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Press releases

THE BRITISH TEA CULTURE IS BREWING STRONGLY

19th Jun 2012


AS 78 MILLION MUGS OF TEA ARE DRANK DAILY DESPITE COFFEE SHOPS OPENING UP ON EVERY STREET CORNER

BRITONS CHOOSE A TRADITIONAL CUP OF CHA TO
KICK START THEIR DAY

Britain is still a nation of tea-lovers, despite the encroachment of coffee into our national culture, according to new research released today. Over half of the nation (53%) rely on a traditional cup of tea (at around 8am, on average) to help kick start their working day; whilst only 35% of Britons choose coffee.

The tea study conducted by Travelodge, surveyed 5,000 British adults to help discover the nation’s hot beverage drinking habits. Key research findings revealed that despite Britain’s image of being a cosmopolitan, European country with a coffee bar on every corner, we still savour the old-fashioned comfort of a good brew, as 78 million mugs of tea are drank everyday across the UK.

The research also highlighted that tea’s popularity in the UK cuts across all generations and it is not just a favourite hot beverage enjoyed by the older generations. 51% per cent of 18 -24 year old Britons stated they start their day with a mug of tea. A third of this age group said tea helps them to unwind, and nearly half said they find drinking tea comforting.

The survey also revealed that we have become a nation who loves to drink their tea out of a mug rather than a traditional dainty cup and saucer. Forty six per cent of tea drinkers reported their tea tastes better when drunk from a mug as it stays warmer for longer and you also get a good measure.

The study also revealed that the beloved teapot could soon become obsolete as just 16% of Britons use a teapot daily to make their favourite hot beverage. Eight out of ten Britons reported they don’t have the time or patience to make tea in a teapot.

A ‘builders brew’ is the nation’s preferred way to drink tea, however 51% of British tea drinkers take their tea without sugar. Just 15% of adults enjoy a milky tea. The 18-24 age group prefer a medium brew with lots of milk and sugar.

Although drinking tea without sugar is growing popular, research findings revealed a third of Britons still favour the old partnership of dunking a biscuit into their tea. One in ten Britons prefer to dunk a chocolate bar.

When it comes to choosing the perfect biscuit to accompany a mug of tea, our tastes remain traditional with the digestive (plain and chocolate covered) as the nation’s top choice.

The study also revealed after a long day, 63% of Britons turn to a good cuppa to help them unwind. Forty three per cent of adults stated they find a good brew comforting and it feels like a good hug in a mug.

The report also investigated the nation’s tea drinking habits at the workplace and key findings revealed the traditional tea-break is still alive and well across British companies with the most popular times being 10am and 3pm. Thirty per cent of British workers hate having to do the tea run at their place of work and one in ten will deliberately make a poor cup of team so that they don’t have to do it again. To encourage team bonding during the daily tea break a quarter of workers bring in biscuits, cakes and chocolates to share amongst colleagues.

The research also highlighted that Britons literally carry their love of tea with them as a fifth of adults admitted they carry their favourite brand of teabags with them when away from home. Over a quarter (26%) of Britons stated in the survey that they really miss a good cup of tea when on holiday abroad.

Simon Beattie, Head of Food and Beverage for Travelodge said: “On average, over 12 million cups of tea are drunk in our rooms and Bar Cafes in a year. In the last year we have seen a significant increase in requests for additional teabags from our customers. We know the first thing customers do when they check into their room is make a cup of tea. To address this growing demand for a good cuppa we have extended the range of teas we offer in our Bar Café’s so that we can accommodate all tastes. In addition we only serve tea in mugs across all of our hotels.”

Shayne House, Co-Founder and Director of the Tea Appreciation Society, said: “I’m not surprised at the popularity of tea, especially among the younger generation. Those of us that are familiar with the liquid jade are well aware that there is a tea renaissance the world over. Hip and fashionable, and underlined by a move towards a healthier lifestyle, tea has replaced coffee as the drink of choice for young urbanites everywhere. Celebrities including Lady Gaga and Padma Lakshmi now have their own tea lines and high-end tea lounges are springing up across the globe.

“Tea has and always will be an occasion for friendship for each new generation – it offers us an opportunity for shared moments of intimacy. It enables us to reflect, to be inspired and to create. Tea is a way of life.”

Further research findings revealed the nation has some room for improvement when it comes to making the perfect cup of tea; as just one in ten respondents actually brews their tea for the recommend three minutes. Forty per cent of adults just dip the teabag into hot water for less than a minute.

Shayne House recommends this technique for brewing the perfect cuppa:

Whether making a cuppa with a tea bag or with loose leaf (which is far superior in taste), one should use boiling water. (Use boiled water that has cooled lightly for green and white tea)
If making tea in a pot, warm the pot with some boiling water first. Pour on the boiled water and leave to infuse for three minutes. Left longer to steep and it can ‘bolt’ creating a distinctly sour sharpness.

Then add milk.

The survey also revealed Wales is the most hardcore region for tea drinkers in the UK, followed by the East & West Midlands and the South West regions. Listed below are the top ten regions for the heaviest tea drinkers.

1. Wales

2. East & West Midlands

3. South West

4. Yorkshire and Humber

5. North East

6. London

7. East Anglia

8. South East

9. Scotland

Notes to Editors:

The survey was conducted in June 2012 with 5,000 British adults across the UK

The 78 million figure has been calculated via the following formula:

53% of adults drink tea. (53% of British adults is: 26,076,000). On average Britons drink three mugs of tea a day which works out at 78 280 000

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