Why do the British love the taste of tea so much?

Whether they take their tea with milk, sugar, lemon or just plain, it’s clear that the British have a fondness for its flavour. There’s something about that firm bitterness that sparks devotion: the British consume 60 billion cups per year, according to the Tea and Infusions Organisation. That’s more than 900 cups a year for every man, woman and child in Great Britain – though we no doubt all know someone who likes many more than that.
Tea has become entrenched in the British way of life, from the humble tea break to the high tea to be enjoyed – in a jacket and tie, of course, gentlemen – at the very swankiest of London hotels.
But what are the molecules behind the taste of this beloved beverage? And does how you take your tea say something about who you are?


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