I'm an etiquette expert and how you have your tea says a lot about you, and it's bad news if you like a builders brew

I'm an etiquette expert and how you have your tea says a lot about you, and it's bad news if you like a builders brew

BRITS love their tea and we all have our own ways of making it and drinking it, from putting the milk in first to dunking biscuits.

But etiquette expert and formal royal butler, Grant Harrold revealed to Fabulous that the way you drink it says a lot about your personality.

Brand of tea

The brand of tea sitting in your kitchen cupboard can say a lot about your class status.

PG Tips and Tetley is classically used for a builders brew, and Grant says if it's your preferred one, you're likely at the bottom of the social rank.

"I'd expect the downstairs staff of a country house to have PG Tips tea bags, whereas the aristocracy upstairs would be on Twinings loose leaf tea.

"PG Tips is the kind of thing you offer a workman, certainly not your aunt," Grant added.


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Types of tea

If you enjoy a good old cup of breakfast tea, Grant says it shows your someone who likes waking up early and getting on with your day immediately.

If you prefer afternoon tea, like an earl grey, you're probably way more relaxed and do things in your own time.

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Green tea and herbal teas mean you probably lead a more alternative way of life, and class yourself as a bit of a hippy.

"If it was Keeping Up Appearances, Onslow would have a builders tea, Mrs Bucket would be sipping earl grey and Rose would be on the green tea," explains Grant.

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Milk first?

Aristocracy likes to give their tea the chance to brew before adding any milk, whereas if you put it in first it indicates you're working class, says Grant.

And the reason why dates back centuries ago, when cup makers started adding animal bones to china creating – fine bone china.

This meant the more expensive cups wouldn't break if you added hot water to them first, hence the upper class started to put their milk in last.

The etiquette expert said: "If you put your milk in first you belong in the downstairs kitchen, but if you put it in last, you can sit yourself among aristocrats in the drawing room."

One lump or two?

As a nation, we can't resist a sweet treat, but many believe adding sugar in your tea tarnishes the flavour and people assume it's a common thing.

But years ago, if you were offered sugar for tea it meant you were wealthy and could afford it.

Grant revealed: "If you want to elevate yourself into high society, any respectable household will offer sugar or honey to their guests.

"But obviously it can't be granulated sugar, it has to be sugar cubes with sugar tongs.

"Silver if possible."

Biscuit dunking

"Avoid dunking at all costs, it's the biggest faux pas you can commit," shares Grant.

If you absolutely can't resist a cheeky dunk of your chocolate digestive, Grant has a few words of advice.

"You've got to close all the curtains, send any staff home, make sure none of your pets are in the room

"Lock yourself in a room which is in the basement and then only, and only at that point can you consider dunking a biscuit.

"A shameful act must be treated as such," insists the expert.

Drinking vessels

Having someone over for a cuppa tea and a sweet treat is always going to be a good time – so long as you choose the right cup.

Grant said: "When they take out the mugs that have tea stains you're left wondering if they're expecting you to put your overalls on and get your tools out the bag.

"If you turn up and are given a teacup and saucer it says you're aware of their position and you're trying to impress them.

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"It either means you're trying to impress them, or you're trying to make that other person feel at home."

You can get more etiquette tips from Grant over on his TikTok channel.

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