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 the sort of strong, inexpensive tea drunk by construction workers taking a break. The term is used to differentiate from other servings of tea, as it is usually both brewed strongly and served in a mug (as opposed to being brewed in a teapot) milky with two (or more in some cases) teaspoons of sugar.[1][2] The term has widespread use throughout both Ireland and the United Kingdom.[3]

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.'[4] 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, Lyon's Quickbrew.[citation needed] In 2007 a brand was put on the market called "Make Mine a Builders".

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. ^ "How do you make your builders tea ?". Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  4. ^ Page 161 in "A Social History of Tea" by Jane Pettigrew, first published 2001 by The National Trust

External links[edit]