watching the EPL game at 10:00 A.M here in Canada, those earlier games are really too early for me, I work the 40 hour schedule so saturday is my only day to get some sleep because on sunday I go to the church at 9:00 A.M. I love Tea also but I drink it in the evening for relaxing watching another EPL game on tape delay…

  5. General habit is to make a couple cups of coffee when I rise for the early game. Make breakfast during halftime of that game. May have another cup or two during the 10AM game.

    Never picked up a taste for Breakfast Tea, but I do typically have a cup of Green Tea most afternoons.

    Next time we should discuss breakfasts. I typically stick with a traditional eggs, bacon/sausage, toast meal on most weekend mornings. I’ve said I need to try a proper “fry-up” one morning, but I don’t know any grocers in the Atlanta area that stock black pudding.

    1. We don’t have proper bacon, either. The stuff we call bacon wouldn’t stand muster in the UK. There are, however, plenty of reputable online sites where you can purchase the real deal.

      Go for it! :-)

      1. Guy, are there any online sites that you would highly recommend to buy British goods? There are a few local shops near me, but the prices are really high and most of the food items have been sitting on their shelves for months. I especially would love to find an online place that sells really good British crisps.

        The Gaffer

        1. Same in this area, Gaffer.

          I think I’ve been through one shop that carries packaged goods, but no meats. Not sure of any local butchers either.

        2. We have an expat friend who has used “” to get real bacon…and have benefited from that. :-) Not sure how you’d get crisps that didn’t come as crumbs, but there are several sites that offer them. In Scotland this past summer we enjoyed the wide variety of crisps available, but found the “Prawn Cocktail” ones a bit of a reach. 😀

    2. @Jon if you are around the Norcross area you should check out A Taste of Britain
      Great shop with Irish and english sausages and rashers, good prices and very impressive selection of biscuits and sweets (had all the tins of biscuits and selection boxes at Xmas)
      They have online ordering but my son plays for Norcross Soccer Club so its handy enough for me to drop in while he’s at practice
      I highly recommend it
      If you cant get there, then I’d suggest World Market, they have a very good selection of biscuits and some sweets and also a good selection of Barry’s Irish tea
      Finally Fresh Market sometimes has Irish bangers in stock
      All the best

  6. You’re all wrong. At the stadium, for me it’s Bovril or nowt. I suggest that if Americans want to make their matchday as realistic as possible, move your TV outside and sit on an uncomfortable seat with a mug of Bovril and any savoury pie. I would go for Chicken Curry personally.

    Then get drunk.

    1. And maybe invite the 300-lb shirtless guy from across the street to shout obscenities. But only when Newcastle is playing. (OH!, did I say that?)

    2. My neighbor is from England and she always talks about “a broth” at the matches. She must be referring to a Bovril type drink. She comes over from time to time for matches. Once I made meat pies she said were “spot on” to the real thing!

  7. Most of the time I wake up and have a cup or two of strong coffee while watching matches, then if I have time I’ll throw back a few pints, especially while watching Arsenal of late (HA!). There’s just something about a quality pint and sport that go together all too well for me. I am definitely not a tea person! It just doesn’t appeal to me for whatever reason.

  8. Two cups of coffee for the morning matches if I’m not rested…green tea if I am.

    I’m guessing we wouldn’t get too many green tea answers among those who get up to watch (American) college football.

  9. Fun thread! I find it fascinating to think about the foods/drinks we associate with certain experiences. I certainly associate hot tea with the time I spent “across the pond” in Oxford… and naturally, hot tea without milk and sugar is a travesty. However, I don’t necessary associate hot tea with watching soccer… but as someone who is too cheap to pay for any television subscriptions, I would associate certain establishments with watching games… Yogi’s, The Uptown, Buffalouies, and even BWW… and of course I would associate that awkward look the server gives you after your 8th refill, having brought the check and cleared the dishes, but yet there is still 32 minutes left in the game.

    Thanks for the post.

  10. I drink tea both ways; black or with milk and honey. In my NY days it was guiness for the morning matches as it’s the kind of beer one can drink at any hour of the day and in any sort of mental/physical condition. Now that i’m in l.a., the games are on at inhuman hours so it’s just tea for me. I highly recommend leaving tea bags behind and using loose-leaf tea with a tea press (bodum makes nice ones) Lots of british import stores in l.a. so steady access to pg tips, barry’s (gold blend) and brodies which are all great brands. Also nice to gulp down a lucozade or irn-bru after playing in a game in the afternoons.

    1. It’s just that I must have used the wrong “Reply”….again…so it didn’t show up under your original comment. Cream or half & half would be OK also, just going to alter the taste of the tea a little more than milk would. Again, you wouldn’t want it to be cold.

      I think sometimes folks use milk to cut any bitterness, just like with coffee. However, if you don’t over-steep your tea (no more than 3 min.) you won’t find it bitter at all. Green tea is much more delicate and something I have just recently started to enjoy.

  11. Tanzanian peaberry coffee, an apple fritter from the Donut Palace down the street and a little Annandale oleander if you know what I mean.

  12. I wonder if after today someone is going to yell out loud that the Emperor is Naked? We are very close to 0 (zero) English teams advancing to the 1/4 Finals of the Champions League (Chelsea still with a fighting chance but it will be an uphill battle). The days of 3 out of 4 semi-finalists from England are long gone and are never coming back.

    We have the occasional article here raving about the “honest” team of Stoke City, overlooking the fact that Stoke City itself exemplifies everything that is wrong with English football: lack of technical skill, long ball, lots of physicality, zero creativity. The good’ole kick-and-run style of football dating back to the early XX century…and you wonder why England goes out in the 1/4 finals of every major tournament.

    The Premier League is missing the talent level of the likes of Bergkamp, Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Henry, etc.

    I wonder if the money coming in the league has dried up…Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool owners are increasingly stingy, only Manchester City appears to have the bottomless coffers, but who knows for how long…the recent back-to-back clashes between so called superpowers like Manchester United and Liverpool were two of the most dreadful games of football ever played. Anti-football at its best…and people complain about the Barca-Real quality…really? I will take the overacting, and occasional diving for the moment of genius by the little God Messi. What do United and Liverpool have to offer? A handshake that didn’t happen? The “genius” that is Rooney? Please!

    I wonder how the pundits will approach the unprecedented fiasco of English clubs in Europe…


    I thoroughly admire the passion and atmosphere of the league, the occasional 4:4, or 6:3 scoreline and the pace of the game…the quality, however, appears to be severely lacking…i am thankful for David Silva, RVP and Aguerro for the few moments of brilliance this season…

    1. I don’t think the lack of Premier League teams in the latter rounds of the Champions League is too much of a worrying sign. To me, it’s all about defensive mistakes haunting each team.

      Arsenal is going through one of their worst spells in recent memory. And Wenger played the same sort of forward-thinking football against Milan that he did against Barcelona last season. Arsenal’s tactics in Italy should have been a lot more defensive-minded. Instead, they played too open of a game and made some critical mistakes.

      Speaking of mistakes, Chelsea made several of them in the game against Napoli tonight. And they were punished for it. The same goes for Manchester City who made defensive mistakes against Bayern Munich in Germany, which put them into a very tough position to get out of their group. Manchester United, meanwhile, made several defensive mistakes to let Basel back into the game at Old Trafford, and that draw was the difference to keep United out of the next round.

      Mistakes happen, but I would argue that Chelsea and Arsenal feature some of their worst defenses in years, while Man City and Man United made mistakes at the back which is very unlike them.

      The Gaffer

    2. I think there’s a certain ebb and flow to the number of finalists that advance from their respective countries year after year, and just because THIS year English teams are lacking in the latter stages of the CL by no means is a reason to panic or claim that English football has fallen off. Gaffer hit the nail on the head with the defensive mistakes.

  13. I usually have a cup of English Breakfast or Earl Grey. If it’s Arsenal I’m watching, it’s an automatic pint of Sam Smith’s. Sometimes the pint is accompanied by a packet or two of Walker’s.

  14. I’m a tea drinker for most premier league matches I watch, probably because they’re typically aired on the weekend and typically in the early morning (even though I DVR on the west coast, I still try to watch them in the morning).

    I drink coffee during the weekdays when I work, but I try for something a little mellower on the weekends: tea (hence my comment about the matches being on the weekend). As for a choice, I like Tazo teas, typically Awake (a straight black tea) with an occasional Chai. I also enjoy Twinnings English Breakfast Tea.

    Tea reminds me of a set of grandparents, long gone, who introduced me to soccer (Forest in their winning ways of the late 70s, to be exact). And while it’s probably corny and atypical of most Brits these days, I do think there’s something to be said for watching English television (the EPL, Sherlock, maybe a little Graham Norton) while sipping on tea.

    I’m an American, for what it’s worth.

  15. PG Tips with soy milk and marmite soldiers… sometimes egg and toast with coffee.
    But breakfast is always made at the end of the 8am match and whipped up before the 10am kick off.
    this sunday we made pancakes at the half of Stevenage v Tottenham. I may now make pancakes every time Spuds are on TV.

  16. I watch Chelsea with my scarf on, fire going, and either a chai tea or a cup of black coffee, depending on whether or not I got a good amount of sleep the night before… (the coffee wakes me up like nothing else.) Sometimes a cup of hot cider to mix it up.

    Also, I live in the Midwest and LOVE sweet tea. The flavored teas I can do without.

  17. A nice pot of strong Irish tea. Lyons tea or Barry’s tea! Bit of toast and orange marmalade….it might be 7:45am but it takes me back to cold Saturday nights beside the fire watching Match of the Day :) #TopNotch

  18. Since it’s usually Saturday or Sunday morning when I watch EPL matches, I have coffee and a glass of V-8 fusion. For Wednesday night Champions League match replays in primetime, I might have a Bitburger or a Caffreys.

  19. Right with ya, Gaffer.

    I’ve grown up in the US but my parents and family are all Australian, so tea has been a staple in my life from when I was little, especially when my Grandma would bring my tea and toast in bed.

    Being Australian, with my Commonwealth roots, combined with watching English Football means a few cups o’ tea while I watch my beloved Liverpool, are a necessity.

  20. Hello!

    I understand your passion! I am a tea lover as well. I have to say that I prefer black teas, herbals too, but I like the strong flavor black teas offer.

    Earl Grey is my favourite, but I also enjoy a cup of Keemun tea or thai tea, as it is quite different from what we normally drink!

    Though I love watching football, I mostly drink tea while studying, to keep me focused, or just when watching TV and relaxing.

    My main reason to drink it is the health benefits it offers – prevent cardiovascular diseases, fight cancer cells, weight loss aid, immune system booster and many more! Tea is quite healthy and tasty, that is why I love it and made it an important part of my life!

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