A Brief History
Discover the ancient origins and fascinating history of tea!
21st Apr '22 - UKTIA
We may not have tea ceremonies like they do in Japan or China, but the Brits definitely have a tea ritual, as revealed by a new survey carried out on behalf of the UK Tea and Infusions Association.
As shown in the poll of more than 1000 tea drinkers, the great British tea break is alive and well with almost six in 10 having 2-3 tea breaks a day at work.
The average break was 10 minutes but 14% got 15-20 minutes. However, for a fifth of people, it wasn’t really a tea break as they continued to work at their desks.
While six in 10 favour a cup of tea when taking a break – typically regular black tea – there is a definite ritual about making it. Almost six in 10 people (57%) have their own special mug and 15% even have their own spoon! A similar percentage (15%) always take tea from their personal caddy while a refined one in 10 like to use a cup and saucer.
Around a fifth of generous Brits always make a cup of tea for someone else at work, with those under 30 more likely to do this (24%) than their middle-aged colleagues (15%) probably due to office pecking orders. One in five admit to being the office grump and never making tea for anyone else.
UK Tea and Infusions Association (https://www.tea.co.uk/) Chief Executive, Dr Sharon Hall comments: “Tea is so ingrained in our everyday work lives that people don’t necessarily notice that it’s actually a sociable ritual they perform every time they pop the kettle on. Tea making brings colleagues together and it’s a great way to start up a conversation with someone at work.
“The ritual of having a special cup and spoon or a favourite type of tea is part of the enjoyment of having a brew. Most importantly, it gives us 10 minutes out of our increasingly busy days – a point that was recognised by nearly half of those polled”.
Regular black tea is still the go-to cuppa for Brits, drunk by more than seven in 10 followed by green tea (55%) and herbal teas (47%). Younger consumers are more adventurous than older consumers, trying more types of tea, such as white, herbal and redbush (also known as Rooibos).
When it comes to the best brew of the day, four in 10 of those polled (44%) say the first cup of the morning is their favourite, while 13% favour the mid-morning cuppa, and 11% prefer the one they enjoy mid-afternoon. Indeed, almost half (46%) say they use a cuppa to ‘get them going’ in the morning.
Dr Hall adds: “But there’s clearly more to the tea ritual than enjoying a warming brew, as our survey revealed. A fifth of Brits anticipate the fun things they have planned for the weekend while waiting for the kettle to boil, and one in 10 daydreams about their holidays or a happy memory, while their tea is brewing.
“It’s no wonder, then, that the tea break makes people feel refreshed, relaxed, and energised. That’s yet another reason to celebrate the great British tea break on National Tea Day!”
 Independent poll of 1000 UK adults by Perspectus Global Spring 2022