Tea is one of the most popular drinks in Britain. Therefore, in order to maintain this lifelong tradition of Tea tasting in Britain, Bedford tea proudly offers the best loose leaf tea to our clients within the UK.
The English are real tea addicts. The tea consumption in this country amounts to about 3 kilograms per year per person! Therefore, there are many traditions associated with tea tasting in Britain.
However, the most important factor for tea tasting in Britain is social class.
For example, the patrician classes have a number of tea tasting customs. Incidentally, it is thanks to Anna, Duchess of Bedford, that we have the afternoon tea tradition. Upper and upper-middle class people would usually drink tea from nice porcelain cups. They would also use a nice porcelain or silver teapot for brewing the tea.
The tea they would choose would be very fine. For example, superior quality Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea, or more exotic teas like Lapsang Souchong. They would also be more likely to go for other types of tea, e.g. fine green tea or white tea. Their tea would usually not contain any sugar or milk, and would be quite weak. There is a popular British joke that one can define a person’s social background just by observing how much sugar they put in their tea. The answer is that the more sugary your tea is, the lower your social background.
As for the middle and lower classes, they would usually drink tea to accompany their evening meal. That is why they would refer to their evening meal as ‘High tea’ or ‘Tea’. They would usually choose a very ordinary tea that would most probably be in a teabag. The most popular tea with the working classes would be either very strong English Breakfast tea, or PG tips. They would normally add a lot of sugar and milk to their tea. Many people call it ‘Builders tea’. They would also drink tea in large mugs, and put milk first, and then pour the tea.
Tea definitely plays a very important part in British culture. Should you wish to learn more about the most common tea types in Britain, please feel free to discover our articles about Earl Grey tea, Lapsang Souchong tea and English Breakfast Tea.
The British are mad about tea! However, Britain is not the only country whose people are so fond of this miraculous drink. Another country where tea is overwhelmingly popular (and whose climate is quite suitable for hot drinks) is Russia. Should you wish to learn more about Russian tea tasting traditions, as well as the history connected with tea, please refer to our article “Tea in Russia“.