That's Britain for you. Tea solves everything. You're a bit cold? Tea. Your boyfriend has just left you? Tea. You've just been told you've got cancer? Tea. Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt? TEA DAMMIT!Tea. Today, it is one of the most, if not the most, popular drink in the UK, and this has obviously not been lost on TV writers. To an American, it may seem like massive quantities of tea are consumed in the average British Series. In fact, the number of cups of tea drunk is often quite normal in Britain, though even the Brits can exaggerate. Whenever a British character appears in an American series, they will invariably a) drink tea, and b) describe at great length how wonderful it is compared to coffee - that is, if the character has heard of coffee before coming to the United States. In fact, the mere act of drinking tea automatically marks one as British. However, these characters typically drink tea from an ornate china set, whereas in Real Life, such things are reserved for special occasions. Most Brits will typically make their tea using a tea bag in a mug. In fact, there's a dying tradition of keeping a set of "best china" that's never to be used unless the Queen should suddenly turn up for a visit. The great British author George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four, Homage to Catalonia) was an avid tea drinker, even going so far as to write an article on how to make "A Nice Cup Of Tea"; Douglas Adams also wrote one. In general, the typical British attitude to tea is nicely summed up here. If you must know, but can't be bothered to follow the links, making tea is not at all complicated.
— LiveJournal user jslayeruk
- Enough Tea: If making a single cup, a tea bag contains enough tea for most. If making a pot of tea for a spot of tea, when using loose-leaf tea the rule of thumb is one teaspoon for each person, plus one for the pot.
- Boiling Water: The water poured onto the tea should be as close to boiling as is practically possible. The hotter it is, the more of the flavour is released. If you are given a cup of warm water and a teabag to dip in it, you have gone to a place that does not understand how to make tea, e.g. France, Switzerland, Germany... most of Europe, in fact...
- Let it stand: The amount of time varies by drinker, but the minimum you need is a good ten to twenty seconds. The ultimate in "letting it stand" is "Nurse's Tea" - where more and more water is added to the same pot without ever refreshing the tea-leaves, necessitating longer and longer standing times as the day goes on.
- Milk First, or Milk Later?: A matter of personal preferencenote . Some people like the slightly scalded flavour of milk that's been hit with a torrent of boiling water; some don't. Ask if unsure.
- Bag In, or Bag Out?: Another personal preference. Some people like to leave the bag in so the cup gets stronger as they drink it; others like to squeeze the bag out with a spoon and be done with it.
- Sugar:note Tea is by its nature quite tart and astringent. Some people put sugar in it. Others do not. If in doubt, provide a pot of sugar and a spoon and just let people sort themselves out.
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- Quintessential Englishman Stephen Fry brings his sheer... Stephen Fryness... to Twinings advertisements, which is often sent up on QI.
- Johnny Vegas and his woolly monkey (previously the mascots for the failed ITV Digital service) show how most British people drink tea i.e. without pomp and ceremony – in commercials for PG Tips teabags.
- PG Tips' adverts used a family of chimpanzees (using actual trained chimps dressed in clothes) from 1956 onwards, in the longest-running advertising campaign in history, lasting until the late '90s. That was, until Moral Guardians stepped in complaining it was cruel.
- The other major "everyday" brand of British tea is Tetley. Who recently resurrected their "Tetley Tea Folk" advertising campaign, another good example (albeit in animated form).
- Snapple began making cold Earl Grey Tea and ran this commercial to connect their tea to Queen and Country "like it bloody well should be."
- There's a bingo advert that features the patron visiting the winners. Cue montage of doorbell->tea->doorbell->tea->...
- In Jaguar's 2014 Super Bowl commercial "British Rendezvous" (an extended Lampshade Hanging of Evil Brit), Tom Hiddleston says "We're more focused... more precise," while lifting a cup filled to the brim with tea as he's sitting in a flying helicopter with the door open.
Anime & Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Negi Springfield likes tea, being Welsh and everything. He likes it so much that he and Fate almost came to blows over how tea ought to be served, with Fate calling Negi "A Tasteless Englishman".
- Fate has a tea party. In the middle of a high-stakes battle. He warps reality so that Jack Rakan joins him. One minute Rakan is topless and punching, the next, he's holding a hot cuppa and wearing white formalwear.
- Evangeline is (probably) British, judging by her name and age, she's almost certainly Scottish and from the era before Scotland came under English dominion, and Scotland is technically in Britain, and one of two members of the Tea Ceremony Society (the other being Chachamaru.) By her clan name Evangeline would be a Scot from the area now known as Dumfries, interestingly she would also have been born well before the popularising of tea.
- Thanks to Mugi's splendid tea set (a present from the Royal Family of Finland) and her family's near endless surplus of cakes from friends and well wishers, the Afternoon Teatime school-band of K-On! binds their friendship through a spot of afternoon tea before and after practice.
- Lindy Harlaown of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha loves her tea, and has the quirk of drinking her Japanese green tea British style (adding two lumps of sugar and milk to it). According to Fanon, she picked up the habit from Gil Graham (who was born in England).
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, tea is one the very few foodstuffs that England doesn't screw up.
- Strike Witches:
- Subverted by the Britannian Beurling, who prefers coffee to tea because of its stronger taste.
- Played straight by Britannian Lynette Bishop, who offers tea almost every other episode, usually before they're about to go on a sortie.
- While she is not a Brit, Mint Aizawa of Tokyo Mew Mew is fond of her tea. In fact she is so fond of it that she drinks it at the same time every day. Also fitting in with her massive wealth and personality, even after she joins the team and shows up to work early every day (or so she says) the only thing she's ever seen doing is DRINKING TEA! IN THE WORKPLACE! WHERE SHE SHOULD BE WORKING!
- In Tenchi Muyo! it's stated that Tenchi prefers tea over coffee. In Tenchi in Tokyo he's often seen drinking tea when his classmates order coffee.
- In the Read or Die OVA, the preparations for the British Library's "Operation Exterminate All I-Jin" cannot be complete untill The Joker and his staff have been brought their tea. He and Gentleman are frequently seen drinking it throughout the series.
- In Kurogane Pukapuka Tai, the first thing we see of the HMS Cutlass is a cup of tea; on the next page, the characters of Captain Ann and Commander Mary are established through their tea-drinking. Captain Ann grasps her teacup firmly in her fist, showing her earthy, aggressive nature, while prissy, ladylike Commander Mary grasps her cup daintily in her fingertips, pinky finger raised high. And then tea spills, nakedness ensues, and sex follows — it's That Kind Of Series.
- Black Butler is set in England, so you expect it. Unfortunately, Ciel's love of sweet demands that his butler stave off a diabetic coma in some cases, with tea. EVERY MEAL has tea. Even when his host, his family, and Sebastian were drinking wine, guess what Ciel was drinking?
- On the other hand, he's 13, so him not partaking in the wine drinking makes somewhat sense (in the 1800 they were not that strict with kids having a sip). It actually gives a nice characterization of Ciel; he knows his boundaries as a child (no wine) but he is more mature than his 13 years... also he's very conscious and proud of his status as nobleman and head of his family, speaking of a good chunk of traditionalism, thus him drinking tea (instead of some sweet juice) when others drink wine makes suddenly a lot sense.
- Pandora Hearts is... Europeanish. Sharon and Break are often seen having tea and sweets. Sharon, in particular, is often shown drinking tea. Break is eating the sweets. Everyone's sweets.
- In Bleach, when Ichigo and his friends break into Hueco Mundo, Aizen says to the Espada:
"Good morning. We are under attack, but first... we will make some tea."
- This has reached memetic levels. In the anime, Ulquiorra sits down and drinks tea. Ichigo has just finished assisting the plot of a filler arc, and is told he is too quick to restart the battle. In hardly any time at all, tea time has ended, and Ulquiorra tells Ichigo that he is too slow.
- In Death Note, L's tea habit and frequently elaborate tea sets make a lot more sense when you realise that, regardless of his real nationality, the extent of his time at Wammy's House or the number of years he really lived in England, he's been kept by the definitely-English Watari since he was very small.
- In Monster, Reichwein - conscious that Roberto is about to kill him - offers him tea and begins boiling water. The tea never ends up being made, but the boiling water on Roberto's face is a bonafide Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Shows up among all the Food Porn in Gankutsuou from time to time.
- Every episode in Victorian Romance Emma features the main character (she's a maid) making tea or people sitting down to have tea.
- Rozen Maiden: Each and every episode Shinku demands that Jun make her tea. She does this so often that she is referred to as "Tea Bitch" by 4chan.
- When the embodiment of the Gate to Heaven (looking like a early-teens girl) showed up in Ah! My Goddess!, she asked to try tea. Unfortunately, she'd heard about adding milk and sugar but not that it wasn't appropriate with Japanese green tea. Her facial expression on tasting it ranks among the funniest in the series.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, both the Ushiromiya family and the witches really like their tea, and the things that happen in the 'tea party' segment of each Episode are often very important to the plot.
- Averted in Hellsing. Despite the painstakingly detailed British setting there isn't a cup of tea to be seen - even in a scene taking place at a cafe the characters don't drink or eat a thing.
- Excel Saga: In the anime Pedro and Gomez sustain a round of quips while drinking tea, until Iz-chan admonishes them to begin actually fighting.
- Puella Magi Oriko Magica: A witch appears at Oriko's house. What does she do? Make tea while Kirika fights it.
- The St. Gloriana Girls Academy in Girls und Panzer who run on British tanks (one Churchill and four Matilda II). The girls are all named after different tea brands, and they never lose their style, wearing immaculate red uniforms and drinking tea on fine porcelain crockery in the midst of the combat. They give tea sets as gifts for teams deemed as Worthy Opponent.
- It is Word of God in One Piece that is Brook was from the real world, he would be from England, and he drinks tea a lot of time.
- British EVA-Pilot Mari Makinami enjoys her tea enough to have bottles of it lying around in EVA 08's Entry Plug. This being Mari, she is seen taking a sip of it during Fourth Impact.
- In GJ-bu, English tea is always served in the clubroom, courtesy of Megumi.
- Teleconference-esque meetings amongst the Fleet of Fog (especially with Kongou) in Arpeggio of Blue Steel are held in a white virtual room, complete with an elegant garden table and cups of tea. Possibly a subversion since nobody on the fleet (save for those who interacted with humans before or defected) had actually tasted real tea, a fact that Kongou mentioned in the anime adaptation.
- Attack on Titan is set in a nation that is heavily Germanic, and tea is a prized commodity outside the wealthy districts of Wall Sina. Levi is shown to be fond of it, and actually lists access to the rationed tea supplies as one of his terms while making An Offer You Can't Refuse to a merchant. Sasha immediately praises his wisdom, stating this is a fantastic demand.
- Cinque from Dog Days is half-British and is shown enjoying some tea in the manga.
Millhiore: I want to try Earth's tea someday.
Cinque: I'm sorry, even if we British love tea, I didn't bring some.
- Gowasu, Top God of Universe 10 in Dragon Ball Super, loves tea like an addiction. In his introductory scene, he describes how the quality of tea indicates the moral purity of the one making it, and his assistant, Zamasu's main job seems to involve making it for him. In fact, in literally every appearance he is either drinking tea, preparing to drink tea, or has just finished his tea and is thinking about getting more.
- Astérix In Britain reveals that tea was actually brought to the British Isles in 50 BC, by Asterix. Before that, the Britons are shown interrupting their battles to take their customary mid-afternoon hot water break (with milk and sugar). Asterix used tea as Bottled Heroic Resolve when he couldn't supply the Britons with genuine magic potion, and Chief Mykingdomforanos had it declared the national drink.
- The Affably Evil Devil in Shade, the Changing Man always drinking tea while smoking his pipe, and offered Shade some (with no other consequence.) After their deal went sour and Shade removed the source of his power, Shade punished him by banishing him to part of the Area of Madness where they only drank strong black coffee.
- During the Cobra Civil War in the Marvel G.I. Joe comics, Destro's Iron Grenadiers arrived on Cobra Island, took over the airfield... and promptly broke for lunch and tea. They actually stayed out of the conflict until the end, as all Destro wanted was the Baroness.
- One arc of Prince Valiant has a Feudal Overlord trying to cultivate tea on his lands, in Northern Europe, in the Middle Ages. Much to the detriment of his peasants whom Valiant and co. decide to help.
- Digby in Dan Dare is notably fond of tea. In Project Nimbus he is particularly disappointed by a new star drive which means that interstellar journeys will now be over before he's had time to make any.
- In Athena Voltaire and the Brotherhood of Shambalha, Desmond Forsyth, a British secret agent, is surprised to find a fine cup of tea in Tibet, and asks his host whether he was an Englishman in a previous life.
- In Winter War, an obsession with tea is one of the few things that Aizen shares with La Résistance against him. The latter always serve it at their meetings, and Isane even takes the time before a battle to brew one last pot of tea. While in Karakura on the Resistance's business, Lt. Hinamori also makes a point of getting some Earl Grey tea for Lt. Sasakibe, since it's his favorite and he hasn't been able to get any for some time because of the war.
- In Ah! Archfall!, Jago is not only British but likes tea enough to have a bivie (a giant kettle otherwise found in British tanks) fitted to his Unimog.
- In Mega Man Reawakened, Wily enjoys drinking tea, as does Glyde.
- In Tealove's Steamy Adventure, Tealove (true to her name) takes tea very seriously. She kicks off the entire plot by suggesting Pinkie Pie drink a specific blend of tea to feel better. At several points in her quest, she responds to stress by brewing a pot. It becomes a Rant-Inducing Slight when someone serves her bad tea. And in the final fight, she uses tea as a weapon.
- Defied in Project Bluefield with Original Character Vespyr, who really hates tea.
Films — Animated
- In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs the world suffers a worldwide food storm, giant sandwiches fall in Paris, doughnuts and hot dog mustard falls in New York; and London gets a rain of hot tea. The Londoners start to run around with cups held to the air collecting it, even if they do sound and look as afraid as everyone else.
- In Disney's The Sword in the Stone, Merlin offers Wart (Arthur) a cup of tea, complete with magically animated sugar bowl. (It's just one of many anachronisms in the movie; not to worry.)
Films — Live-Action
- A pretty grim example in 10 Rillington Place. John Christie, who masquerades as a Back-Alley Doctor but who is really a Serial Killer, always offers a spot of tea to the women who come to him, to put them at ease.
- Despite the title, the anthology film Coffee and Cigarettes has Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina (fail to) bond over a pot of tea.
- A Bridge Too Far (based on Real Life anecdotes from the Arnhem landings):
Major Cook: We busted our asses to get you across that bridge. And now you're just going to sit here and...drink tea?
- Major General Urquhart and Corporal Hancock's dialogue:
Corporal Hancock: Sir.[Offers mug of tea]Major General Urquhart: Hancock. I've got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven't arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?Corporal Hancock: Couldn't hurt, sir.[Urquhart accepts his mug of tea]
- Subverted when it's used to show the Culture Clash between the gung-ho Americans and the restrained British. Major Cook's paratroopers take the Nijmegen bridge against impossible odds, only to find the British tanks aren't pushing on because their infantry support is held up.
- Major General Urquhart and Corporal Hancock's dialogue:
- In Dog Soldiers, after the soldiers have barricaded themselves into the farmhouse and fought off the pack of werewolves (for now), Coop orders one of the lads to put the kettle on. "We could all do with a brew."
- In How I Won The War a British patrol crossing the North African desert stops for a brew-up. Their foppish lieutenant starts talking about how incredible it is that sand always ends up in one's cup — and the camera pans down the line of soldiers, each of whom dump another spoonful of sand into the lieutenant's cup before handing it to him.
- In The Queen, Prime Minister Tony Blair calls Her Majesty away from afternoon tea to serve her a hot dose of reality about the public's reaction to the death of Princess Diana. Prince Philip proceeds to flip out at the impertinence.
"Bloody fool! And now your tea's gone cold!"
- In Time After Time, H.G. Wells time-travels to modern-day America. He eats at a McDonald's, parroting the incomprehensible order of the guy in front of him until, to his surprise and relief, he sees tea on the menu board.
- Mary Poppins has the famous scene where Mary, Burt, Uncle Albert, and the children have a tea party on the ceiling. It came about because Mary was annoyed Uncle Albert's contagious laughing disease might make them miss tea time, and thus just made the tea set and table float. You can't stop these people from enjoying tea!
- In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Eddie fortifies himself with a cuppa before the big heist.
Eddie: The entire British Empire was built on cups of tea, and if you think I'm going to war without one you're mistaken!
- In Snatch., villain Brick Top is an avid tea drinker, and frequently has cups delivered to him. When Turkish asks if he wants sugar, Brick Top quips, "No thanks, Turkish. I'm sweet enough!"
- In Shaun of the Dead, Shaun and Ed's perfectly understandable reaction to encountering (and killing) zombies in their garden for the first time is to have a bit of a sit down and a cup of tea.
- In Ice Cold in Alex the Mole is discovered due to their inability to make tea in the desert.
- Carry On Cleo contains this line:
Mark Antony: You know I just don't get these Britons; every time we get a good punch up going, someone behind the line yells "Tea's up!" and they all disappear!
- In The Fellowship of the Ring, the hobbits (being essentially British everymen) drink tea when they can get away with it. E.g. Bilbo offers Gandalf tea at his home, and brews it while they're catching up on news.
- Notting Hill has tea as The All-Solving Hammer and Your Answer to Everything. "Have a cup of tea!" — "I don't want a goddamn cup of tea."
- Near the end of the film The Others, Ms Mills offers Grace a cup of tea after Grace has just realized that she murdered her own children and that the three of them are now ghosts. But tea will make her feel better!
- In Cradle Of Fear, Melissa spends the day seeing demonic faces all over the streets. She visits her friend Nikki, and explains the story, who then offers her a cup of tea to calm down.
NSFW AT ALL, scene at 5:50 (seriously, clip starts with nudity)
- The stokers and engineers on the Titanic in A Night to Remember are seen drinking one last cup of tea as they find out they need to remain below decks and help isn't coming.
- Deconstructed in An Ungentlemanly Act (1992). Three Royal Marines take up position in the yard of a house in Port Stanley. They can hear the rumble of approaching Argentinian APC's. A woman comes out in her nightgown.
"Do you boys want a cup of tea?""Get down you silly bitch! Can't you see there's an invasion on?!"
- In Murder!, a woman is sitting on her couch in a state of near-catatonia, with the corpse of a murder victim lying in front of her on a rug. The landlady decides to fix her a cup of tea, of course. The cops take the woman away, reassuring the landlady that the woman will get tea at the police station.
- Around the World in 80 Days, while Inspector Fix is discussing the Bank of England robbery with a consulate official when the man insists on stopping for tea time, Inspector Fix says that they are involved in an emergency but the other man insists that is no excuse for skipping tea.
- Averted in the Harry Palmer films starring Michael Caine; in The Ipcress File, Harry starts his day with fresh-ground coffee beans run through a French press.
- A Nice Cup Of Tea by George Orwell, as mentioned in the article. He also mentions some Serious Business debates popular in England; tea in bag, in a sieve, or freely floating in the tea? Milk in tea or tea in milk? Sugar or no sugar?
- In Johannes Cabal and its sequels, tea is drunk quite a bit, as Cabal is English and not much for alcohol. In the fourth book he is nursed back to health with soup and beef tea.
- Douglas Adams rather liked tea.
- A Running Gag through all incarnations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is Arthur's inability to get anything resembling tea anywhere in the galaxy, no matter how carefully he describes it to the ship's onboard computer, getting something "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea".
- Adams wrote instructions to Americans on how to make a proper pot of tea (explaining that most of the reason Americans don't like it is that they've never had decent stuff), and these appear in The Salmon Of Doubt.
- It's even a plot point in the film. After pining for tea for an entire adventure, he's treated to a massive smorgasbord by the interdimensional mice, and has eyes only for the cup of tea. The food turns out to be heavily drugged, but if there was anything in the tea it isn't strong enough to put Arthur out of action.
- The Infinite Improbability Drive was created with a cup of tea.
- Arthur did get a pot of "the best tea he'd ever tasted" in a silver teapot with a cup of fine bone china after he took quite some time telling the computer about what exactly he wanted, courtesy of Zaphod Beeblebrox IV. Unfortunately, the actual request put the computer offline for some time, just as a Vogon ship came passing by. The rest of the crew of the Heart of Gold were not amused and Ford sarcastically joked about whether Arthur was "dying" for a cup of tea.
- The video game continues the joke. Throughout the whole game, you have an item in your inventory called "no tea".
- It comes up a bit in the Harry Potter series. The trio usually have tea when they visit Hagrid. Dumbledore's drink of choice, however, seems to be hot chocolate. The trio drink tea more and more as they get older (when they're kids they drink pumpkin juice), and Professor Umbridge even attempts to feed Harry truth serum using tea. Harry winces at how much sugar Umbridge puts in her tea. Dudley at one point leaves a cup of tea for Harry as a peace offering. Harry and Cho go to a tea house on their first (only) date. Ron mentions that his mother offers to make tea when someone's upset. (She is shown later serving tea to an unhappy Tonks.) When it looks like Mrs. Weasley is about to become very angry, Harry suggests to his friends that maybe they should go out for tea.
- Tea is drunk relatively frequently in Mix Beer With Liquor And You Will Get Sicker. Most significantly when Lauchlan starts losing control of his emotions, the first thing Corbin does is to go and make him a strong cup of tea. Lauchlan still has his breakdown, but the tea is much appreciated.
- Very frequently used in the Aunt Dimity series. Despite being born and raised in Chicago, Lori is a firm believer in the restorative effects of tea. Thanks to this and the general setting, tea consumption is quite high in the series.
- In Neverwhere, "The first part of the Ordeal of the Key is the nice cup of tea." It's said that if you knew what the Ordeals consisted of, you'd want a good cup of tea inside you before facing them. When Richard emerges, he asks for the tea.
- Neil Gaiman wrote an entry about making good cups of tea.
- In Johnny and the Bomb There Are No Therapists for bombing survivors, but there is tea.
- The most high-profile subversion of "the British drink tea" is James Bond, who (in the books) repeatedly states that he dislikes tea and prefers Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee (a high-quality coffee that he drinks when martinis are not available). He has mentioned that he favors Yin Hao (the highest traditional grade of Jasmine Tea which fits his character of preferring the finer things in life).
- Ciaphas Cain:
- As a habit picked up from the Valhallans, Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) has developed a strong taste for tanna tea (chifir, Russian prison tea), and is often seen drinking it during meetings and when in his quarters. It is no surprise that the people recognize this habit of his and therefore bring tanna tea to meetings just because of this.
- Valhallans themselves surely count as well, being space Russians. In Death or Glory, the first Imperial Guard unit that managed to join with the Liberator was Valhallans. Cain's guess that they should have some flasks with tanna was proven correct. And the latest book casually mentions that "samovar in the corner is a common modification for Valhallan vehicles".
- It isn't Camellia sinensis, but in C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner series the alien atevi drink a lot of different herbal infusions. Unfortunately, most varieties contain toxins which are fatal to humans.
- In the Liaden Universe, Liadens usually drink tea, while Terrans prefer coffee.
- In Interesting Times with the Agatean (Fantasy Counterpart Culture of China and Japan) tea ceremony — "it takes three hours, but you can't hurry a good cuppa". Towards the end of the book, Cohen suggests a quicker and more British ceremony. "It goes 'Tea up, luv. Milk? Sugar? Doughnut? Want another one?'" 
- There's a great exchange in Carpe Jugulum where Granny Weatherwax, having just been bitten by vampires, is tied to a bed and severely feverish. Hodgesaargh the falconer's optimistic response: "Best to face her with a cup of tea inside you, then." (He then uses Granny's fever to boil the tea.) A cup of tea is instrumental in defeating the book's vampires.
- Tea is a fundamental part of witch culture, with the roles of The Hecate Sisters being defined by it: the Maiden makes the tea, the Mother pours it (as in the British phrase "I'll be mother") and the Other One drinks it.
- In Unseen Academicals, Juliet is apparently not very good at making tea (or at most housework in general, except standing around and looking pretty). "The tea was a brown color characteristic of tea, and usually the only tea-like characteristic of tea made by Juliet."
- The Ankh-Morpork City Watch apparently favor a brew akin to British "builder's tea" (strong, cheap and in large quantities), and Sam is horrified when his wife, Lady Sybil, ignorantly but well-meaningly cleans out years of built-up residue from the Watch-house tea urn — apparently an act of sacrilege. The subtleties of that are probably not apparent to a non-British readership. According to stereotype, the upper class version of tea is a fairly insipid, pale brew made in a silver teapot which is kept scrupulously clean, whereas lower-class tea is a powerful, strongly-flavoured, strongly-coloured drink with hair on its chest, made in a pot which is never, ever cleaned out (used tea leaves are rinsed out, but that is all) and contains years' worth of encrusted tannin deposits, which are left in there on purpose because it makes the tea taste better than a shiny clean pot. The debate over whether one should maintain the pot in a pristine or an encrusted state is another British tea-drinking controversy. (Proponents of the latter will sometimes say you should be able to get a reasonable brew without adding tea leaves at all.)
- Comes up in Monstrous Regiment, which is set in Borogravia, a country ruled by a now dead duchess, who has some aspects which mirror Queen Victoria, and the army dresses in uniforms very much like British Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
- In Thief of Time one of the things Lu-Tze learned when he left Enlightenment Country (Fantasy Counterpart Culture Tibet) to discover the ways of Ankh-Morpork (i.e. the West) is that he much prefers his tea without yak butter in it.
- In Good Omens, Mr. Young, a quintessential mild-mannered middle-class Brit, is offered coffee by a nurse who has mistaken him for the American cultural attache. When he insists on tea instead, the nurse is impressed by the extent to which Mr. Young has "gone native."
- Space Captain Smith and his crew are often found drinking tea. The second novel, God Emperor of Didcot elevates tea to Spice of Life status, being what gives the British Space Empire an edge over its enemies by improving moral fibre.
- Although he's Irish instead of British (close enough), Artemis Fowl likes his Earl Grey tea. And he's twelve when the series starts.
- Tea is common in Derek Robinson's novels, only fitting since they're about British fighter pilots. What else would they drink? Besides gallons of Guinness. Tea is drunk before and after patrols and air battles, and the commandos crossing the Sahara also stop for tea whenever they have to.
- In one memorable scene, a Jerk Ass pilot gets a spot of tea thrown in his face. "Can't he take a joke?"
- Once a man leaves a bomb shelter in the middle of an air raid for his regular cup of mid-morning coffee.
- The pilots of the instant-response nuclear deterrent jets in Hullo Russia Goodbye England joke that if the Russians were gentlemen, they wouldn't launch their nukes whilst the British were having tea, they'd let us finish the cup first. The nuclear pilots know that they'd be going on a one-way suicide mission. But the in-flight rations served to the Vulcan bomber crews on every flight always include several Thermoses of hot tea.
- Judge Dee downs gallons of tea in the course of his cases. In fact he hits the teapot the way Sam Spade hits the bottle. This being Imperial China everybody else is equally addicted (except for his faithful Lieutenants Ma Joon and Chiao Tai who prefer 'the amber liquid', i.e. wine). A cuppa is even offered to witnesses and criminals in court, to revive them after a round of beating or being overpowered by emotion.
- In Poets and Murders the Judge goes to the tea cozy in his room for a cuppa only to find the pot empty. He then goes off on a round of visits expecting his hosts to offer him a cup of tea but they don't. By the time the Judge reaches his colleague Magistrate Lo's office he is desperate and rapidly downs two cups in quick succession.
- Jeeves and Wooster:
- Bertie Wooster can get pretty cranky if deprived of his tea, which he refers to as "the life-saving" or "the vital oolong".
- The stereotype gets lampshaded in the story "The Aunt and the Sluggard" when Bertie, who's staying in New York, serves tea to his friend's visiting aunt. She's disgusted by it and can't comprehend his enthusiasm: "I don't understand a word you say. You're English, aren't you?"
- Bravo Two Zero: Stuck behind enemy lines with no working radio with what looks like half the Iraqi army after you, in a freak snowstorm so cold Diesel starts to freeze, and you can’t possibly risk giving away your positions with a fire? Sod it: stick a brew on before you freeze to death.
- Tea is quite important for Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings. Since Sam is a lower-class hobbit, it is probable that he is referring to high tea rather than the traditionally upper-class afternoon tea:
"It isn't time yet. It can't be tea-time even, leastways not in decent places where there is tea-time." Sam in The Return of the King.
- In The Hobbit, Bilbo offers his unexpected dwarf guests tea, only to find that they'd rather drink up all his wine instead.
- Important to the good creatures of Redwall, particularly the Big Eater hares. Technically it's peppermint tea, since they're in Medieval Stasis, but it's close enough. Basil Stag Hare actually disappears shortly before an important skirmish to set the tea brewing for when the captives are rescued, much to Matthias' annoyance. It could be real tea anyway; the Redwallers have been seen to use potatoes, sugar, nutmeg, and a few other things that aren't native to medieval Europe.
- Subverted in the Aubrey-Maturin series. Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin are both inveterate coffee drinkers, and Maturin goes so far as to describe tea as "that insipid wash". Given that the only tea they would have had at sea would have been already soggy, salty, Royal Navy issue leaves, then they were probably right. Coffee beans last longer, and the Royal Navy could also make a substitute by burning bread and then pouring hot water on the ash.
- Alice in Wonderland has the infamous Mad Tea Party chapter, which is about Mad Tea Party and Alice gets unsettled... again.
- Amelia Peabody, being a British archeologist in turn-of-the-century Egypt, quite frequently discusses the plot with other characters while passing out "the genial beverage," as she often call tea (though sometimes, after tense moments, "the genial beverage" is whiskey and soda).
- The very colonial Eugene in Purple Hibiscus drinks tea from a china tea set every day.
- In Robert Westall's Sci-fi novel Futuretrack Five, making a perfect cup of tea from a bone china set without spilling a single tea leaf is part of the testing process for a senior position in the Technician career path.
- In Katherine Mansfield's short story "A Cup of Tea," well-to-do housewife Rosemary, out to prove that she is not selfish or superficial, brings home a young woman in distressed circumstances, vowing to do more than just give her the requested title beverage, but transform her life. When Rosemary's husband returns home and notes that the girl is 'rather pretty', said young lady is quickly dispatched with a little money, and equilibrium seems to be restored.
- Mma Ramotswe of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency loves redbush tea (rooibos). Her assistant Mma Makutse prefers regular tea, which causes a lot of unnecessary angst until people are frank about their preferences, after which we always have two different teapots going.
- A one-off joke in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has the narrator mention an officer in Wellington's army teaching some recently recruited Native Americans to drink tea, and remarks that he was apparently under the impression that once one learned to take tea properly, all other customs of Britishness would come naturally.
- Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Elves like their tea. The older generation likes it bland to the point it's hard to find any kind of flavoring in their capital. Briza's generation likes it sweeter. In any case, a guest must accept the tea as it is brewed or give great offense.
- In Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks novels, the detectives are nearly always offered a cup of tea when they go to someone's house to interview them. On one occasion, Annie Cabbot is offered tea by a shop owner and she thinks to herself that if accepting free cups of tea counted as corruption, every police officer in England would be up on charges.
- In the Phryne Fisher novels, Mr Butler regards a cup of tea as the panacea for every female problem.
- In 1066 and All That, the Boston Tea Party is started by George III as an attempt to force Americans to observe the English custom of afternoon tea.
- Tea is the standard drink of choice in The Wheel of Time for all cultures on the main continent. The Seanchan, by contrast, prefer Kaf.
- Liz Pennykettle from The Last Dragon Chronicles.
- Tea is Serious Business for the Elves of The Obsidian Trilogy. There is a different brew for every season and occasion, and the art of tea-making is considered essential for a warrior to know. Every Elf the protagonist Kellen Knight-Mage meets is disappointed that the great hero has not had time to learn it.
- Mary Higgins Clark's recurring character Alvirah Meehan (cleaning woman turned millionaire lottery winner/amateur sleuth/crime reporter) will always make herself a cup of tea when she wants to either relax or sit down and figure out a solution to a difficult problem. And if anyone around her is sick, hurt, or upset in any way, and she wants to help, her first step is always to give them a cup of tea.
- Due to being set in London, this trope appears in Lockwood & Co.. The three main characters have tea before their investigations, or sometimes during, while they wait.
- In Ancillary Justice, the Radchaai have tea as their drink of choice, and are seen to complain about places outside the empire that don't have tea or have a different drink of the same name. In the sequel, a significant part of the plot involves a tea growing family and their plantation on Athoek.
[Tea] wasn't really a luxury. Not by Seivarden's standards, anyway. Likely not by any Radchaai's standards.
- As goes Doctor Who below, so goes the Expanded Universe:
- In one of the Eighth Doctor Adventures, there's a part where the TARDIS has been lost and the Doctor's companion Fitz is reminiscing about how they used to drink tea together when they did have the TARDIS. He goes on at quite some length about their little rituals and favorite types of tea.
- In one novel, a planetoid has just been invaded by the Fifth Axis. The aliens are being deported or put in concentration camps. Some of the good guys seemed to have turned traitor. The main character's half-alien son is in hiding, and the planetoid's omniscient chess master, Braxiatel, is unable to figure out how this happened. So this conversation happens between them:
"Bernice," he said. "This can't be happening."
"No," she shook her head. "It's not."
"In that case," he said, gesturing to two armchairs. "Let's have tea."
- Young Wizards: When Nita goes to Ireland in A Wizard Abroad she's astounded by the amount of tea her aunt, friends and guests drink; after that book she becomes something of a tea person herself. (Ireland spent several centuries under British rule and now drink more tea per capita than even the Brits do.)
- A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, director of The British Museum. Object number 92 is an "Early Victorian Tea Set." Getting the tea from the Far East and the sugar from the Caribbean required international trade networks, imperialism in the East and slavery in the Caribbean (Britain abolished slavery in the 1830s, but slave sugar was cheaper, and Cuba had slavery until the 1880s). That refreshing drink had a lot going on behind it.
Live Action TV
- Coronation Street: One of the most common phrases uttered on the show (other than "a pint of bitter please") is "I'll make tea then". It's practically Eileen Grimshaw's catchphrase.
- EastEnders. It's often offered when someone visits, when a character enters the kitchen in the morning, when someone's upset, when someone dies, when they're depressed... All the time.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Captain Jean-Luc Picard likes his "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot". A strange choice considering he's French. But he is played by the second most British actor in the world: Patrick Stewart. Funnily enough, in the finale he gets called out on his ordering style by Data's British maid. "Well of course it's hot! What do you want in it?" The maid, unlike a replicator, does not need to be told what temperature to properly serve tea at, thank you very much.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
"White Rose Redi-Tea. What an appalling concept.""Well I'm sure H. G. Wells would have liked it.""I doubt it. No self-respecting Englishman would."
- English doctor Julian Bashir seems to be rather fond of the stuff, which he likes to have with scones and jam for breakfast. He also frequently orders Tarkalean tea from the Replimat. Unlike TNG, however, most characters drink a Klingon coffee drink called a raktajino.
- In "Far Beyond the Stars" Julian is a science fiction writer in The '50s, and is unimpressed when (recently invented) iced tea powder is demonstrated for him.
- In one episode, the Cardassian resident Garak had the audacity to criticize Earl Grey tea, saying "I'd like to meet that fellow Earl Grey and tell him a thing or two about tea leaves." Cardassians seem to prefer red leaf tea and Cardassian characters are seen drinking it in different episodes.
- In the episode "Proving Ground" from Star Trek: Enterprise Trip lampshades it when Malcolm orders black coffee instead.
Trip: No tea?
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Giles is fairly fond of tea, but has been known to violate people's expectations and drink coffee instead. Xander accuses him of destroying a perfectly good stereotype. "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." Highlighting Giles drinking coffee is an in-joke. Before Tony Head played Giles, he was widely recognised in Britain as "The guy from the Gold Blend coffee adverts." He also appeared in America in ads for Taster's Choice instant coffee.
- Spike, also British, still manages to mock Giles about tea after a vicious fight with vampires: "Oh, poor Watcher, did your life flash before your eyes? Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea?"
Cordelia: "I thought you were gonna be a man and talk to him about this!"
- Wesley also likes his tea:
Wesley: "I was a man! I said... things."
Cordelia: "Like what?"
Wesley: "Like... did he prefer milk or sugar in his tea. (Pause) It's how men talk about things in England."
- Wesley: "You know, there's something about brewed tea you simply cannot replicate with a bag."
- Anthony is forever being asked to "make a brew" in The Royle Family.
- In an episode of Mash, Hawkeye gets upset that the British give their wounded tea...even when they have abdominal wounds, as this increases the chances of infection and death. Upon finding out, the British officer promises to stop the custom in his unit, though he adds that he would have had an easier time revoking anything other than the tea ration.
- On Merlin, Merlin and Gaius drink tea, which many claimed was an anachronism; however, the word 'tea' can be applied to infusions which aren't made with tea leaves, so it's best to assume that what they're drinking is made with some other herb. Arguably acceptable as a Translation Convention, but for the record there is an English word (tisane) that more properly means "herbal infusion beverage of any source".
- Doctor Who:
Turlough: I quite miss that brown liquid they drink here.
- Jackie decides that hiding in the TARDIS from the current alien invasion is an excellent time and place for a "nice cup of tea", prompting Rose to mutter sarcastically about tea being "the solution to everything".
- The Doctor is revived from his post-regeneration coma by the smell of spilled tea. Or possibly, the tea was being evaporated against a piece of hot metal in the TARDIS, and was being breathed into his lungs.
- When the Doctor was U.N.I.T.'s scientific advisor, no one at was allowed in his personal laboratory unescorted except for the Brigadier's personal staff... and the tea lady.
- in "The Time Monster" The Doctor manages to jam The Master's evil invention (called TOMTIT) with a machine made from a variety of objects including a cup of hot tea that uses Brownian Motion as a random number generator.
- In "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", Professor Litefoot attempts to example the complex Victorian/Edwardian rules of etiquette surrounding tea drinking to Leela, who gets terribly confused.
- Tea also gets an end-of-story thumbs-up from the 5th Doctor in "The Awakening".
Turlough: No, tea.
Will: What be tea?
The Doctor: Oh, a noxious infusion of Oriental leaves containing a high percentage of toxic acid.
Will: Sounds an evil brew, don't it?
The Doctor: True. [Beat] Personally, I rather like it.
Dalek: WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA?! (Doctor promptly begins to beat it around the head dome) YOU DO NOT CARE FOR TEA.
- The British Army has a force of Daleks in World War II, and what use do they find for them? Serve the tea, of course (Alright, and to use as an unstoppable superweapon, which is almost as useful).
The Doctor: There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace — we’ve got work to do!
- In "The Lodger", the Doctor proceeds to cure Craig of an alien poison with tea. Kind of, anyway. There's tea in it, but nobody in their right mind would ever call it tea.
- Tea is mentioned in the final lines of the series' original run:
- In the opening shot of The TV Movie, Seven is stating his Opening Narration while enjoying some tea from a fine china cup.
- Rita jokes about it in "The God Complex", stating that the British deal with trauma by drinking tea and tutting.
- In the Season 34 arc, several deceased characters find themselves in what appears to be a peaceful heaven with an oddly dressed Mary Poppins Expy offering them a cup of tea and calming advice. The odd woman in the Mary Poppins getup is The Mistress and the "heaven" turns out to be a particularly twisted scheme to get her favorite frenemy's attention
- Father Ted is a rare television example of the Irish fondness for tea, Ireland being the country with the third highest per capita consumption (after the UK and Turkey). Mrs Doyle has the famous catchphrase 'will you have a cup of tea father', always insists (even to the point of threatening) that said person should have a cup, and almost has a breakdown when Ted buys her a tea making machine. That's not so much the tea itself as the making of the tea. Including but not limited to "sheep tea" (That is, tea made for sheep, not made from or using sheep) for the burping sheep who was living in the parish after being scared by stories of the Beast. Her desire to make tea is often quite alarming. Once, Father Ted politely declined another cup of tea and moved his hand over the top of the cup, and she proceeded to pour fresh hot tea into it anyway. She stays up all night every night at the bottom of the stairs in case anyone happens to wake up and want tea.
Mrs Doyle: And what would you say to a cup, Father?
- In one episode, a decorator comes to the house and Mrs Doyle offers him tea. The decorator says that he is highly allergic to tea and if he drinks it, there is a 70% chance he will die. She tells him she'll make him a cup anyway "just in case [he] change[s his] mind".
- Another episode sees seedy inebriate Father Jack replaced by an obnoxious young priest with a fondness for EXTREMELY LOUD DANCE MUSIC. Undeterred by her inability to be heard over the racket, Mrs Doyle shows up to offer him tea armed with a set of flash cards.
- Father Jack himself is not fond of tea:
Jack: FECK OFF, CUP!
- Adelle DeWitt on Dollhouse, although she tends to drink green tea. She's also just as if not more partial to vodka.
- The UK car show Top Gear often shows its presenters making or having cups of tea, usually in bizarre situations for the sake of comedy. For example, when their amphibious car began to sink whilst they were in the middle of the English Channel, cut to a few minutes later, revealing James and Richard are now nonchalantly drinking tea whilst treading water.
May: Sorry, mate, the cup's just sank.
- James May, of Top Gear fame but co-presenting another show in which he joins Oz Clarke on a drinking holiday thinly disguised as a factual miniseries about wine in France, spends about 15 minutes of one episode looking for a British expat just to get his fix of a good cup of tea, and several minutes explaining exactly how to make it. Then in the followup series Drink To Britain, in which he and Oz search for the drink that stands for modern Britain, they conclude after a month of touring Britain and liberally sampling everything alcoholic it has to offer, that the drink is in fact... tea. He also spent a good bit of time arguing with the crew of James May's Man Lab about whether the milk should be added before or after the tea.
- Magnus of Sanctuary refuses to drink coffee, it's how she solves one of their cases.
Magnus: I have standards, Will, and drinking coffee? Far below them.
- The Prisoner demonstrates the proper way to make tea as an excuse to empty his drugged cup, and to pull a switcheroo on the Village operative trying to drug him.
- In several of the early episodes Number Two or one of his minions offers tea to Number Six in an interrogation scene. "How many sugars do you take?" is one of the questions they want answered, as a running theme. It is possible that Irish American actor Patrick McGoohan was having a joke at the expense of the British and their Civil Service.
- Dead Like Me has a scene where British expat Mason goes to great lengths to mooch off a dead old lady's tea while he's supposed to be reaping her soul.
- On Heroes Noah Bennet is trying to get information out of an English guy named Edgar. When he tries the Good Cop routine, he asks Edgar if he'd like some tea, then immediately remarks that, Edgar being English, there was really no need to ask.
- In Being Human, it is mentioned that Annie has an annoying habit of fixing tea purely out of habit - she can't drink it so cups of the stuff are just left sitting around, so George can never find any empty mugs when he needs them. She does make coffee and other drinks though.
- You know Bilis Manger from Torchwood is bad news from the way he can make even the offer of a "nice cup of tea" sound ominous.
- In The Young Ones, after Neil kills the kettle, Vyvyan comments "Looks like we're having raw tea again." and proceeds to eat a tea-bag.
- In Hogan's Heroes, one of the main characters, who is British, is drinking tea while the others are using a radio to contact a British submarine which is transferring the message to England. Both the captain of the submarine and the commander of the base in England were also drinking tea at the same time.
- In the pilot episode for The Rat Patrol, "The Chase of Fire Raid", Jack Moffitt, the British sergeant who has just been reassigned to the Rat Patrol, asks permission of the squad's American leader, Sgt. Sam Troy, to "brew up" tea for himself. Troy tells him to go ahead, and to shave off some of the TNT to start the fire with as it burns so hot. Moffitt says diffidently, "Great booster for the morale, tea—even under the most difficult circumstances," and offers to make a cup for Troy as sort of an olive branch to smooth over an earlier disagreement. Troy politely declines (in a tone that implies he can't stand the stuff, but he's not saying so).
- In the Frasier episode "Travels With Martin", the Cranes accidentally take the (British) Daphne into Canada, which since she hasn't got her Green Card yet means trouble. Martin asks if Daphne can pretend to be American at the border, which naturally she can't:
- In Spaced, Tim and Daisy are drinking tea having just moved into the flat. Daisy offers another cup: Tim responds, "Nah, twelve's my limit."
- Subverted in Keeping Up Appearances, where Hyacinth regularly invites her neighbours for a cup of coffee. Members of her sister's family prefer tea but they usually drink it from the old chipped mugs (much to Hyacinth's chagrin) and generally don't make much fuss about the way they prepare it.
Alan Davies: And it's talking to you.
- Stephen says that washing the teapot takes away the "character" of the flavor. David Mitchell, as always, pokes a hole in this by pointing out that most people only ever use their teapot once a month when they want to feel civilized and if they didn't wash it out, it would go disgustingly moldy.
David: At that point, I think the flavor you'd get would be, if anything. too characterful.
Sandi Toksvig: It's such a British notion, isn't it. I wonder how tall it is; let's make tea. ... We couldn't live in [the Mariana] Trench, you can't make tea!
- They again comment on this when they're discussing using the boiling point of water to determine your altitude:
- Almost every episode of Are You Being Served? had some sort of reference to tea— Tea breaks, putting the kettle on, tea at meetings, and a tea trolley at one point.
- Mentioned briefly by the Hitcher in The Mighty Boosh during his titular song, while listing off all things British/Cockney:
The Hitcher: Trapped in a box by a Cockney nutjob. Have a cup of tea, have a cup of tea! I'm the Hitcher!
- Sharpe: Richard Sharpe, in spite of being a ranker at heart, drinks more tea than liquor on-screen, and complains about his subordinates' inability to make a decent brew. Granted, this is the British army.
Harris: Come now, sir! Have some soup.Sharpe: Soup... if Harper were here, he'd have the tea ready, and he'd have my tent up...
- Dr. Wyatt in Bones is stereotyped as a tea-drinking Englishman.
- Tea makes several prominent appearances in Sherlock, although Sherlock does drink coffee in his first appearance. Like most Brits, John has a favourite mug, with the Royal Army Medical Corps logo on it. In the "The Blind Banker" episode, a client makes Chinese tea with hundred-year-old tea pots, and it becomes an important plot point that the antique pots have to be used regularly. In "A Scandal in Belgravia", John and Sherlock drink tea at Buckingham Palace with Mycroft and a client he is introducing to them. Mycroft is "mother", and Sherlock makes a joke about Mycroft's Self-Promotion To Parent. In "The Hounds of Baskerville", John sardonically suggests that he and Sherlock can arrive at a top-secret military base and be greeted with "Come on in, kettle's just boiled." In "The Reichenbach Fall", Moriarty and Sherlock drink tea while discussing crime and genius. Notably, this is the only time they're seen using "the best china" - getting it out of the cupboard is incredibly dramatic.
- A Running Gag in The Two Ronnies sketch "Tinker, Tailor, Smiley, Doyle" involves George Smiley's fondness for tea.
- Upstairs Downstairs has this more than a few times (it comes with the territory).
- Subverted in An Ungentlemanly Act. Two Royal Marines are watching Argentine troops advancing towards them through the streets of Port Stanley when an old lady comes out with a tea tray and asks if they'd like some. She's rudely informed that there's a bl—dy war on and to get under cover.
- In the prank-show Beadle's About, after a housewife discovered an alien spaceship in her garden with it's otherworldly occupant emerging out of it, her first thought was to ask if it wanted a cup of tea? When asked later why she asked that of all things, she replied that he'd clearly had a long trip and it was good manners to offer him a drink!
- In the Steptoe and Son episode "Wallah-Wallah Catsmeat", Harold has an epic rant about how a Heroic B.S.O.D. can't be solved with tea:
Harold: Oh, ain't it pathetic? Your faith in the healing powers of a cup of tea! That's your answer to everything, ain't it? A nice cup of tea. The Englishman's panacea! "Mother just died? Oh, what a shame! Have a cup of tea" "Just been run over? Never mind, have a cup of tea". I have been offered tea for disasters, funerals, operations, floods, war, Dunkirk, the Blitz, coronations, piles, hysteria, hunger marches and insomnia. Nice mug of tea in one hand and thumbs up for the camera with the other. Britain can take it! Well, they can have it. I'm sick and tired of being a cheerful, chirpy Cockney sparrow. I am as entitled to be as miserable and as depressed as anybody else. So you can stick your cup of tea right back down the spout!
- A British guest character on NCIS has a very low opinion of American tea, compared to what he's used to.
- In NCIS: Los Angeles, the team's boss Hetty Lange loves tea so much that when Callen and Sam wanted to do an op in Afghanistan, they convinced her to sign off on it by promising to bring back a bag of tea.
- In Murdoch Mysteries, set back when Canadians were still technically British, many of the characters are fond of tea. In one episode Detective Murdoch declares coffee will never catch on because it's no substitute for tea.
- In "The Curse Of Beaton Manor," Dr. Ogden gets annoyed with Murdoch for asking her a tough question before she's had her morning tea.
- The Supersizers Eat: In the World War II episode, Sue and Giles playing an English couple, have American soldiers visiting. The show mentions some real life advice Americans were given, for instance that they shouldn't complain about coffee, even though it really might be inferior due to war rations. And likewise, British people wouldn't be satisfied with tea made by Americans.
- Dirk Gently: the pilot episode features the camera regularly hovering over the cup of tea. Like everything else in the series, it becomes significant later on - a) Dirk missed an important clue because he dropped a biscuit into his cup and was busy fishing it out, and b) the old lady whose cat disappearing drove the plot claimed to have poisoned the tea of all the other characters so they'll run to the hospital and she can die in peace. In a later episode, after Dirk and Macduff have had a falling out, Dirk's first "gesture of forgiveness" is to accept Macduff's apology and demand he make the tea.
Macduff: Two things. One, I never apologised, and two...I'll make your tea, but only because I want one too.
- The kettle's never off for long no matter what new personal crisis might be erupting between the characters in Last Tango In Halifax.
- Ray Davies of The Kinks has written a few songs on the subject of tea and tea-drinking (but then, what else would you expect from the quintessentially British band?). Some include "Afternoon Tea" from Something Else by the Kinks and "Have a Cuppa Tea" from Muswell Hillbillies.
- One of songs by The Kings praising the drink, "Have A Cuppa Tea", has been covered by Great Big Sea.
- Paul McCartney has a song called "English Tea."
- Mitch Benn, on The Now Show, singing about the crew of an RAF aircraft who used a teapot in an improvised repair:
No, we never fly without our teapot.
It's the most important item in our kit.
And if we ever find we've left the bally thing behind,
Then we abort the job and fly right back for it.
- Emilie Autumn, an American musician, employs a lot of Victorian aspects into her image, tea being probably the most important part after the asylum chic. To wit; she has a song called ''Medicate With Tea'' about how she doesn't need drugs, she has tea, and also a cover of Queen's We Will Rock You called - you guessed it - ''Tea Will Rock You'' And it's fab.
- Mr Scruff. He doesn't sing about tea, but he loves it so much that, upset that there weren't any non-alcoholic options (bar soft drinks) at clubs and DJ sets for people who needed to drive or didn't want to drink, Mr Scruff started setting up a stall selling tea at his DJ sets. Now he has his own fair trade tea business, Make Us A Brew
- The classic Kula Shaker track, Drink Tea For The Love Of God.
- Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, being a chap-hop artist, is a great enthusiast for a spot of tea and a slice of cake. In a Crowning Moment of Awesome, one of his videos features Mr B getting kidnapped, only to persuade the mooks to let him go by sharing a cuppa.
- Fellow chap-hopper Professor Elemental:
- He has Cup of Brown Joy, in which he raps about his insane love of tea. "I'd sell my own grandmother for a cup. Well, I'd sell your grandmother."
- He has "Everything Stops For Tea", featuring the lyrics "Oh the soldiers may be fighting, in the Trenches or a Battleship at sea, but there isn't any war when the clock strikes four, everything stops for tea."
- Which is actually a chap-hop update of the same-titled 1935 song by fellow Brit Jack Buchanan, from the musical comedy film Come Out of the Pantry.
- In The Beatles song "It's All Too Much," George Harrison lightens up the psychedelic exploration theme with the line "Show me that I'm everywhere, / And get me home for tea."
- Sting, "Englishman In New York":
"I don't drink coffee I take tea my dear"
- The KLF's The Manual (which instructs the users on how to create a #1 charting single the easy way) includes dozens of references to tea. "Put a kettle on" is Rockman Rock and Kingboy D's default response to any situation where the reader has to wait for someone.
- "Right, Said Fred," a comedy song from the the 1960s sung by Bernard Cribbins, featured no fewer than six tea breaks.
Stand Up Comedy
- Peter Kay has a routine about the different dunking properties of biscuits, another about how "Wanna brew?" is invariably accompanied by a hand gesture, and a third about his dad attempting to smuggle tea along with other British products through Spanish customs.
- John Oliver has a bit about the Boston Tea Party, complaining about dumping so much tea into the water without first bringing the water to the proper temperature. He then claims that Americans owe the British one massive cup of tea in return.
- Tea making makes several appearances in the Austrian opera Die Fledermaus.
- Tea, its implications, and the snacks eaten with it are discussed in great detail in The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde's frothy comedy.
- In Johnny Johnson, Johnny uses tea to defuse a conflict between an English sergeant and an Irish-American soldier. The English soldiers then spontaneously burst out in a chorus praising "England and her tea."
- A persistent motif in the Mrs Hawking play series. Mrs. Hawking may not like many things, but tea does make that very short list. Also, when struggling to think of what use she can put Mary to when she first comes to work for her as a maid, the one thing she manages to come up with is seeing to afternoon tea.
- Madeline Hatter from Ever After High, being the daughter of Wonderland's Hatter, and having a Wonderlandian relationship with reality, is always ready and able to set up a tea party in seconds. Two tea-party doll lines pertaining to her have been made.
- Living Dead Dolls Series 23 is based on a twisted dolls' tea party.
- Many of the endings for Touhou games feature its protagonist Reimu Hakurei having tea parties with other characters, especially those who were her enemies in the game.
- The Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Remilia Scarlet is also quite fond of her tea, which may or may not contain blood. (Like in many other areas, the canon is inconsistent on this detail.)
- In the ending of each level in 8 Eyes, Orin shares tea (served by a skeletal waiter) with his opponent after beating them in a Boss Battle/sword duel.
- Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure: Henry Hatsworth], the most well-dressed gentleman in Tealand, can expend his MP to take a Mid-Battle Tea Break and summon a giant steampunk robot to obliterate everything in sight with pure, unadulterated Englishness. "Good Show", indeed!
- Command & Conquer:
- Giles from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 can often be seen drinking tea or referring to drinking tea. He is, to no one's surprise, the British CO in the Allied army.
- The Soviet ending from the first Command & Conquer: Red Alert game has Nadia serve Stalin a cup of tea in London, to which he replies "When in Rome!". Turns out the tea is poisoned.
- BlazBlue's Elegant Gothic Vampire Rachel practically obsesses over tea. Her most common entrance has her enjoying a cup before battle. She belittles Hakumen by ordering tea at the start of their Boss Battle. Her console story mode begins with a cup of tea, and ends with the same one in her Ragna Ending.
- In Arc System Works' other mainstay Guilty Gear Ky Kiske is shown to greatly enjoy tea. However, he's not shown to be British and is in fact, French.
- Armed and Dangerous has Q, a robot that achieved sentience though his love of tea, tea can also be used to restore health.
- The European-raised Edgeworth in Ace Attorney enjoys tea so much he's even got a tea-drinking sprite in Investigations.
- He also owns an expensive tea set and a large collection of tea leaves in his office. Curiously, in the original Japanese version of the games Edgeworth was actually raised in America. The world might never know where he picked up his tea drinking habits from.
- Professor Layton enjoys his tea.
- In fact, one of the minigames in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box involves brewing up different blends of tea using herbs found in certain puzzles and helping several people you come across by serving them their preferred tea. Finish this sidequest, and Layton receives the title of Tea Master. Said tea is given to people suffering from things like the chills, mild anxiety, forgetfulness, and in at least one case, thirst.
- This receives some lampshading in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. In the first special episode, the five main characters all reunite and end up getting through a lot of tea. The last couple of times, Phoenix and Maya start to become uncomfortable with the amount of tea that they've had and end up counting 17 cups of tea altogether. This prompts Maya to reference the two's home series and Phoenix to caution Maya against the use of the reference.
- Street Fighter:
- Dirk Valentine treats tea as a Healing Potion. The love for it is described as one of the few things the hero has in common with the "ungodly rotters" he fights.
- Major Zero in Metal Gear Solid 3 insists on having his tea and scones, even while in the middle of a mission and cruising at high altitude in soviet airspace.
Snake: Makes sense. But why'd you call it chocolate chip?Sigint: 'Cause that's what it reminds me of.Snake: What?Sigint: Those little round cookies the major is always snackin' on.Sigint: Major!Major Zero: And it's not a snack. It's afternoon tea.Sigint: Snack, tea, same thing.Major Zero: No, it's not! Look here, afternoon tea is a fine old English tradition.Sigint: Uh oh, here we ago again. Talk to you later, Snake.Major Zero: The origins of afternoon tea go back to the Victorian Era. Anna Maria, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, was...
- While it can hardly be called British in nature, it otherwise fits the trope: in the Subspace Emissary portion of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Princess Peach decides to stop a fight (that is just beginning) between Fox and Sheik by offering them each a cup of tea. On top of the enemy's airship. And it works. (Or rather she offers one to Fox who, along with the camera, looks over to Sheik, who somehow already has a cup and is drinking it though her mask)
- Vice President Richard Hawk from Metal Wolf Chaos may be devious (and very American), but he still loves his tea.
- In Arcanum, recruiting Gar as a follower requires you to start a debate with him regarding the merits of green tea over Earl Grey.
- Lilly Satou from Katawa Shoujo is particularly fond of French Vanilla tea. This is maybe unsurprising given her Scottish heritage.
- In Uncharted Waters: New Horizons, the English player character Otto Baynes marks himself as unmistakably English in his first line of dialogue by ordering a cup of tea in the cafe (and addressing the owner as "old chap") - even though tea didn't arrive in England until about 150 years after the game is set.
- A level in The Matrix: Path of Neo is set in a Chinese tea house, the tea getting spilled sets off the ensuing Virtual Training Simulation.
- The German Gothic Lolita Lieselotte Achenbach from Arcana Heart whips out a teacup when hitting with her Critical Heart and starts drinking tea as she watches her marionette ruthlessly maul her opponent to death or while looking at her opponent's unconscious body.
- Deflektor, the Light and Mirrors Puzzle classic from the 80s, ends with the reveal that sixty levels of optical gymnastics to complete circuits was all done in order to power a kettle. For tea.
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate has Crawford Starrick, Grand Master of the English Rite of the Templar Order, who gives an entire speech about this trope.
Crawford Starrick: Gentlemen. This tea was brought to me from India by a ship, then, up from the harbor to a factory, where it was packaged and ferried by carriage to my door, unpacked in the larder and brought upstairs to me. All by men and women who work for me. Who are indebted to me, Crawford Starrick, for their jobs, their time, the very lives they lead. They will work in my factories and so too shall their children. And you come to me with talk of this Jacob Frye? This insignificant blemish who calls himself Assassin? You disrespect the very city that works day and night so that we may drink this. This miracle. This tea.
- In World of Tanks, "Pudding and Tea" is a consumable item that grants a British tank crew +10% to all skills for one battle when equipped. Other countries have alternate items that provide the same effect, like Case of Cola (America) or Extra Rations (Soviet Union).
- Fantastic Night Dreams Cotton has its "Tea Time" Bonus Stages.
- Flasks of tea are a vitality-restoring item in Sir, You Are Being Hunted. The game even keeps track of how many flasks of tea you've consumed.
- In Undertale,Asgore apparently enjoys making tea. However, unlike his other hobby of gardening, this plays no significant part in the plot; it's just to show how much of a Nice Guy he normally is.
- Not only does your RuneScape character annunciate their love of a nice cup, tea made in a player owned house can temporarily boost your construction level.
- The trope picture is of Professor Raven of El Goonish Shive, who is certainly British-themed if not actually British (he's half-
elfimmortal, making him an elf).
- The yetis in Irregular Webcomic! enjoys this, and also speak with British accent.
- Most of the cast of Jayden And Crusader drink tea as shown here, here and here Interestingly the most British, Sir Reginald 'Smic' Derby III, has never been shown drinking tea. Jayden, the American, drinks coffee. A point explicitly made.
- In Girl Genius, tea is all over the place, probably as a case of Author Appeal.
- Despite being (presumably) German or Austrian (going by the names), Gil built a construct when he was eight that makes tea (and is very concerned about Agatha stealing his job).
- Ardsley Wooster, Gil's British manservant and the 'verse's version of James Bond knows how Gil takes his tea.
- Baron Wulfenbach's second-in-command/administrative assistant/personal secretary Boris Dolokhov has proven himself to be fond of tea and doughnuts, and has learned how to make a decent cuppa. Then again, his name indicates he is Russian, and Russians love tea too.
- The Jägergenerals, in their first appearance, share a large and elaborate afternoon tea with Agatha.
- TEA: It keeps things civilized.
- At the same time, coffee is still a popular drink, especially in Spark-heavy locales like Mechanicsburg and Paris.
- The Monster in the Darkness from The Order of the Stick enjoys having tea parties, though it doesn't seem to notice if its guests are unconscious or dead.
- Cited in this Dork Tower strip as the secret of the famous English Stiff Upper Lip.
- In Neko The Kitty, the extremely ineffective superhero Hubris wants to go home and have a cup of tea. That's all he wants.
- While Phix of Wapsi Square is not actually British (she predates modern Britain), she does fit the theme, using British slang, an speaking with a British accent according to the author, and she usually seems to have some tea on hand. She apparently prefers Earl Grey.
- Occasionally referenced on Scary Go Round, in particular a T-shirt bearing the slogan Tea, tea, the musical drink, the more you sup the more you THINK.
- Zoophobia's Winston is never seen without a cup of tea in his hands.
- In Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, Delilah (who is English) rescues an enemy from certain death because he makes excellent tea.
- Gunnerkrigg Court—English author, set in England—has a character named Tea, who acts as a somewhat Lemony Narrator between chapters. The actual trope is averted; tea-the-beverage has yet to make an appearance, if only because characters are almost never shown eating or drinking.
- In morphE Amical's attempt to defuse situations always involves drinking and offering tea. He has an entire sprite set dedicated to him holding his tea tea cup. Significant as the only other prop sprites in the entire cast are a gun, a cellphone and a notepad.
- In the Regency England-inspired The Wolf At Weston Court:
- England in Scandinavia and the World is fond of tea, although he's taken aback by how much Ireland drinks.
- In Moxie, the drink of choice is tea. Mari can be found on the opening page of Chapter One having a cup of hot tea.
- Exception: Quincy Archer, a Survival of the Fittest character who often tries to emphasize his Britishness, "fucking hate[s] tea."
- This wonderful celebration of tea..
- Bakura of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is here to kick ass and drink cups of tea. Because he's British.
- NTom64 of Hellfire Commentaries always drinks tea whilst recording commentaries.
- MikeJ of That Guy with the Glasses has a slight breakdown when trying to review Jaws: the Revenge without his customary cup of tea.
- In fact he almost fails to complete the review without one, but thankfully Film Brain shows up just in time to give him some.
- Stuart Ashen prefers coffee and hates the taste of tea, as he points out in this video.
- In the obligatory Whateley Universe example, all the East Asian characters (even those who only look Asian as a result of their mutation or magical transformation) love their tea.
- Team Kimba now has a weekly tea party every Sunday, where they relax, drink tea, and just chat about stuff. It seems to be proving quite therapeutic, which isn't terribly surprising considering the wringers they all regularly get put through.
- In YouTube webseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in video-blog form, set in the modern-day United States), Lizzie’s sisters keep bringing her cups of tea as she’s recovering from her fallout with Charlotte. This prompts Lizzie to wonder aloud, "Have we turned British?"
- In webseries The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, a Setting Update of the Gothic novel, set in Vancouver in the new tens, Jane mentions in her very first video that she drinks tea a lot. She says she's probably made of Earl Grey, camomile and mint. Possibly nod back to the original novel.
- Every character in RWBY drinks coffee like it's going out of style, mostly because the guy who created it did as well. The sole exception is Blake, who prefers tea.
- Skies Unbroken Chantil comes from a tea-culture and knows a lot about it, although she also likes coffee.
- Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Iroh of Avatar: The Last Airbender, whose passion for drinking tea reaches an almost obssessive level, risks personal health and safety for the sake of a good cup of tea. Naturally, his greatest dream is to open his own tea shop. Of course, the cultures of A:TLA are an amalgam of several different East Asian cultures, so it's only natural.
Iroh: Bah! This tea is nothing but hot leaf juice!
Zuko: Uncle. That's what all tea is.
Iroh: How could a member of my own family say something so horrible?
Zuko: We’ve been working in a tea shop all day. Im sick of tea!Iroh: Sick of tea? That’s like being sick of breathing!
- In Courage the Cowardly Dog, Muriel has a constant love for tea. At one point, Courage actually fixes her some while he's carrying her and running away from the Monster of the Week. "The things I do for love!"
- In Ivor The Engine, Jones the Steam routinely makes tea using the water from Ivor's boiler.
- On Pinky and the Brain, one of Brain's schemes is to freeze Big Ben at teatime, thus forcing the entire United Kingdom into inaction as they enjoy a teatime without end.
- If only...
- In Rocky and Bullwinkle's "Peabody's Improbable History" segment about Lawrence of Arabia, he dresses up in standard Bedouin garb, but then manages to expose himself as a British spy just by saying:
Teatime, chaps! Anyone for crumpets?
- Peabody's used this one a few times; when helping the Marquis of Queensberry get into an actual fight so he could understand it well enough to create his set of rules for modern boxing, Peabody, at tea time, orders a cup of tea for himself and Sherman and a cup of coffee for the Marquis, which sends the waiter into an uncontrollable fit of rage. Apparently calling it a matter of national pride is a considerable understatement.
- In The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Rival", when part of Homer's sugar pile was stolen by a Brit.
Homer: All right pal, where did you get the sugar for that tea?British Man: I nicked it when you let your guard down for that split second and I'd do it again. (sips tea) Goodbye.
- The Looney Tunes cartoon "Porky's Road Race" (1937, Tashlin) has three British figures (caricatures of actors George Arliss, Leslie Howard and Freddie Bartholomew) in a car labeled "Cheerio Special". When they notice it's 4:00, they each down a cup of tea, then turn to us and say "Pip-pip cheerio!"
- Ollie, the possum henchman in Tuff Puppy, is often seen carrying a teacup.
- The Danger Mouse episode "Ee-Tea!" practically revolves around this. Baron Greenback steals all the tea in the world from a teapot-shaped spaceship, bringing world economies to a grinding halt.
DM: What about that tea, Penfold? Am I going to get it or not?
- This exchange in "'Cor! What A Picture" after Greenback turns Penfold into a kung fu assassin and DM sends him to get him some tea:
Penfold: (fractured Japanese) You gonna get it, all right! (more fractured Japanese)
DM: No, I'll just have the Darjeeling as usual.
- The Hector Heathcote cartoon "The Famous Ride" has Hector squaring off with a British soldier who is never seen without his cuppa.
- The Droopy cartoon "Out-Foxed" is set in a very English fox hunt. The phlegmatic quarry is constantly sipping a cup.
- In one episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Hal is knocked into an alternate dimension where he lands on a Steam Punk version of Victorian England. Naturally, there is lots of tea.
- My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts: To emphasize that Queen Maud of Norway is actually English, she's shown sipping a cup of tea.
- Taxes on tea imposed by the British were what drove what is now the United States of America (then just 13 states) to rebel against and seek independence from the British in the late 1700's (see the Boston Tea Party).
- When a far-right group held a demonstration outside a Mosque in York, the Muslim congregation defused the situation by offering them tea and biscuits and inviting them to join in a game of football.
- The British Army actually train their infantry to take advantage of any opportunity for a brew up and preferably some hot food as well, because you never know how long it'll be before you have another if there's a war going on. It's also as good a way as any to keep hydrated in the field when you've got to boil your water anyway, and in the infamous British weather it can mean the difference between completing a training exercise and being evacuated as an exposure casualty. Taken to the point where every British Armoured Vehicle comes equipped with a boiling vessel - an oversized water heater which will boil water for tea, heat boil in the bag ration packs, and of course sterilise the water.
- World War One: Mix the hell of trench warfare and cold, wet conditions with massive, water-cooled machine guns. Guns would fire, water keeps them from overheating, water gets nice and hot in the process. Leave it to the British Army to figure out that firing off a few rounds to make tea was a valid Mundane Utility.
- During World War II, the British Army in North Africa found that, because of the poor quality of metal used in the cans transporting their drinking water, it had an unfortunate tendency to taste metallic and bitter, not to mention tepid due to the desert heat. The only way to make it palatable was to add tea. Recognizing the importance of tea to her fighting forces, in 1942 Britain decided to buy it all. As in, all the tea in the world: that's right, the British government bought the entire world's tea crop in 1942. Presumably just because it could, and because they had to do it once.
- Infamously, during D-day, where the Americans at Omaha and Utah, and the Canadians at Juno were met with fierce resistance, the British at sword beach.......were faced with perhaps the lightest defenses, and the Panzer Divisions were yet to arrive. Caen was as good as theirs. That is, if they didn't take a Tea break on the first day of the invasion, giving German forces enough time to reinforce the entirety of their route forwards.
- Tea was also used as an instrument of wartime diplomacy. The Irish Free State had no mercantile marine of its own and was utterly dependent on re-importing exotic foreign goods (just about everything it couldn't produce itself) through Britain. The Irish were one of a handful of European states to remain neutral and relatively untouched by war, despite heavy pressure and downright intimidation from both Britain and the Axis. The Irish also drink at least as much tea as the British, perhaps more. Britain won several grudging concessions from Ireland during the war years by 1) threatening to vastly increase export tariffs on tea; and 2) cutting off the supply completely to force deValera to comply. This was still preferable to the German idea of "persuasion" - after the Free State violated neutrality by sending all available medical personnel North as a humanitarian gesture, and opened its hospitals to treat victims of German bombing in Northern Ireland, Dublin was bombed "by accident" for three straight nights. The Luftwaffe claimed it had been aiming at Liverpool. Hmm..
- According to Wired, an Englishwoman displaying symptoms of Jerusalem Syndrome believed a spot of tea was the best way to greet the Second Coming of the Lord, climbing Mt. Scopus every morning with a cup to offer Him.
- The late, great Alan Rickman managed to make it sound epic in slow-motion.
- On the downside of this trope, British fondness for tea (specifically, Green Tea imported from China) was what set the first Opium War into motion - because of how much tea Britain was importing each year, it left them in a massive trade deficit with no viable goods that the Chinese wanted in a large enough quantity to offset it, except for opium.
I'll just put the kettle on, shall I?