Saturday, 13 July 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Saturday, 13 July 2024

It’s Tea-rrific! New data reveals Brits’ obsession with the perfect cuppa

To mark the launch of their flagship annual fundraiser, Big Smile Tea Party, the world’s largest cleft charity, Smile Train, has released research which uncovers the nation’s attitudes towards a good ol’ cuppa.

For millions of Brits across the country, the humble cup of tea is more than just a drink – it’s a way of life. The research, of 2,000 people carried out by Censuswide, shows just how important that first cup of tea is for kickstarting the day. Over a quarter (26%) of Brits admit they can’t leave the house until they’ve had the inaugural sip. And for nearly a third (32%), getting ready to start the day isn’t possible at all before they’ve had a cuppa.

But tea doesn’t just get us going in the morning. It’s a constant companion throughout the day. Although even Brits have a limit, with 3 to 4 cups the maximum ‘acceptable number of cups of tea in a day’ according to two-fifths of respondents (41%). That said, over a third (38%) admit to sinking a significant 5 mugs or more.

Tea anyone?

With tea being such an important part of many Brits’ days, Smile Train is encouraging the UK public to host a tea party that’ll make a difference in the lives of cleft-affected children in need around the world, by taking part in their Big Smile Tea Party fundraiser. And celebs are showing their support by sharing their tea-making habits too – including Simon Cowell who has a very particular way of making the perfect cuppa involving lots of stirring and two teabags!

The Tea-r factor

Ahead of this, however, there may need to be some tuning of tea-making skills, with the data showing certain tea-making situations can be nerve-wracking – but what exactly are these? 

The data reveals that of those who admit sometimes finding making a cup of tea stressful. The top 5 situations they are most on edge are:

  • When they are making tea for their partner’s parents (32%)
  • During a meeting (31%)
  • For their colleagues (29%)
  • For their boss (26%)
  • For tradespeople (20%)

Many people will relate to choosing the right amount (and type) of milk and making sure the tea is the ‘correct’ shade.

Office Tea round politics

With work scenarios coming out on top as the main source of tea-making stress, there is also controversy around the office tea round. In a display of Britain’s famed politeness, over two-fifths (42%) always offer to make a round of tea for their co-workers. However, a third (35%) ‘would prefer not to make a round for co-workers’ and a quarter (24%) cheekily only make a round to ‘repay the favour’.

The research showed there are also clear preferences on how long to let the tea brew (2 minutes is ideal) and when to call time on the last brew of the day. Over a fifth (21%) say the latest acceptable cuppa time is between 8pm and 10pm, though almost one in ten (8%) of Gen Zs are happy to have tea in the early hours of 4am – 6am.

Despite the endless types of tea on offer to us, English breakfast is still number one for almost half (45%) of tea lovers across the nation.

Emily Oliver, Brand Marketing and Communications Manager at Smile Train UK, said:

“Smile Train is encouraging the nation – and people around the world – to invite friends and family over for a Big Smile Tea Party throughout July, asking them to donate the cost of a cuppa to help fund lifesaving surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children in need across the globe. 

“Every three minutes a baby is born with a cleft. Left untreated, it can jeopardise their ability to eat, breathe, speak, hear and more.

“There’s no doubt that a love of tea is a huge part of British culture and identity – and this new research shows just how much of an obsession it is.

“In our 25th year, Smile Train has reached an incredible milestone carrying out our two-millionth Smile Train-supported surgery, but we rely on generous donations to continue our work. So, stick the kettle on, dig deep and fundraise, and help change the world, one smile at a time.” 

The Big Smile Tea Party officially takes place throughout the month of July, but you can host your own tea party when you like. Sign up and download your fundraising pack at:


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