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Brits Love Tea

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Parkin: Oh, that's typical of the British, isn't it?! "The King's abdicated!" "Have a cup of tea." "Hitler's invaded Poland!" "Have a cup of tea." "The atom bomb has dropped!" "Have a cup of tea."
May: One lump or two?
Parkin: Three, please.

Tea. Today, it is one of the most, if not the most, popular drinks 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 even heard of coffee before coming to the United States. In fact, the mere act of drinking tea automatically marks one as British. In Real Life, coffee is quite popular in the U.K., with standard black tea consumption declining in favour of coffee, although it's being bounced back by the proliferation of bubble tea, green tea, and herbal tea.

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 King should suddenly turn up for a visit.

Incidentally, a telling but confusing detail about the importance of tea in the UK is that the evening meal is called "tea" in some dialects. So if someone spends almost an hour in the kitchen making tea and the result is pork chops, it isn't a case of confusion on their part. Also, this is not to be confused with high tea and afternoon tea which are similar to each other in involving cakes and other sweet things but also slightly different. You may have a cup of tea with your tea. There are historical reasons as to why the term tea covers numerous things but that's best explained by The Other Wiki.

The British love of tea has also carried over to other Commonwealth nations, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and to a lesser extent Canada, but this has less representation in popular culture. Brits will inevitably complain that people outside the UK are seemingly incapable of making a proper cup of tea.

Compare with Must Have Caffeine, Asians Love Tea. See Tea and Tea Culture for info about tea and the world's Real Life tea drinking habits, including proof that the British love for tea is Freakier Than Fiction. Sometimes overlaps with Tea Is Classy, especially when a Quintessential British Gentleman indulges in tea as a sign of his sophistication. May also overlap with Calming Tea, if used to soothe someone in a state of agitation.


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  • Coach Lasso: Even though he only had a London job for less than a day, hardcore American Ted Lasso takes to tea in the aftermath. He even does high tea for the girls' soccer team he ends up coaching.
  • 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.
  • PG Tips:
    • Their 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.
    • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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).
  • Quintessential Englishman Stephen Fry brings his sheer... Stephen Fryness... to Twinings advertisements, which is often sent up on QI.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple: Pretty much every episode will include characters having tea together, which is something common to both Japanese and British culture.
  • The Royal Navy in Azur Lane are frequently seen having tea while discussing matters of the plot. Enhanced in the English dub, where they are very British.
  • 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.
  • British Richard from The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is exceptionally picky about his tea, importing the leaves from Sri Lanka and teaching Seigi how to make his preferred royal milk tea before literally anything else after hiring him. He also refers to bottled tea as "dead" tea and won't drink it, ever.
  • 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.
  • Every episode in Emma: A Victorian Romance features the main character (she's a maid) making tea or people sitting down to have tea.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Tea is one the very few foodstuffs that England doesn't screw up.
    • Overlapping with Asians Love Tea, Hong Kong explicitly mentions learning about afternoon "high tea" from England, and the local silk-stocking milk tea is historically inspired by British tea.note  The series also implicitly deconstructs this trope with historical allusions to the Opium Warnote  and Hong Kong's very existence as a character.
  • 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.
  • Waver Velvet from Lord El-Melloi II Case Files is fond of tea, as shown in Episode 3 when his work is interrupted because his favourite Tea Room was forced to close down. This has the effect of making him less tolerant of mistakes from his students. Naturally, when it turns out the cause of the electrical problems is due to Magecraft, Waver takes the case. In addition when he has to meet someone outside, his location of choice is a tearoom, well they were sat at a table outside one.
  • 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).
  • My Hero Academia: Arc Villain Gentle Criminal is a tea connoisseur and fan as part of his Quintessential British Gentleman shtick. But he holds the tea pot so high when he dramatically pours that he spills tea everywhere.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • 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".
    • 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.
  • One Piece: Word of God says that if Brook was from the real world, he would be from England, and he drinks tea frequently.
  • 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.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: 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.
  • 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.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Travel Around the World episode 16, the goats travel to the UK to search for a treasure with the help of Sherlock Holmes. The treasure, located in Big Ben, turns out to be a bunch of teabags, which Sherlock Holmes immediately takes a fancy to. The gang then has tea with him, which is followed by a new segment where Tibbie explains to Paddi the significance of tea to the British.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who. In "Spare Parts", the inhabitants of Mondas act just like Brits in the 1950's. Mr. Hartley's response to every crisis is to put the kettle on...until the power goes out and he can no longer do so. At the end of the episode, Nyssa gives him a packet of genuine Earth tea leaves as a parting gift, to the Doctor's annoyance as they were a gift to him from the Emperor of China.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix 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 is 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.
  • 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.
  • Marvel's monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone. It's unwise to ruin her spot of tea.
  • Secret Wars (2015): On Battleworld, there's no tea. This causes a minor problem in Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders when the heroes try to recreate the stuff for an amnesiac Fazia Hussein.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Prince Valiant arc involves an English noble attempting to cultivate tea in Northern Europe, and driving his peasants to starvation as a result.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • The Boy Who Planned:
    The first thing that the elves did, once Harry was inside the Potter manor house, was to serve him tea. A troubled adolescent Harry Potter might be, but he was also an Englishman.
  • In Child of the Storm, Phil Coulson and Nick Fury are interrogating the captured Narcissa Malfoy. Coulson plays "good cop" by discussing their favourite kinds of tea. Since the author is very British, this is perhaps unsurprising.
  • Cor Et Cerebrum: Alfred and Dev, both British transplants who have moved to Gotham but hang on to their accents and other tenants of their British upbringing and former lives, decide to start meeting regularly for tea after being introduced and eventually become friends this way.
  • The Darkening Of Your Soul:
    Tom: Here, this might settle your hormones a little.
    Harry: Since when is tea a cure for an erection?
    Tom: We're English, Harry. Tea is a cure for everything.
  • In Earl Grey, little sugar Daphne mentions that she disagrees with her Death Eater parents while teaching Harry to dance and after a little hesitation, he continues the lesson.
    Daphne: Bold move, Harry. I could gut you like a fish.
    Harry: I'm sure you would have done it already. So, besides allegiance, what else?
    Daphne: I enjoy tea, but it's my duty as a British citizen, I'd say. I also like traveling. I spent half this summer doing it, actually.
  • In Freedom Dies With Me, it's Traveller note  who enjoys a spot of tea. He even carries a bag of Earl Grey teabags on his person, and shares a cup with Torque. The reason given as to why is because, as a traveller of universes, tea he likes is sometimes hard to come by, and some of the teas in other universes get...weird. Such as teas in every colour of the rainbow, including blue. The local tea, Red Leaf tea, is said to repulse him.
    Traveller: I'm a United Islander. I kinda have to. Fills people with a sense of comfort to see someone of my...position drink tea instead of water.
  • Harry Potter and the Call of Magic:
    It was at that moment that a flustered McGonagall realized that the kettle had gone cold, practically a capital offense. A quick flick of her wand was enough to bring it back to a boil, and the whistle was like a call to attention for the others in the room. They were, after all, British.
  • Harry Potter and the Power of Paranoia:
    Less than ten minutes later, Dumbledore was indeed pressing away at the button on Harry's gate. A few minutes after that, Harry had allowed the man in and plunked a cup of tea in his hands. No matter his personal feelings, there was no need to not at least give him a cup of tea. They were British after all.
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, Jonathan is definitely an example of this, being from England.
  • One Wizarding Summer:
    As Cedric seemed to be almost back to himself, Harry did what any son of England would do: poured his boyfriend a steadying cup of tea.
  • Rachel The Vampire Slayer: When Elfangor decided his human persona Alan Fangor was British, he reasoned that he had to drink tea. Unfortunately, he didn't know the heat tolerance of human mouths yet and burned his tongue.
  • In Sean Bean Saves Westeros, Sean Bean's Englishness is showing. Sean as Ned demands to have some tea very often, and it's noted by other characters as one of the differences from the real Ned.
  • Dumbledore is, in Thirty Hs, observed having tea and "chumpits" with the President of Pangea. He offers some to Harry, who declines because he hates chumpits.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Around the World in 80 Days (1956), 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.
  • A Bridge Too Far (based on Real Life anecdotes from the Arnhem landings):
    • 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 Cook: We busted our asses to get you across that bridge. And now you're just going to sit here and...drink tea?
  • 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!
  • Doctor in Trouble: When the British Dr. Burke requests hot water to clean his surgical instrument with, the Russian Captain initially assumes he just wants to make tea.
  • In Dunkirk, which follows the British military, it's seen pretty constantly. When rescued soldiers are taken aboard "official" ships they're given tea (and sometimes bread and jam). When they're pulled from the sea by the "little ships", they're given tea. When a rescued soldier with PTSD is dangerously close to becoming violent he's given... tea. It's not especially lampshaded, it's just... there.
  • 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.
  • Ice Cold in Alex: The Mole first comes under suspicion when the ambulance stops for the night and they set about getting a brew on, because he's completely hopeless at making an improvised hotplate with a steel ammo can full of sand and some petrolnote , which is something that every British or Commonwealth soldier is taught in Basic and should be able to do by rote after a few months serving on the North African front.
  • Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport: In this documentary about child refugees who emigrated from Nazi Germany to England, one woman recalls how she was shocked to find out her parents survived the war. Too nervous to meet them at the train station, she went back home to fix some tea. Then she observes, "How English was that?"
  • In The Iron Lady, the US Secretary of State rather patronisingly attempts to talk Margaret Thatcher out of sending her task force to liberate the Falkland Islands from the Argentine invasion. True to character she immediately gives him a sublime Armor-Piercing Response, with this the cherry on the cake:
    Margaret: Now, shall I be mother? (stunned silence) How do you take your tea Al, black or white?
  • 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!
  • 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 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.
  • In Murder by Proxy, Maggie sends the American Casey out of the room while she removes Phyllis' wet clothing. Casey is completely befuddled by every aspect of the process as Maggie tries to talk him through it the door. She eventually tells him to just leave it and she'll do it.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • In On the Buses, all the bus drivers drink tea with their lunch, which makes it perfect for Stan and Jack to use to slip the woman drivers Olive's diuretic pills.
  • Near the end of the film The Others (2001), Ms Mills offers Grace a cup of tea after Grace has just realised that she murdered her own children and that the three of them are now ghosts. But tea will make her feel better!
  • 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 Rehearsal for Murder, British actress Monica made herself a cup of tea every night before retiring. Finding the cold cup of tea is one of the things that convinces her fiancé Alex that she did not commit suicide.
  • 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 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 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.
  • The Young Poisoner's Handbook: In a terribly British fashion, Graham attempts to murder his workmates by poisoning their tea mugs during the factory tea breaks.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League: Alfred Pennyworth gets to teach Diana/Wonder Woman how to properly make 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 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". Until you figure out how to get tea — then you "drop" no tea.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Discworld:
    • 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?'" [1]
    • 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 colour characteristic of tea, and usually the only tea-like characteristic of tea made by Juliet."
    • The Ankh-Morpork City Watch apparently favour 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.
  • Neil Gaiman wrote an essay about making good cups of tea. He's not the only British author to do so.
  • 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."
  • It comes up a bit in the Harry Potter series. The Golden 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 milk Umbridge puts in her tea. In the last book, Dudley 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. Also, tea and tea leaves feature prominently in Professor Trelawney's Divination lessons.
  • In It All Started With Columbus, the mad George III's "diabolical scheme of forcing the Americans to drink tea instead of coffee" spurred violent protests from Bostonians, many of whom "actually preferred tea, but they objected to being told what to drink, especially by a King three thousand miles away who had never gone to Harvard."
  • 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 favours Yin Hao (the highest traditional grade of jasmine tea, which fits his character of preferring the finer things in life).
  • 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.
  • In Johnny and the Bomb There Are No Therapists for bombing survivors, but there is 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.
  • 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.
  • 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". The popularity of tea in Britain and the Commonwealth is mentioned early on. He also brings up 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?
  • It isn't Camellia sinensis, but in C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner (1994) series, the alien atevi drink a lot of different herbal infusions. Unfortunately, most varieties contain toxins which are fatal to humans.
  • 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.
  • 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 Jerkass 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • They have been seen enjoying tea while ashore, however—in the first book Maturin even says, "Tea would make me very happy."
  • The very colonial Eugene in Purple Hibiscus drinks tea from a china tea set every day.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 the Imperial Radch series, tea is the Radchaai Galactic Superpower's drink of choice, and Radchaai are seen to complain about places outside the empire that don't have tea or have a different drink of the same name. A major part of Ancillary Sword 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 favourite types of tea.
    • In one Bernice Summerfield 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.)
  • In the A World of Wonder series, since the setting is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the UK and a portrayal of Wonderland as a society, tea is everywhere, usually going by creative names like "Vernesscence," "Pennynettle," or "Zing."
  • 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.
  • When Rosemary discovers the true purpose of the cultists in Rosemary's Baby, what's the first thing Minnie gives her? No witch herbs, just plain ordinary Lipton's tea with sugar and lemon. Rosemary does feel better after drinking it.
  • Rai Kirah: "Nazrheel" tea is the signature drink of the Derzhi Empire, and Prince Aleksander even brings a supply when he's traveling cross-country on the run. The Derzhi Proud Warrior Race are alone in their taste for it; it's made from a particular wood bark and smells like a hay fire.
  • Ashes of Empire: The vast majority of spacers drink tea. This may be for pragmatic reasons; tea plants can be grown on a wide range of planets, coffee is far pickier about growing conditions.
  • In the ninth Rivers of London book, Amongst Our Weapons, Harold Postmartin, one of the two Quintessential British Gentlemen in the series, reveals that he carries a flask of tea with him at all times, a habit he got into before there was a coffee shop on every corner.
  • The Scholomance: The British protagonist says that Americans always offer tea "with the faint hint that they didn't really understand why I might like some tea, but they understood that this was the appropriate thing to do."
  • Mr Walters from the Thora books is English, and celebrates good occasions with a cup of tea. When the protagonists go to London in The Green Sea-Unicorn, Mr Walters is so happy to see his hometown that he drinks an entire pot.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • Wesley also likes his tea:
      Cordelia: "I thought you were gonna be a man and talk to him about this!"
      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."
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Dr. Wyatt in Bones is stereotyped as a tea-drinking Englishman.
  • Blackadder: In "Blackadder the Third", Prince George takes far too long to bring the Duke of Wellington's tea; and in "Blackadder Goes Forth", Baldrick's coffee tastes like mud; because it is mud, with milk added; well, saliva.
  • Bottom: In "Gas", having told the gasman that they don't use gas, Richie and Eddie offer him a cup of tea to delay him; then realise they cannot heat the water for it, so they make him drink cold 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 Anthony Stewart 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?"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Doctor Who:
    • When the Doctor was UNIT's scientific advisor, no one was allowed in his personal laboratory unescorted except for the Brigadier's personal staff... and the tea lady.
    • "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.
    • "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.
    • "Shada": Professor Chronotis seems incapable of going five minutes without putting on the kettle. At one point, with a Time Lord relic missing, his greatest concern is that he's run out of milk.
    • Tea also gets an end-of-story thumbs-up from the 5th Doctor in "The Awakening".
      Turlough: I quite miss that brown liquid they drink here.
      Will: Ale?
      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.
    • Tea is mentioned in the final lines of the series' original run:
      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 opening shot of the TV Movie, Seven is stating his Opening Narration while enjoying some tea from a fine china cup.
    • "The Christmas Invasion":
      • 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.
    • "The Sound of Drums": When our heroes get to Martha's flat, Jack makes everyone tea while they discuss their next move.
    • "Victory of the Daleks": 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).
      Would you care for some teeea?! [the Doctor promptly begins to beat it around the head dome with a VERY large wrench] You do not care for tea?
    • 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.
    • "The God Complex": Rita jokes about it, stating that the British deal with trauma by drinking tea and tutting.
    • In Series 8, 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 favourite frenemy's attention.
    • "The Witch's Familiar": The Doctor steals Davros' chair and is shot by dozens of Daleks. When the flash subsides, he is unharmed and drinking a cup of tea.
      The Doctor: Now, the real question is: Where did he get the cup of tea? Answer: I'm the Doctor. Just accept it.
    • In "World Enough and Time" the first thing Mr Razor does on meeting Bill is offer tea.
    • "Arachnids in the UK": The Doctor is downbeat about having to say goodbye to her accidental companions... until Yaz invites her to tea at her place, whereupon she instantly perks up. Though that could have been because it was Yaz who was asking.
  • Adelle DeWitt on Dollhouse, although she tends to drink green tea. She's also just as if not more partial to vodka.
  • 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.
  • Father Ted is a rare television example of the Irish fondness for tea, Ireland being the country with the second highest per capita consumption (after only 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.
    • 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, presumably because it is not an alcoholic beverage.
      Mrs. Doyle: And what would you say to a cup, Father?
      Jack: FECK OFF, CUP!
  • Not only does the English Dr. Henry Morgan of Forever (2014) drink tea frequently, when he goes to see a therapist, Dr. Lewis Farber, for the first time, we see Dr. Farber making tea even before we hear his British accent. Invoked in this case, as Dr. Farber is only pretending to be from London, and is in truth Henry's 2,000+ year old stalker, Adam, originally Roman.
  • 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:
    Daphne: Oh, I need a cup of tea!
    Frasier: TEA! Why don't you just wave a crumpet in the air and start singing "God Save The Queen"!!
  • In Gen V, Andre says that he didn't expect their dean Indira Shetty to keep edibles around, saying that a number of fancy teas seems more in line with her poised personality and British nationality. Cate says Indira keeps both.
  • In Good Witch, it's a minor point of contention between Cassie Nightingale (who is a big fan of herbal tea) and Sam Radford (who Must Have Caffeine).
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The kettle's never off for long no matter what new personal crisis might be erupting between the characters in Last Tango in Halifax.
  • In an episode of M*A*S*H, 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".
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Prisoner (1967):
    • Number Six 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.
  • QI
    • 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 civilised and if they didn't wash it out, it would go disgustingly moldy.
      Alan Davies: And it's talking to you.
      David: At that point, I think the flavour you'd get would be, if anything, too characterful.
    • They again comment on this when they're discussing using the boiling point of water to determine your altitude:
      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!
  • 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).
  • Referenced in Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In in an episode where Peter Sellers guest-starred:
    "People in America have asked me, how long does it take to brew a proper cup of tea? Let me put it to you this way; the stuff you dumped in Boston Harbor should be ready about now."
  • Anthony is forever being asked to "make a brew" in The Royle Family.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
    • In the novel Ship of the Line, Picard notes that it sounds funny when Riker is the one saying it and admits that it's what he always orders. He muses that one day he might just go wild and order "hot Grey tea Earl". Then he adds that "the poor computer'll have a stroke".
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • 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.
      "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."
    • In one episode, the Cardassian resident Garak had the audacity to criticise 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?
    Malcolm: No crumpets, either, thank you.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Picard's tea order has changed from "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot" to "Tea. Earl Gey. Decaf" as he's gotten older.
  • Stargirl: as a Brit, The Shade loves tea. Unfortunately, the only diner in town serves "Orange Pekoe" tea, which the Shade finds atrocious. After choosing to stay in Blue Valley, he trains the waitress to make a perfect cup of tea, which takes her "only" 40 or so tries (the last cup she brings him that he finally approves is visibly shaking from her being so nervous). Even Starman is impressed.
  • In the Steptoe and Son episode "Wallah-Wallah Catsmeat", Harold has an epic rant about how a Heroic BSoD 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!
  • 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.
  • Ted Lasso: Fittingly for a show set in Britain, most of the British characters partake in drinking it. This proves to be point of contention for Ted, as despite his efforts to embrace British culture, he hates it and thinks it's a great big joke that the Brits are playing on the world.
    Ted: Be honest with me. It's a prank, right? The tea? Like when us tourist folks aren't around, y'all know this tastes like garbage.
  • The Thin Blue Line: Presumably Inspector Fowler drinks a lot of tea, because he owes four pounds when Constable Gladstone collects "tea and bicky money".
  • Thunderbirds: In Lady Penelope's house, everything stops for tea. She also has a teapot phone.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Running Gag in The Two Ronnies sketch "Tinker, Tailor, Smiley, Doyle" involves George Smiley's fondness for tea.
  • Subverted in the BBC 1992 TV film 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.
    "Do you boys want a cup of tea?"
    "Get down, you silly bitch! Can't you see there's an invasion on?!"
  • Upstairs Downstairs has this more than a few times (it comes with the territory).
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • "Right, Said Fred", a comedy song from the the 1960s sung by Bernard Cribbins, featured no fewer than six tea breaks.
  • "Everything Stops for Tea" was written by an American for the musical comedy film Come Out of the Pantry as a cheerful ribbing of how much British people love their tea. It was subsequently adopted by the UK Ministry of Food for their 1940s exhibition and has been a solid favourite of the British ever since.
    • Professor Elemental has made his own version 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."
  • One of songs by The Kings praising the drink, "Have A Cuppa Tea", has been covered by Great Big Sea.
  • 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?). Examples include "Afternoon Tea" from Something Else by the Kinks and "Have a Cuppa Tea" from Muswell Hillbillies.
    Tea in the morning, tea in the evening, tea at supper time,
    You get tea when it's raining, tea when it's snowing,
    Tea when the weather is fine.
    You get tea as a mid-day stimulant,
    You get tea with your afternoon tea,
    For any old ailment or disease,
    For Christ's sake have a cuppa tea.
  • 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.
  • The classic Kula Shaker track, Drink Tea For The Love Of God.
  • Paul McCartney has a song called "English Tea."
  • Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer, being a chap-hop artist, is a great enthusiast for a spot of tea and a slice of cake. One of his videos features Mr B getting kidnapped, only to persuade the mooks to let him go by sharing a cuppa.
  • 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
  • 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."
  • Sting, "Englishman In New York":
    "I don't drink coffee I take tea my dear"
  • Roy Wood has the song Jolly Cup of Tea, sung by a military regiment.
    Ordinance boys should check out their toys
    'Cause we're going for a jolly cup of tea!
    Cheer up lads, don't forget your bags
    'Cause we're going for a jolly cup of tea!
    You can drink away your cares!
    If you see the sergeant, tell him I'll be there!
    March along looking proud and strong
    'Cause we're going for a jolly cup of tea!
  • "A Nice Cup of Tea", originally written for the 1937 Coronation Revue Home and Beauty, has the singer describe having tea with all his meals, and elevenses, and at night, and sometime four or five at breakfast.
    Some folks put much reliance,
    On politics and science,
    There's only one hero for me.
    His praise we should be roaring,
    The man who thought of pouring,
    The first boiling water onto tea.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the British Sesame Street spin-off The Furchester Hotel, nothing will stop the tea-time monsters from getting their tea. Whatever else is going on, Once an Episode the gong will sound and they'll all barge through the reception area in a rush to get to the dining room.

  • The Goon Show: Ned Seagoon, in the Indian quarter of Bombay, is offered "all the sensuous drinks of the Orient". His response?
  • Kremmen of the Star Corp by Kenny Everett. Captain Kremmen is surprised when the evil Thargoids drink tea as well. Apparently it's due to them having three lips. "You try asking for llllager and llllime with llllips llllike these!"
  • In The Men from the Ministry with our main characters being the Quintessential British Gentlemen they are, naturally love tea.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Eddie Izzard in his skit about the Death Star being filled with British actors.
    Sebastian: It's the Rebels, sir. They're here.
    Captain: Good Lord, man! Do they want tea?
  • 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, 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.


    Video Games 
  • Double Homework:
    • Invoked by Morgan when she mentions that she drinks tea.
      Morgan: I come from two tea-drinking cultures.
    • When the protagonist finally meets Uncle Tommy, he discovers that Morgan’s uncle takes tea very seriously. In fact, he takes it as an insult to refuse tea when he offers it.
  • Many of the endings for Touhou Project 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 Super Meter with full SP 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:
  • 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.
    • The spin off game The Great Ace Attorney largely takes place in Victorian London and so features a lot of tea drinking. Teacups are even used as evidence in one case.
  • Her Majesty's Spiffing: The first actions taken in the game are to guide Captain Frank Lee English to the ship's kitchen to get himself and (if you choose to) Aled Jones some cups of tea.
  • In Overwatch, Ana Amari has a "Spot of Tea" emote that has her taking a mid battle break, a victory pose as well as a Play of the Game highlight intro. Roadhog also has one as a victory pose as well.
  • 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.
  • With the introduction of Royal Navy ships in KanColle, many of the shipgirls' hourly lines talk of serving tea to the admiral, from battleship Warspite to destroyer Janus.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Referenced by the British Cammy in Street Fighter IV; in her win quote against Guile, she asks if what she heard about the American military is true, that they don't allow breaks for tea.
    • Dudley, a well-mannered English boxer, begins and ends his story in Super Street Fighter IV drinking tea. With boxing gloves.
  • Dirk Valentine treats tea as a Healing Potion. The love for it is described as one of the few things the Victorian hero has in common with the "ungodly rotters" he fights.
  • Major Zero in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 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.
    Major Zero: They're not cookies. They're scones.
    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.
    Ah, time for my afternoon tea. Nothing like sipping some DELICIOUS Darjeeling tea... and watching you getting your clock cleaned!
  • 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.
  • Not only does your RuneScape character announce their love of a nice cup, tea made in a player owned house can temporarily boost your construction level.
  • The Princesses in Miitopia can have a tea party with a teammate in the middle of any battle to restore some magic points to both of them.
  • In Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance, Maids can serve tea as a battle skill. Or rather, they try to, cheerfully running down the battlefield towards their recipient, only to trip and spill the tea on the target, granting them an Extra Turn.
  • Erebonian nobles in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel are characterized for their fondness of tea. Jusis Albarea, being a member of one of Erebonia's Four Great Houses, is sometimes seen drinking tea during free time. This is partially translated to his recipe skill where he has "Great" for Savory Herb Tea.note 
  • In League of Legends, one of Camille's last remaining human quirks is her love of tea. Caitlin, having a posh, British accent also sometimes is shown enjoying a good cup of tea in some of her skins. Her Cowboy Cop partner, Vi also has a taunt specifically for Cait that makes fun of this.
  • Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator uses tea-sipping as a gameplay mechanic; each player has a tiny pool of phrases (in addition to the main community pool of hamsters and elderberries) to add some spice in their insult. And by tiny we mean two. But each turn you can sip one cup of tea to re-roll your pool, even if you've picked insults from it already.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield, being set in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Great Britain, introduces the Pokémon line consisting of Sinistea and Polteageist, which are ghostly tea haunting an old teacup and teapot, respectively.
  • If the intro for the "Seeing Double" level as well as one of his Idle Animations are any indication, then Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time establishes that Dr. Neo Cortex likes to take a tea break every now and then, complete with extended pinky.
  • After completing a quest in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, you can invite people to tea at the cost of your activity points if you're exploring the monastery, or for their birthdays when it comes up. Successfully have three impactful conversations and respond appropriately to theirs and you can spend some extra time with them.
  • Dragon Quest V: One of the Counts of Uptaten's favorite pastimes in life was drinking out of the Toff's Tea Set. The Hero can eventually return it to them in exchange for a reward, though it takes several years before Uptaten happens to ask.

  • In Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, Delilah (who is English) rescues an enemy from certain death because he makes excellent tea.
  • Cited in this Dork Tower strip as the secret of the famous English Stiff Upper Lip.
  • Subverted in Dumbing of Age, when Walky believes that the absurdly English Jason's hip flask contains tea, but Jason corrects him "It's tea...quila."
  • The trope picture is of Adrian Raven of El Goonish Shive, who is certainly British-themed if not actually British (he's half-immortal, making him an elf and was born "several centuries ago" in a deliberately undefined but vaguely medieval-looking Here There Were Dragons period, making him older than the United Kingdom itself, and maybe even England. And for that matter, it's not even really specified that this took place in the British Isles).
  • The yetis in Irregular Webcomic! enjoys this, and also speak with British accent.
  • Girl Genius: Tea is all over the place, probably as a case of Author Appeal. Most characters are from continental Europe or parts unknown, but Ardsley Wooster, Gil's British manservant and the 'verse's version of James Bond knows how Gil takes his tea. The print-novel adaptations make his expertise even more explicit; he's able to serve newcomer Agatha her tea exactly how she prefers without having to ask. There's also one page in which a room full of Brits all spontaneously leave to get tea, preplexing the non-British characters.
  • 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.
  • Occasionally referenced on Scary Go Round (with a British setting), in particular a T-shirt bearing the slogan Tea, tea, the musical drink, the more you sup the more you THINK.
  • England in Scandinavia and the World is fond of tea, although even he's taken aback by how much Ireland drinks.
  • 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.
  • In the Regency England-inspired The Wolf at Weston Court:

    Web Original 
  • British YouTuber Stuart Ashen is an aversion, stating that he preferred coffee and hated tea, as he pointed out in this video when trying a grass jelly beverage and remarking how it reminded him of tea.
  • 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 where Jane Eyre is a proper English governess.
  • The narrator in Crossing Kevin's Crossing orders an Earl Grey tea at the local coffee shop.
  • Elemental has an entire song as a wonderful celebration of tea..
  • In one of their skits, Foil, Arms and Hog parody the Irish fondness for tea when Arms and Hog stage an intervention for Foil's addiction.
  • NTom64 of Hellfire Commentaries always drinks tea whilst recording commentaries.
  • Left POOR Dead: During Tippy's dream sequence
  • In the 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?"
  • MikeJ of Channel Awesome 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.
  • Averted with British YouTuber Tom Scott, who, at the end of a video explaining in detail how to make an International Standard cup of tea, nonchalantly mentions that he doesn't even like tea.
  • The Spiffing Brit:
    • He invites his viewers to have a nice, warm cup of Yorkshire Tea in every video. However, in his Age of Empires III video, he remarked that for the hot 30°C summer he would permit cold iced tea just this once.
    • He had even done a tier list of various teas. Not surprisingly, the Yorkshire varieties make up the higher tiers, with Yorkshire Gold making the S tier. Inversely, he did not hold a high opinion of American iced teas or Lancashire tea, putting them in the bottom tier alongside Bovril, which isn't a tea but a concentrated beef broth that can be boiled in a similar manner.
  • The Stupendium is British and occasionally drinks tea in their music videos, but it's most notable in Room for Improvement, where they play a Lower-Class Lout of a builder who mooches tea and biscuits from their client every other verse. At one point building a pyramid of dirty mugs.
  • Averted with Quincy Archer, a Survival of the Fittest character who often tries to emphasize his Britishness, "fucking hate[s] tea."
  • TomSka's impression of a British Person in 1 Man, 27 Impressions:
    Tomska: Spot of tea? Give us ya country.
  • The Victorian Way: Mrs Crocombe works as a cook/chef at the estate of Lord and Lady Braybrooke called Audley End House in Essex in the 1880s. In "How to Make a Cup of Tea - The Victorian Way", Mrs Crocombe says that everyone at Audley End enjoys a good cup of tea and that even Lady Braybrooke makes her own tea. She then presents the most proper way of brewing a pot of tea, served in a cup with milk and sugar. This way it is prepared for her and other servants, so it was served in less expensive china and from cheaper Indian tea leaves.
  • This series of short skits by Vine creator Arthur Vines depicts British people using teabags for everything, from showering to stuffing them into their clothes.
    "How British people shower? The same as you, you idiot! We get nice and wet, then we get the tea bags..."
  • 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.
  • Bakura of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is here to kick ass and drink cups of tea. Because he's British.

    Western Animation 
  • In the animated Around the World in 80 Days, one of Fix's tricks is to set up a tea service along Fogg's path. Naturally the British gentleman stops in the middle of the race for tea-time (to the astonishment of his French sidekick). Fogg ends up arriving on time anyway.
  • 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.
    • 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:
      DM: What about that tea, Penfold? Am I going to get it or not?
      Penfold: (fractured Japanese) You gonna get it, all right! (more fractured Japanese)
      DM: No, I'll just have the Darjeeling as usual.
  • The Droopy cartoon "Out-Foxed" is set in a very English fox hunt. The phlegmatic quarry is constantly sipping a cup.
  • Mrs. Beakley quietly sips tea while watching Donald's houseboat burn in DuckTales (2017).
  • In The Fox and the Crow cartoon "Robin Hoodlum", Robin Hood's Merry Men are Stiff Upper Lip types who spend the whole time drinking tea. When Robin is kidnapped by Prince John, they don't seem that concerned, until they realise he's late for tea. They go to the castle and give Robin his cup, which has the same effect as spinach has on Popeye.
  • In one episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Hal is knocked into an alternate dimension where he lands on a Steampunk version of Victorian England. Naturally, there is lots of tea.
  • The Hector Heathcote Show cartoon "The Famous Ride" has Hector squaring off with a British soldier who is never seen without his cuppa.
  • In Ivor the Engine, Jones the Steam routinely makes tea using the water from Ivor's boiler.
  • 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!"
  • In Mike, Lu & Og, the Albonquetinians, who are descended from Brits, have a traditional afternoon tea time. In one episode, their prized teacup goes missing and spend all day sitting at the table while Mike goes out to find it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 stereotypical Englishman.
    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.
  • Snooper and Blabber: In "The Lion is Busy," Snagglepuss and Major Minor stop their chase between themselves and with Snooper and Blabber for traditional tea.
  • Ollie, the British possum henchman in T.U.F.F. Puppy, is often seen carrying a teacup.

    Real Life 
  • It should be noted that, despite the stereotype, the British are not the ones who consume the most tea per capita, but the Turkish. However, the UK still makes it into the top five tea consuming countries, sliding in at third place, just behind the Irish and ahead of Pakistan and Iran.
  • Tea was similarly popular in British North America until the events of The American Revolution. Taxes on tea prompted colonial boycotts and protests, mostly famously the Boston Tea Party, causing the popularity of tea in America to nosedive. While tea lost its unpatriotic stigma after independence, the beverage's popularity in the United States has never returned to British levels — it currently holds 35th place on the list mentioned above. Although its sweet and iced form is popular in the southeastern part of the country.
  • 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 (BV) — an oversized water heater which will boil water for tea, heat boil-in-the-bag ration packs, and of course sterilise the water. The BV was also developed as a protective measure. In World War 2, tank crews had to exit their vehicles when it came to tea time utilizing improvised burners out of used petrol cans, which caused all manner of safety concerns. So after the war (starting with the production of the Centurion in 1945) the BV was added to all armoured vehicle designs, which not only protects the crew by keeping them inside the tank, but also reduces the amount of time needed for a tea break.
  • World War I: 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.note  Presumably just because it could, and because they had to do it once.note 
    • By weight, Britain shipped to its troops in the field more tea than anything else except bullets during World War II.
  • Infamously, one urban legend says that during D-Day, where the Americans at Omaha Beach, the Canadians at Juno Beach, and the British at Gold Beach were met with fierce resistance, the British and French at Sword Beach were faced with the second lightest resistance (after the Americans at Utah Beach), and the German panzer divisions were yet to arrive. Caen was as good as theirs. That is, if they didn't take a tea break as soon as they'd got across the beach, giving German forces enough time to reinforce the entirety of their route forwards. As below however, this was largely the result of plans for Caen not yet being finalised; they stopped for tea because there were no orders to advance.
  • Similarly during WWI the British landings at Suvla Bay resulted in British troops making tea while only a few miles away other units, British and Australian were fighting to reach them. The failure to advance though was the result of incompetent leadership; since the troops weren't free to advance making tea was the logical thing to do.
  • Tea was also used as an instrument of wartime diplomacy. The Irish Free State had no merchant 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 the war, despite heavy pressure and downright intimidation from both Britain (to join the war) and the Axis (to remain neutral). The Irish also drink even more tea than the British, per capitanote . There was a lively cross-border smuggling trade, bartering luxuries like stockings still available in Dublin for Belfast's more generous tea ration (which was four times as much as the Republic's, even rationed). 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 Taoiseachnote  (prime minister) Éamon de Valera to comply. It 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. Maybe if they'd had some of the tea, their pilots would've been awake enough to not fly across the Irish Sea without realizing it.
  • 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. The Opium War also led to the British colony of Hong Kong, where tea-drinking remains popular, especially with older people. Both British and Chinese style of tea are common — with or without milk being a primary difference (Hongkongers also put their own spin on it, and sweet, cold Taiwanese bubble tea is more popular with young people). Hongkongers are primarily southern Chinese, and overwhelmingly lactose intolerant. British milk tea in Hong Kong is not to be confused with northern Chinese milk tea, from regions where herding was more historically common. To add to the confusion, "tea" in Hong Kong can also refer to the fancier British-inspired afternoon snacks, or the brunch-esque and more "street" meals in Cantonese tea restaurants.
  • Douglas Adams once opined in an essay that the reason non-British people don't understand the British obsession with tea is that most non-British people have never actually had a good cup of tea. He helpfully added a detailed description of how to brew such a necessity.
  • In 1994, Charles Bronson (No, not that one) took a warden of the woodhill prison hostage and in exchange for the man's release, he demanded a cup of Tea, among other things.

I'll just put the kettle on, shall I?


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Alternative Title(s): Tea Loving Brits


Homer's Sugar

Marge might have had a point, but she failed to account for what the tea obsessed British will do for a proper cuppa.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

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Main / ProperlyParanoid

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