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Are you a big tea drinker?

For almost 400 years the British people have had a love affair with tea yet it’s popularity seems under threat as younger people are falling out of love with the traditional cuppa.

Traditional breakfast tea, taken with milk, is less popular with under 35’s today as the younger generation increasingly opt for green or fruit teas or indeed coffee as their hot beverage of choice.

A brief history

The first advert for tea in the British Isles was printed in the London republican newspaper Mercurius Politicus in September 1658, announcing that a drink called Tcha by the Chinese and Tay or Tee by other nations was available in a coffee house in the city. But it was Queen Catherine, wife of Charles II who first championed tea in Britain making it popular with the aristocracy.

The East India Company was born but with tax on tea as much as 118% it was reserved for the elite and tea smuggling became a serious problem. By 1784, in a bid to stop the smuggling, the new Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, cut the tax on tea down to 12.5% and tea stopped being the reserve of the elite.

By the middle of the 18th century, tea had become the country’s most popular drink and the East India Company was using tea clippers, such as the Cutty Sark, to transport tea from India and China.

During the second world war, Winston Churchill, viewed tea as being as vital to the British people as the defences that protected our coastline

Churchill is quoted as saying “Tea is more important than ammunition”, directing British servicemen to have as many cups of tea as they wanted.

The 1950’s saw mass production of tea bags in the UK and with it a surge in sales.

How the tea market is changing

Fruity, herbal and decaf brews are driving growth in the tea market today, but traditional black tea still remains Britain’s go-to cuppa.

So why all the fuss? Well, it is interesting to note that according to The Grocer only 30% of younger customers choose black tea as their regular brew and among the 18-24-year-old age group, 39% drink herbal tea and 26% drink fruity brews. Compare these figures to the 65-plus age group where just 14% have herbal tea and 10% take fruit infusions and you can see how the generations vary in their hot beverage tastes.

Although traditional black leaf tea consumption looks set to decline 2019 figures state that Britons drink 165 million cups of tea every day.

Only time will tell whether the traditional cuppa will go out of fashion but I for one could not imagine being offered a fruit infusion in a crisis – surely a restorative cup must and always will be strong, milky and sweet – in other words ‘nothing beats a nice cup of tea.’

Are you a big tea drinker?

Are you a big tea drinker?

526 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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AnnMRose
2 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Loose tea preferably Yorkshire or Tetley's around 4/5 mugs per day. Dislike all tea bags even the green/fruit ones.
Rellie
20th Nov 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Drinking tea right now and also drink de caff coffee Drinking more of it since being confined to my room with Covid confirmation. Bit of a nuisance. Another 4 days to go yippee
Catton
7th Nov 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Since a close loved one died I cannot drink coffee so my tea consumption has increased.
I enjoy most brands except PG tips and Typhoo ....too weak
biker babe
6th Nov 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I use waitrose ‘essentials’ tea-bags as I get 2 mugs out of 1 bag & they are quite good value I think, that reminds me, “Put the kettle on, Dad”!
cehodgson
6th Nov 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I only drink tea with a meal and prefer coffee.
highmyope1955
29th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I use loose-leaf tea and a teapot. It tastes far better. I can do very well without alcohol but not Darjeeling tea.
Lionel
29th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes, I found I do well without alcohol and now prefer tea, but not Darjeeling. Plan ole P G Tips I'm afraid. But that's better than it could otherwise be.
Bald123
28th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Love a big cuppa in the morning and another at night
Dinabob4
27th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I love the first cup of tea in the morning.
Yorkshire tea is my favourite.
FionaJ
26th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I like Dorset tea.
BirdofParadise
26th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I went from tea bags back to loose tea. I have green tea in the morning and ordinary tea in the afternoon. I have one cup of ground coffee a day. I should drink more but I would spend too much time running to the loo.
Spanish dreamer
26th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Fell out of love with tea a long time ago, apart from fruit tea, mainly drink black coffee no
MrsPat
26th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
About 6 cups a day including a mint tea last thing at night. I am sure tea is good for you-rehydrates us and calms me down.
DeniseS81
26th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I drink decaf tea and currently buy Clipper as it is the only one that doesn’t use plastic in the bags
GraniGoggins45
26th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Where can you buy these please I live in the midlands?
simbadog
26th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
A mug of Tetleys first thing in the morning starts my day I also like a fruit tea in the evening.. A fresh strong coffee is a must for mid morning
2
Thanks for voting!
Dislike tea I have only drunk it after having my 2 children and the youngest is now over 40
SueC62
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I don't like milk so drink tea black but after trying redbush, I find black tea very bitter. I like lemon and ginger too but drink black coffee in the morning. I also like Turkish tea, çay, which is drunk black with sugar, is low in caffeine and not bitter. I like going against the norm for my age range .
Cariad66
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Always use tea leaves and strainer, it does taste different to tea bags. It has to be boiling hot with milk and sugar. I prefer a china cup and saucer to a mug. Anyone else?
HappyHippie
25th Oct 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I like my tea black no sugar, I away's use Yorkshire tea, if I drink coffee it has to fresh coffee
LizH25
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
We drink decaf Yorkshire tea. Ihave given up on instant coffee and my husband rarely drinks it. We have a mug of “real” coffee mid morning everyday and Saturday and Sunday evenings. When we had a trip to China we drank a lit of green tea but it doesn’t taste the same at home, even what we brought back - maybe it is to do with the water.
JackieH116
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Ringtones tea is my tea of choice, with Yorkshire tea coming a close second. although these china, herb etc teas are healthy and refreshing, you still can't beat a good old English cuppa.
MaryS531
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I love tea probably tetleys for its strength. Also enjoy a Yorkshire tea. I do like a coffee mid morning
CarolB316
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Yorkshire tea has to be best cuppa going drink gallons a day, hate coffee, drinking chocolate, or in fact any other hot drink.
blackbeard
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I drink Masala Chai and Tumeric Chai and Cardomom Chai. Over one day I probably drink just five mugsful
Helen Highwater
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Tea is my hot drink of choice; I buy Thompson's Punjana on line, it's a lovely strong brew. Tea is more of a thirst-quencher than coffee for me.

I enjoy a "proper" cup of coffee once a day, made with ground beans in a cafetiere, very hot and quite strong and mixed half-and-half with hot milk.
Jangeo
25th Oct 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely. I love a good cup of tea
Yorkshire tea for me every time. Made in a pot. A dribble of skimmed milk. A few grains of sugar. Served in a wafer thin China cup or small mug. A biscuit or two is welcome too!
anubis
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
The only time I will drink tea is if they don`t have any coffee and don`t really like it. I went off tea when having my youngest daughter over 40 years ago and never changed back from coffee
gel65
25th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I've always preferred tea to coffee and was brought up on it. I've drank all the well known brands of one cup tea bags but since i had a visit from Ringtons a few years ago I've never gone back to any other brand. Until I've had my cuppa in the morning I don't feel i've woken up.
Barbara10
25th Oct 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
My husband puts the kettle on for a cuppa at least 25 times a day.
Kes
24th Oct 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I don’t like tea at all. I’m a coffee drinker. My Mum always drank coffee, so I guess I followed suit. Very very occasionally I will drink a cup of camomile and honey. My husband is a tea drinker so when the kettle goes on, it’s one tea and one coffee. He will only drink loose leaf tea, at home, made in a teapot. If he is accepting the hospitality from family or friends, he accepts what he is given which is usually teabag tea. We do have teabags for visitors as they prefer them to loose tea. What a palaver.
JE
24th Oct 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
You can’t beat a nice cup of tea at any time of day.
SJanSharpaolcom
23rd Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I like green tea first thing in the morning. Coffee for elevensyand black tea for the rest of the day
Valleyman
23rd Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I love tea. But it's coffee for me first thing in the morning. The 6.30 caffeine rush gets my motor started. After that black tea all day long. I used to drink nettle tea, good for the circulation, but it was no substitute for Tetley. The water quality makes all the difference.
shrew1742
23rd Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I like lots of different types of tea, with Oolong and Spicy being very tasty. But..... the first cup of English Breakfast is heavenly. Up at 6.30 ish, back to bed for an hour's reading with my cuppa and a couple of biscuits. The first sip - or gulp - makes me feel good to be alive.
I'm almost at the stage where I just live for 6.30 every morning, after that it's downhill all the way. (JOKING of course).
Alexisthecat
23rd Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I love drinking Tea during the day the secret of a good cuppa is to wait for three or four minutes after the kettle has boiled to pour the water slowly on to the teabag and then wait another three or four minutes for it to infuse then add a splash of milk and enjoy!
Yodama
23rd Oct 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I love tea and have quite a selection, Green, Camomile, Earl Grey, Ginger and Lemon, Lapsang Suchong, Tung Ting Oolong and Jasmine.
My favourite is Assam loose leaf tea.
Tea goes so well with toast.

There is something reassuring about a cup of tea. In times of stress, and just for pleasure, a cuppa seems to fit the bill. Oddly eccentric Brits think tea is a cure for all malady's.
During the war, bombs dropping all around her, and Flo' says " let's put the kettle on."
Wilf
23rd Oct 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Love tea. We start the morning with 2 cups each before 8. Mine is nowadays a huge mug that holds about 2 normal cups. Nothing wrong with tea. My dad reckoned he has about 20 a day and he is 91!
jeffsoo
23rd Oct 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Dani
23rd Oct 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
My morning cup of tea is always a fine moment. I take it back to bed, snuggle up and start the day relaxed and content.
Then, of course, there’s the one with breakfast, after lunch, a sip or two in the afternoon, and sometimes, if I can’t sleep, a comforting brew in the early hours. I’ve tried coffee, chocolate, various herbal infusions, but no...for me, nothing beats a cuppa!
Lionel
23rd Oct 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I've been a coffee man most of my life. Stopping alcohol intake three years ago changed a lot of things. Tea became so much more palatable, coffee slid into the background and my evening drink now is a cup of tea.

Funny 'ole life, isn't it?

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