The thoroughly British habit of ‘taking tea’ is alive and well.
It’s hard to go about your daily business without seeing a blackboard pointing to the neighbourhood tea-room and it’s even more of a challenge to arrive at someone’s house and evade the offer of a welcoming cuppa.
In the UK we drink 165 million cups of tea every day and about 70 million cups of coffee.
A whole sub-industry thrives around the tea business, with teapots, cups and mugs, milk jugs, sugar bowls, infusers, strainers, tea cosies and tea towels – and that’s before we get into the realm of the serious collectors with their eyes peeled for unusual teasets.
With the tea-room so popular, it’s no surprise that people are turning to café chic as their inspiration for kitchens, so with this in mind we have some roller blinds designed to fit in well with this type of décor.
The range is called Tea For Two, and we feature a few of them here.
For a more comprehensive look at what’s available see our Made To Measure roller blinds page
Top ten tea facts
- Product placement – until 2011 Taylor’s of Harrogate supplied their Yorkshire Tea brand free to branches of the Women’s Institute.
- Top traders – Tetley leads the UK market with a 27 per cent share, followed by PG Tips with about 24 per cent share.
- Popular tea – English breakfast tea is a traditional blend of teas originating from Assam, Ceylon and Kenya. It is one of the most popular blended teas and the most common form of tea in British tea culture.
- Tea instructions – A Nice Cup Of Tea is an essay by George Orwell, first published in the London Evening Standard in 1946. It is a serious discussion about the craft of making a cup of tea, including this: ‘Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden.’
- The Teasmade – On 17 December 1891, Samuel Rowbottom, of 82 Abbey Road, Derby, applied for a patent for his Automatic Tea Making Apparatus, the patent being granted in 1892. It used a clockwork alarm clock, a gas ring and pilot light. But the name Teasmade only came into existence when an electric teamaker was patented by William Hermann Brenner Thornton in association with Goblin in 1933. Goblin’s next model, also invented by Thornton, was patented in 1934 and was manufactured from 1936. This was the first teamaker sold under the name Teasmade.
- Well-being – The name Typhoo comes from the Chinese word for ‘doctor’ – and one of the brand’s famous catchphrases was ‘You only get an “oo” with Typhoo.’
- Collectables – Many loose tea packets contained collectors’ cards on various themes, from the 1940s to 1980s.
- To dunk or not to dunk – McVitie’s biscuits are said to be the most popular biscuits in the UK to ‘dunk’ in tea, with their chocolate digestives, Rich tea and Hobnobs ranked the nation’s top three favourites.
- TV stars – the chimpanzees used in the PG Tips TV ads were from Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire. When animal rights campaigners forced the chimps off the screen sales dropped and they were reinstated 18 months later.
- What’s in a name – the Earl Grey blend of tea is assumed to be named after The 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1832. Lord Grey reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil.