What Is a Builder’s Tea & How To Make OneFebruary 6, 2023 9:24 pm
There are some things in life that we all know to be quintessentially British, and one of those is tea. Known around the world for our love of a good cuppa, it’s easy to see why it remains one of the nation’s favourite drinks.
With so many different variations and types of tea, the classic English tea is hard to define. Everyone has their own opinion on what makes the best cup of tea or even in what order you should be making it. It’s a divisive topic no matter which part of the UK you live in, but this month at Bosaco, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the classic builder’s tea.
This is a pretty specific and iconic – and also simple – cup of tea, but it means a lot to tradies up and down the country. So, for those who aren’t aware of what it is, where the term “builder’s tea” came from or how to make a brew of this type, we’re here to help you. After all, who better to explain how a builder’s tea is made than your local, Nottingham builders?
What is a builder’s tea?
We’ll look at where this prized brew came from and how it’s become part of British culture shortly, but first, let’s try and nail down what it is.
The first and most noticeable characteristic of a builder’s tea is that it’s strong. This means leaving it to brew a little longer and using a little less milk. You want to achieve a rich colour and a sweet but strong flavour. That sweetness will come from a helping of sugar and the strength comes from the tea bag, giving it a deep brown colour. That latter element on tea bags is divisive as a topic in and of itself, with people developing strong attachments with certain brands.
What you need to know is that it’s strong, sweet, hot, with a slightly thicker texture and, importantly, it’s cheap and easy to make.
History of a builder’s tea
Builder’s tea as a named concept is actually a fairly recent phenomenon, gaining traction and popularity in the mid-to-late 20th century as Britain’s manufacturing and construction industries saw a boom. Tea has been a fascination of the English for a long time before that point, most famously used against us by the Boston Tea Party in America in an act of protest in 1773, when they dumped imported tea into the Boston Harbour.
There’s no set date for when the term “builder’s tea” was first used, but it’s commonly associated with blue-collar industries. Its rise was no doubt due to a focus on set break times while on a shift, using a strong brew to provide nourishment and energy in what little time there was. While manufacturing and other industries have waned over the decades, construction sites and the trades, still going strong, have adopted it as the drink of choice for the same reasons. With sporadic breaks on site and the camaraderie of making tea in rounds, it’s a staple – to the point where apprentices are given the task of making the tea both to initiate them and to give them odd jobs to keep them busy.
The classic builder’s tea is still popular across work sites even in the 21st century, but it has been noted that builders prefer a wider variety of drinks now, including coffee and soft drinks – no doubt in part due to the increasing number of coffee shops and mini supermarket stores that offer easier access to drinks and other sources of caffeine.
How to make a builder’s tea
Making a builder’s tea should be pretty straightforward, but a lot depends on the individual preference of the person making it and who they’re making it for. There is no one, definitive way to make a builder’s brew, but here are the basic steps you need to follow to get that strong, dark beige liquid in a quick, easy fashion:
- First of all, fill your kettle with enough water to make the number of cups and set it to boil.
- Grab some mugs – some people have their own, others don’t care – and give them a quick rinse out if possible (not essential, especially on a building site!).
- Add a tea bag to each mug, preferably a black tea to get that darker hue, no loose leafs.
- Once the kettle has boiled, add the water into the mugs, leaving a little bit of room for however much milk each drinker prefers.
- Let this brew for a few minutes and then stir to steep the tea, this is where you start to achieve that richer tea colour.
- Remove the tea bag, squeezing it with the spoon for that last little extra hit of flavour and then discard it.
- Add your splash of milk – but don’t over-do it – and then sugar to sweeten the brew.
- Serve the round while it’s still hot.
Choose a local, reliable construction company
Here at Bosaco, not only do we know how to make the very best builder’s tea, but we’re excellent at the building part of our jobs too. From plastering and renovations to painting and decorating or building extensions, we can take on all your construction needs as local, reliable tradesmen in Nottingham.
We’re committed to providing you with professional building services and can offer free, no-obligation quotes for the work you’d like carried out. Whatever the age of your property and wherever you are in the region, we’ll be happy to help you as a family-run construction company.
Contact us today and speak to our dedicated team for more information or for some friendly advice.