Is Coffee Overtaking Tea as the English National Drink?

Deepblue Direct March 28, 2022

It’s no secret that coffee is becoming an increasingly popular drink, but does this mean that tea is losing its foothold as England’s national drink? Tea has been around for centuries and is steeped in tradition, so it seems unlikely that it will be replaced any time soon. However, with coffee shops popping up on every street corner, it’s clear that coffee is gaining ground fast. So which drink will come out on top? Read on to find out our favourite coffee facts

Well although you could be forgiven for thinking coffee is overtaking tea - and consumption is certainly increasing - in fact Brits drink nearly twice as much tea as coffee - 165 million cups per day!

Almost two-thirds (58%) of Brits drink at least two cups a day, with 72% of the population drinking at least one cup daily. Despite the popularity of coffee, black tea remains the hot favourite - a staggering 13% of Brits drink a massive six or more cups per day! But what do consumers make of fruity blends and iced tea? Do they feel there's enough choice in the aisles? And where do they stand on matters of ethics and sustainability?

Traditional breakfast black tea blends are the most popular type of tea in the United Kingdom. These blends are a mixture of black teas from different regions, and they typically have a strong flavour.

We are also seeing increases in consumption of other types of black tea such as Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and Assam. These teas have a more delicate flavour than breakfast tea blends, and they are often enjoyed during the afternoon or evening.

According to the survey, 45% of UK consumers prefer breakfast black tea blends. Earl Grey is the second most popular black tea blend with 19% of consumers drinking it. Darjeeling and Assam black teas are preferred by 4% of consumers. The East Midlands and Yorkshire have a strong preference for breakfast blends of black tea, while Londoners seem to be a bit more experimental - which increased numbers of people reporting their go to cuppa is Earl Grey or Darjeeling.

British people love their tea and black tea is still the most popular variety. However, younger consumers are becoming more adventurous in their tea choices, drinking herbal teas and fruit flavoured brews more often. 18 to 24 year olds are the most likely to drink these types of teas, while older people are more likely to stick to traditional black tea.

All in all, while herbals teas are becoming more popular among younger tea drinkers - black tea still accounts for 85% of all tea drunk in the UK - that is about 50 billion cups per year on average!

In a recent survey Brits were asked how important it was for them that their tea was certified as "ethical" and nearly eight in 10 respondents said that it was either very or quite important to them. This number is likely to continue to grow in the future, as the 18-35 year group answered very important in much higher numbers than other demographics. There is a regional variation in the importance of ethical trading, with Londoners being the most likely to believe fair trade teas were very important.

The same survey showed similar results when it came to sustainability - younger consumers were much more likely to insist that their tea comes from a sustainable source.

At the end of the day though - whether you drink fruit tea or breakfast teas, Darjeeling or Assam, fair trade sustainable teas or the best value you can find - it is clear that the Great British Cuppa is here to stay!