A Nation of Tea Drinkers: UK tea habits

How do we prefer our tea?

Every day in the UK, the National Grid prepares for a surge in use after popular TV programmes, as kettles go on throughout the country for a cup of tea.

We know we are a nation of tea-lovers in the UK, but how do we prefer our tea? What is the most popular? and how have our tea drinking habits changed?

What’s the Tea?

We sent a survey out to our consumers all about tea, and 900 people responded across a mix of ages and gender. The vast majority drink regular black tea (over 60%), with the rest having a mixture of fruit or herbal teas. Whatever type is being drunk; the cuppa wins! A whopping 84% of consumers make their tea straight into a cup and prefer to use a tea bag rather than loose leaves.

On average, UK consumers drink between 2-5 cups of tea a day, with the largest amount of tea being consumed at home or (pre-lockdown) at work. Whilst most consumers drink a mixture of hot beverages throughout the day, of those that stuck to one type exclusively, only 40% drank tea and the rest favoured coffee.

Milk and Sugar?

There is a long-standing debate as to whether the milk or water goes in first. Many historians believe this originates from the quality of the china used: milk was added first to cool the hot liquid in cheaper tea sets so that they didn’t shatter. Happily, these days social position isn’t judged on how you make your tea and consumers make it as they please, although water added first followed by the milk is still the most popular.

The majority of consumers add only milk to their tea, but 17% still add sugar and 8% use sweeteners, perhaps a reflection of a more health-conscious nation. There was a wide variation in preferred tea shades, with no one stand out option. However, there was a general agreement that the least popular was either a very weak or very strong cuppa.

Time to pop the kettle on….!

If you would like the full report of this survey or have consumer questions that your business needs a quick and cost-effective answer to, please email our Marketing Team