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They say the British empire was built on cups of tea, however, as a nation, we will endure 9,828 disappointing cups in our lifetime, according to a new survey.

Researchers from Clipper Teas undertook a nationwide study into our tea drinking habits and revealed we drink an average of 28 cups a week, but according to the poll, at least THREE of those are truly disappointing.

Half of those polled said they have had to complain to a partner, friend or work colleague about their lack of brew making efforts, with three in ten claiming they feel genuinely insulted by a poor cup of tea.

In fact, three quarters felt that the way in which a person makes your tea is a solid indication of how well they really know you.

And it is our work colleagues who are most likely to serve a cup that is below par, however four in ten said they are too petrified to confront their boss over bad tea and 20 percent do not dare tell their partner that they hate the way they make it.

A further 19 percent moaned about the way their sibling made tea and 12 percent even took a swipe at their own mum, claiming her tea was undrinkable.

Tea stains down the side of the cup, chipped mugs, over milky brews - and being given sugar when you specifically didn’t ask for it were among the main concerns of the 2,000 Britons who took part in the study.

In fact, so seriously do Brits take their tea, that 12 percent said they would rather be sworn at than receive a disappointing cup of tea and one in ten felt someone forgetting your birthday was less insulting than someone presenting you with a poor-quality beverage.

According to Clipper’s Master Blender, the optimum time to leave the teabag in is 3 – 4 minutes. However, 26 percent of the nation admit to not leaving the tea bag in for long enough and 36 percent said they would complain if their tea was too weak.

A spokesperson for Clipper Teas, who commissioned the poll ahead of National Tea Day on Saturday, said: “This survey reveals what we’ve always known about Great Britain: we’re a nation of tea lovers who care how our tea is made. At Clipper we’re dedicated to creating tea that’s always full of flavour whilst using all-natural ingredients and working fairly with all our partners (a clear conscience tastes good too!). We think there’s no excuse for disappointing those you care about, and National Tea Day is the ideal time to improve relationships with family, friends and work colleagues; by serving them an amazing cup of Clipper tea”

One in five said their preference was for their tea to be strong with a dash of milk, but a more eclectic 15 percent like it black with a slice of lemon.

The poll found over a third of Brits are convinced that if someone gives them a poor-quality cup of tea, they simply don’t care enough, with one in twenty saying their day is totally ruined if it starts with a bad cuppa.

The biggest tea related grumble is if it is too weak (36 percent), but nearly one in twenty throw a wobbler if tea isn’t served with a biscuit to accompany it.

More than one in three (13 percent) go berserk if they get a cuppa in a chipped mug and one in ten objects if the wrong milk is added.


1. Too weak - 36 percent
2. Luke-warm - 35 percent
3. Too milky - 30 percent
4. The teabag has not been in for long enough - 26 percent
5. The mug has not been washed properly - 25 percent
6. It has the incorrect amount of milk - 21 percent
7. The cup is half empty - 20 percent
8. It is poor quality tea - 19 percent
9. The cup is half full - 18 percent
10. Too strong - 18 percent
11. The teabag was left in too long - 18 percent
12. The milk was put in before the tea - 18 percent
13. Someone rushed the process - 16 percent
14. Not enough sugar or sweetener was in it - 15 percent
15. There are tea stains down the cup - 14 percent
16. Not milky enough - 14 percent
17. The mug is chipped - 13 percent
18. The wrong type of milk - 11 percent
19. They gave you sugar/sweetener when you don’t take it - 11 percent
20. It is not the right brand of tea - 9 percent


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