Tea vs. Coffee

Tea vs. Coffee

52% of Britons say tea better than coffee; younger generations more evenly split on hot drinks

When asked to choose their preference when it comes to tea or coffee, tea came out on top with more than half of the British public favouring the herbal drink next to just over a third who prefer coffee, our poll shows.

  • 52% favour tea as the best hot drink
  • 35% say they prefer coffee
  • 11% like neither tea or coffee as their favourite hot drink
  • 3% can't choose or "don’t know"

While this preference remains fairly consistent between men and women, there is a slight difference in age groups, with the youngest generation of respondents more evenly split between the two drinks, as well as a quarter who say neither tea nor coffee is their preference.

  • Of people aged over 25, more than 50% of each age group (25 to 39, 40 to 59 and 60+) say they prefer tea over coffee; however those aged 18-24 are more split on the beverages with only 39% preferring tea next to 30% coffee
  • More 18-24 year olds prefer other alternatives or no hot drink at all; with a quarter (24%) saying they prefer neither tea nor coffee, next to only 9% of people aged 40 to 59 years, and 5% of people over 60

Who drinks the most?

Hot drinks (tea in particular) have long played an integral part in British national identity and culture, with many famous Brits expressing their love of a 'good cuppa'.

Research has shown that the British tea culture is the highest in the world, with each British tea lover consuming on average 2.5 kg per year, though tea consumption in the UK is supposedly 'on the wane'.  The greatest coffee consumers turned out to be Scandinavians, in particular the Danish who apparently drank an impressive 7.5 kgs of coffee per head in 2002.

Sydney Smith, a 19th century English writer and Anglican cleric, was a prominent tea lover, often describing his love of the beverage, stating: "I always fear that creation will expire before tea-time."

American born English poet and playwright, T.S. Elliot, had a greater appreciation for coffee, claiming: “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

See the full survey results and details here

Bonnie Gardiner

Writer and contributor to the YouGov website.

Worked in the YouGov London office until September 2012

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