A Tea-Loving People

Posh afternoon tea.
Four people drinking tea in a London street.
Afternoon tea in a British home in the 1950s.
High tea is served.
Tea in glass cups.
Coffee is ok in Britain too.

The British people, generally, really like tea. On average, they drink several cups a day, usually mixed with milk, and sometimes with sugar. Tea-drinkers, furthermore, can be found among people of all social classes, and the brownish beverage is consumed at all hours of the day.

While tea, as was just stated, is consumed at all hours of the day, there are certain times during the day that Brits traditionally refer to as tea time. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, for example, Brits traditionally drink afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is typically consumed together with bread and cookies, and the light meal serves to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner.

High tea

Another well-known tea slot is around 6 or 7 in the evening, when Brits traditionally drink high tea. This tea slot, which is often referred to simply as “tea”, implies that tea will be served along with food as a lighter alternative to the evening dinner. Thus, if a British family invites you over for tea in the early evening, you are likely to be offered some combination of, for example, bread, meat, vegetables and pie with your tea.


Considering how Brits traditionally have organized their schedule around tea, it is not surprising that the brownish beverage, overall, is more popular than coffee in Britain. Still though, coffee enthusiasts exist here too, and you can easily find coffeehouses where you can order both coffee and tea. Moreover, many Britons prefer coffee to tea, especially as an energy boost in the morning, but the long tradition of tea-drinking on the British Isles, nevertheless, makes Britain a nation of tea-drinkers in most people’s eyes.