Tea trend makes mug of tradition

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THAT great British institution – the teapot – is under threat, new figures have revealed, as people increasingly opt to make their daily brew in a mug.

Demand for teapots has halved over the past five years, according to research from department store Debenhams.

At the same time, with 165 million cups of tea consumed in the UK every day, demand for mugs has trebled – suggesting more people than ever are making their tea in the vessel from which they drink.

Traditionalists have warned that the trend could see the ritual of tea drinking changed forever.

“Tea is the most quintessential of British drinks, and the act of tea drinking has long been one of our greatest traditions,” said social etiquette expert Liz Brewer. “We must preserve the custom which, for centuries, has been the hallmark of polite British society – tea served in a teapot before being poured into china cups.”

Debenhams has launched a campaign for “Civilised Tea Drinking” – to encourage people to pour their tea from a teapot rather than a mug.

Debenhams’ head of home design, Alison Hill said: “Tea served in a pot has always been a feature of British life. As well as being a historic, pivotal part of everyday family life for generations, tea has helped us through many hard times. ”

She added: “We know people have busy lives and so often find it easier to use a teabag in a mug. However, at the same time, we don’t want to see an essential element of British society disappear because of expediency.

“While using high quality tea-leaves provides drinkers with probably the ultimate cup of tea, we’re also recommending using teabags in a teapot.

“The great British ceremony of making a pot of tea is infinitely adaptable.”