Builder's tea

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Builder's tea, a mug of tea with milk and sugar

Builder's tea is an English colloquial term for a strong, milky tea with sugar. The tea takes its name from the inexpensive tea commonly drunk by construction workers taking a break. A builder's tea is typically brewed in a mug (as opposed to a teapot) with two (or more in some cases) teaspoons of sugar.[1][2] The term has widespread use throughout both Ireland and the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Characteristics and brands[edit]

In 1916 the Ministry of Munitions health committee pronounced in a document titled Hours of Work: 'An opportunity for tea is regarded as beneficial both to health and output.'[3] Builder's tea is typically robust and a rich brown colour. The leaves are often brewed for longer than usual. Brands high in tannin, caffeine and Assam leaves better suited to builder's tea include PG Tips, Red Label (Brooke Bond, Tesco), Tetley, and Lyon's Quickbrew.[citation needed].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Two Great British Obsessions - Tea and DIY - First-Timers". Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  2. ^ Trackers, English (2011-08-03). "Tea and biscuits | English Editing Blog". Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  3. ^ Page 161 in "A Social History of Tea" by Jane Pettigrew, first published 2001 by The National Trust

Further reading[edit]