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Helen Taggart | October 03, 2014

The end of tea rationing – 62 years ago today!

Tea rationing during the Second World War

We drink over 165,000,000 cups of tea a day in the UK. Yes, despite the boom in the coffee industry with shops popping up on every high street, tea is still firmly the nation's favourite drink.

It’s true that we probably go out more for coffee than we do for tea…but we certainly drink more tea at home. In fact, with the current trend for better quality loose leaf teas in cafés and restaurants (hip, hip, hooray!) we might soon see tea’s domination on both sides of people’s front doors.

So it seems we really take our tea for granted these days. Yet, history has shown that it wasn't always as readily available as it is now.

Tea was rationed as low as 2oz per head per week during World War II as supplies were limited. After 1945, the ration rose to its pre-war consumption of 3oz but it was not until October 3rd 1952 – 62 years ago – that the ration was lifted completely. This meant Britons could enjoy unlimited “cuppas” for the first time in 12 years.

The tea drinking tradition has changed a lot since the war but despite an increase in popularity of white and green teas and a trend for blended teas and infusions, the most popular is still the good old breakfast tea.

Our Chrysler breakfast tea is definitely the one that most people ask for but we are trying to gradually coax people to be more adventurous and try some other teas like Pu-erh and Iron Goddess of Mercy, which you can buy in our online tea shop.

Or if you’re ever in our delightful and quirky HQ, Metrodeco Tea Salon in Brighton, ask to try some and we will gladly let you sample some of our lesser known teas.

You can read more about tea rationing here on the BBC website.