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Builder's tea refers to a strong cup of tea.

Builder's tea, also known as a builder’s brew, is a British English colloquial term for a strong cup of tea.[1][2] It takes its name from the inexpensive tea commonly drunk by labourers taking a break. A builder's tea is typically brewed in a mug with a teabag (as opposed to loose tealeaves in a teapot), with milk and sugar.[3]



Builder's tea is typically robust and has a rich brown colour. The leaves are often brewed for longer than usual, with an average infusion time of between two and four minutes.[1] Brands high in tannin, caffeine, as well as those containing Assam leaves are better suited to this type of tea.

The name is a reference to the many cups of tea consumed on tea breaks by the building trades in the United Kingdom.[4][5] The term has widespread use throughout both Great Britain and Ireland.[6][7][8] Research from the Social Issues Research Centre found that people performing construction work found tea "both soothing and stimulating".[9] A 2013 article in the Daily Express denoted a trend of builder's tea being consumed less by construction workers compared to earlier times.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Colman Andrews (8 November 2016). The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales. ABRAMS. pp. 637–. ISBN 978-1-61312-211-2. 
  2. ^ Souter, K. (2013). The Tea Cyclopedia: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Drink. EBL-Schweitzer. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-62873-548-2. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  3. ^ Edwards, Adam (23 Jun 2001). "Liquid assets: builder's tea". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Miller, Norman (17 March 2017). "Are you posh or a pleb? Cuppas, class and other British obsessions". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  5. ^ "Minor British Institutions: Builders' tea". The Independent. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  6. ^ John Ayto (18 October 2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. Oxford University Press. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-0-19-964024-9. 
  7. ^ Karen Bescherer Metheny; Mary C. Beaudry (7 August 2015). Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-0-7591-2366-3. 
  8. ^ "Will Self: Why I hate builder's tea". New Statesman. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  9. ^ "Two Great British Obsessions - Tea and DIY - First-Timers". (Social Issues Research Centre). Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  10. ^ Sheldrick, Giles (10 Jul 2013). "Builder's tea no longer preferred drink for construction workers". Retrieved 5 Jun 2018. 

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