Human calendar


Archive for décembre, 2009

Tea and coffee in the British Isles and the USA

jeudi, décembre 31st, 2009

94 Coffee - Menu Board
Creative Commons License photo credit: INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero


Creative Commons License photo credit: .Strangely.Familiar.

British tea culture

Extracts from Wikipedia.

The British are heavy tea consumers, with each person consuming on average 2.1 kg per year. The popularity of tea dates back to the 19th century when India was part of the British Empire, and British interests controlled tea production in the subcontinent. It was, however, first introduced in Britain by Catherine of Braganza, queen consort of Charles II of England in the 1660s and 1670s. As tea spread throughout the United Kingdom people started to have tea gardens and tea dances. These would include watching fireworks or a dinner party and dance, concluding with a nice evening tea. The tea gardens lost value after World War II but tea dances are still held today in the United Kingdom.

Tea is usually black tea served with milk (never cream) and sometimes with sugar. Strong tea served with lots of milk and often two teaspoons of sugar, usually in a mug, is commonly referred to as builder’s tea. Much of the time in the United Kingdom, tea drinking is not the delicate, refined cultural expression that the rest of the world imagines—a cup (or commonly a mug) of tea is something drunk often, with some people drinking as much as 6 cups of tea a day.

Creative Commons License photo credit: ksuyin

English tea ritual:

Whether to put milk into the cup before or after the tea is, and has been since at least the late 20th century, a matter of some debate with claims that adding milk at the different times alters the flavour of the tea.

There is also a proper manner in which to drink tea when using a cup and saucer. If one is seated at a table, the proper manner to drink tea is to raise the teacup only, placing it back into the saucer in between sips. When standing or sitting in a chair without a table, one holds the tea saucer with the left hand and the tea cup in the right hand. When not in use, the tea cup is placed back in the tea saucer and held in one’s lap or at waist height. In either event, the tea cup should never be held or waved in the air.

Moorish Mint
Creative Commons License photo credit: ostermayer

Tea as a meal:

Tea is not only the name of the beverage, but of a late afternoon light meal, irrespective of the beverage consumed. Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford is credited with the creation of the meal circa 1800. She thought of the idea to ward off hunger between lunch and dinner. The tradition continues to this day.
Scones at the Tea Cozy
Creative Commons License photo credit: *bri*

There used to be a tradition of tea rooms in the UK which provided the traditional fare of cream and jam on scones, a combination commonly known as cream tea. However, these establishments have declined in popularity since World War II. In Devon and Cornwall particularly, cream teas are a speciality.  It is a common misconception that cream tea refers to tea served with cream (as opposed to milk). This is certainly not the case. It simply means that tea is served with a scone with clotted cream and jam.


i <3 good coffee
Creative Commons License photo credit: stereogab

Why do Americans drink coffee and not British tea?

In 1773 the Boston Tea Party went down in history as a revolt against the unfair taxes, fines and fees of King George III. The revolutionaries did not want to do anything that would help support the British army (the British made money by selling tea to the Americas). So they started drinking coffee and other beverages instead.

They have created coffee houses chains which are famous and popular all over the world (including Britain) and where you can buy many types of flavoured coffee drinks.

Caramel Eclair Latte
Creative Commons License photo credit: jpellgen

Different types of coffee drinks:

Information taken from WiseGeek.

The global expansion of franchises such as Starbucks® have shown us that coffee means big business, and that there is a huge demand in the marketplace for different types of coffee drinks. Whereas the average local coffee shop once offered little more than regular and decaf on their menu, independent coffee houses, restaurants, and even vending machines have added a large variety of coffee drinks to their menu in recent years to stay competitive. With the addition of steamed milk, cocoa, cinnamon, flavored syrups or “shots,” alcohol, and other ingredients, coffee can be transformed into any number of specialty coffee drinks.

Starbucks Christmas Party '09
Creative Commons License photo credit: infilmity

One of the most popular coffee drinks made with steamed milk foam is the cappuccino, which originated in Italy but has expanded beyond Europe to become a worldwide favorite. Another Italian coffee drink, café latte, is also made with steamed milk foam; however café lattes contain much more milk foam than cappuccinos. Many other variations have been made to the traditional cappuccino and latte, such as adding cocoa to create a mocaccino or café mocha, as well as adding flavor shots or ice to create an iced coffee drink. Both cappuccinos and lattes include espresso, an extremely concentrated type of coffee which contains roughly two to three times the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee. Espresso is also one of two ingredients in another type of coffee drink, café macchiato, which is additionally composed of a teaspoon of steamed milk foam.

In addition to coffees which already have a unique flavor upon brewing, such as French vanilla roast, flavor shots can also be added to regular coffee to create different types of coffee drinks. Some of the most popular flavor shots added to coffee include hazelnut, butter pecan, raspberry, caramel, banana, mint, orange, and almond. Shots of liqueur, such as Baileys® Irish Cream, Amaretto, and Tia Maria® can also be added to coffee, and are often available as as an after-dinner drink in restaurants. Irish coffee is a particularly popular type of alcoholic coffee drink, and contains coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and cream. On Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish coffee makes for an easy alternative for bar patrons who wish to forego the traditional green beer, but still celebrate.

irish coffee
Creative Commons License photo credit: amy_b

In addition to drinks that contain coffee, there are also drinks which contain no coffee at all, but are still grouped amongst coffee drinks due to their wide availability in most coffee houses. Some of these drinks include: chai lattes, steamed milk, fruit smoothies, gourmet hot chocolate, and green tea lemonade. Decaffeinated coffee drinks are also offered in most coffee shops, and prepared by simply replacing the coffee portion of the drink with decaffeinated coffee and leaving all other ingredients the same.

To attract customers, some coffeehouses have specialized in coffee art which you can see in the following video:


Google maps

mercredi, décembre 30th, 2009

Google Maps Street View Car comes to Winchester
Creative Commons License photo credit: Martin Tod

Vous connaissez certainement Google Maps qui vous permet de zoomer jusqu’à l’échelle d’une rue et de vous promener dans celle-ci tout en ayant la possibilité de regarder autour de vous à 360°.

Creative Commons License photo credit: leomtxwebmaster

Voici trois suggestions de visite (parmi tant d’autres!):

1- London Westminster Bridge: allez sur le ‘A’ au milieu du pont et faites un tour à 360° pour voir The Houses of Parliament, la Tamise, le London Eye… Vous pouvez aussi aller vous promener à Trafalgar Square pour voir la colonne Nelson (et la National Gallery, Big Ben au loin au bout de Whitehall, l’église Saint Martin-in-the-fields…)

2- San Francisco 2288 Hyde Street: si vous cliquez sur le ‘A’, vous vous retrouverez à l’intersection de Hyde Street et de Lombard Street, très connue pour ses huit virages en épingle à cheveux. En direction du nord, sur Hyde Street, vous pourrez voir, au loin, l’île d’Alcatraz dans la baie de San Francisco et si vous allez au numéro 2288, un tout petit peu plus au sud de l’intersection avec Lombard Street, vous verrez un ‘cable car’ si typique de  San Francisco.  Si vous voulez voir le Golden Gate Bridge, il est un peu caché par la brume sur les images, malheureusement.

3- New York 1524 Broadway: c’est le quartier de Times Square. Remontez ou descendez Broadway et/ou Seventh Avenue. Si certaines images ne sont pas disponibles, continuez votre route.

Voici le lien direct vers Google Maps.

(clic droit -ouvrir le lien dans un nouvel onglet- si vous voulez suivre mes suggestions)

Si vous n’avez jamais eu l’occasion d’utiliser Google Maps, voici ce qu’il faut faire: après avoir tapé le nom de l’endroit que vous voulez voir, cliquez sur le personnage orange en haut à gauche et faites-le glisser sur la carte à l’endroit où vous voulez aller.

Creative Commons License photo credit: leomtxwebmaster

Les rues dans lesquelles vous pouvez aller sont en bleu foncé. Le bleu foncé apparait lorsque l’on fait glisser le personnage orange sur la carte.

Pegman arriba al Berguedà
Creative Commons License photo credit: Miuet

Quand vous êtes à l’endroit voulu, cliquez autour de vous pour faire bouger l’image à 360° dans le sens que vous voulez.

Avancez dans l’image en cliquant sur les flèches et en les faisant glisser un peu plus loin ou utilisez les flèches de votre clavier.

shot_ 10
Creative Commons License photo credit: ph.mongeau

(Pour avancer plus vite, déplacez votre personnage dans le carré en bas à droite de l’image.)

Creative Commons License photo credit: leomtxwebmaster

Coney Island

mardi, décembre 29th, 2009

Coney Island is situated south of Brooklyn, one of New York’s five boroughs. It is not an island but a peninsula.

Brooklyn Map
Creative Commons License photo credit: wallyg

Coney Island is famous for its amusement parks which have a quaint ( = attractively old-fashioned) atmosphere and its beach.

Creative Commons License photo credit: bitchcakesny

wonder wheel view - 2.jpg
Creative Commons License photo credit: rikomatic

Creative Commons License photo credit: loveleft

Creative Commons License photo credit: Elephi Pelephi

This video takes us back to a time when Coney Island was extremely popular (mostly between 1880 and the second world war), attracting masses of people everyday. You will see the many attractions that people were fond of in these days (such as the freak shows!), the food they ate there (the first hot dogs were apparently sold at Nathan’s Famous – that you can see on the third photo above) and you will feel the atmosphere of that time.


What future for Coney Island?


To learn more about Coney Island, click on this link to Wikipedia.

Listening comprehension: ELLLO

lundi, décembre 28th, 2009

Headphone with mic
Creative Commons License photo credit: sparkieblues

Voici un lien vers un site qui vous permet d’améliorer votre compréhension de l’oral: ELLLO. Vous y trouverez une multitude d’enregistrements d’une durée de 3 à 4 minutes sur des sujets très différents. Vous pouvez lire le texte de l’enregistrement ou le cacher pendant l’écoute et répondre à des questions de compréhension.

The Nutcracker

dimanche, décembre 27th, 2009

The Nutcracker (Casse-Noisettes) by  Tchaikovsky is a very popular ballet performed mostly during the Christmas holidays.



Vocabulaire: the holiday season / the holidays, en anglais américain, correspond à la période des fêtes de fin d’année.

Here are two of the famous airs from The Nutcracker: The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and The Dance of the Mirlitons:



Boxing Day

samedi, décembre 26th, 2009

Le 26 décembre est férié et s’appelle Boxing Day dans les pays anglo-saxons. Découvrez pourquoi en regardant cette VIDEO sur WatchMojo.

For cat lovers

samedi, décembre 26th, 2009


To learn more about Simon’s cat, click on the official site.

Crazy Christmas lights

vendredi, décembre 25th, 2009

Watch a video on people who go to great lengths to decorate their houses on

Christmas songs

mercredi, décembre 23rd, 2009


Listen to more Christmas songs on YouTube.

This Christmas season in New York City

mardi, décembre 22nd, 2009

Avec cette vidéo, vous allez pouvoir vous promener dans les rues de New York et regarder les animations, les illuminations et les décorations des rues et des vitrines et vous pourrez voir aussi un petit peu de la célèbre parade de Noël.