Brits really do drink tea

In his famous essay "A Nice Cup of Tea", the English author George Orwell laid down eleven rules for drinking tea. Each of these rules is golden, Orwell writes in his text, which was first published in London in 1946 Evening Standard appeared. The teapot should be preheated, sugar should be avoided and, very importantly, the tea should be in the cup first, then the milk.

George Orwell was an eminently clever man who was fundamentally right about almost everything, but this last point is as controversial among the British today as it was 70 years ago. For many tea drinkers, someone who does not put the milk in the cup first and then the tea is considered a proven banause.

Orwell wrote that there are probably two schools of thought in every family on the milk question, but that he himself was undoubtedly correct. This know-it-all was of course not meant to be taken seriously, because as is well known, Britishness consists in roughly equal parts of self-irony - and tea drinking. All the more alarming is a study just published in the United Kingdom, according to which the British are drinking less and less tea. The Guardian sees the result as an unmistakable sign that the island is doomed.

The market research institute Mintel found that the sale of tea bags in the UK fell by 14 percent between 2013 and 2015. A further decline of five percent is expected for this year.

Fear of teeth and tooth discoloration

The young people are to blame - the older Brits must have guessed it. A third of people between the ages of 55 and 64 drink at least five cups of black tea a day, but only 16 percent of 16 to 34 year olds achieve the same number. One of the reasons for this, according to Mintel, is vanity: the younger Brits feared tooth discoloration. In addition, they are not comfortable with the high Teein content.

The image of the British drinking tea at all times of the day and on all occasions is a cliché worldwide, but in fact consumption has been declining for decades. In 1974, each resident of the kingdom consumed an average of 68 grams of black tea per week. Today it is 25 grams. Although the sales of fruit and herbal teas are increasing, on the one hand they are not strong enough to compensate for the decline in black tea, and on the other, most British people would not call these blends real tea.

On the island, black tea is traditionally drunk with milk, in the perfectly shaped version from a fine porcelain cup. With construction workers, on the other hand, the "builder's tea" is popular, a very strong tea with milk and lots of sugar, which is served in a mug. The term "tea time" for afternoon tea is mainly used outside of Great Britain, as it is always time for a cup of tea on the island. Despite the decline, 84 percent of Britons still drink tea every day, with 165 million cups being emptied every day across the country. Only two percent of British tea drinkers do not belong to either of the two schools of thought when it comes to milk: They enjoy their tea straight.