food

How much does it cost to make a cup of tea as prices rise?

food, how much does it cost to make a cup of tea as prices rise?

How much does a cuppa cost? (Picture: Getty)

In another round of not-so-cheerful cost of living news, the price of a brew has gone up.

According to the British Retail Consortium, the price of tea bags, milk and sugar have all risen – as food inflation reached a dizzying high of 11.6% for October 2022.

In light of this, you might then be wondering just how much your daily cup of tea actually costs you.

Let’s take a look.

How much does it cost to make a cup of tea?

Assuming you don’t put any sugar in your brew, there are three costs involved in your cuppa:

  • Tea bag
  • Milk
  • One use of a kettle.

food, how much does it cost to make a cup of tea as prices rise?

Tea bags can vary in price, depending on amount you buy, brand and flavour (Picture: Getty)

These costs will always vary, depending on what flavour of tea you like to drink, the brand you prefer, and your supermarket’s prices – as well as the cost of milk and number of pints you usually buy.

However, to try to work out an example figure, we’ll be making a standard tea with a splash of milk in it – using the cheapest products we could find via Tesco Groceries.

The cheapest box of standard tea bags is from the Tesco own-brand Stockwell, at 80 bags for 65p.

That comes to around 0.8p per tea bag.

One standard pint of Tesco semi-skimmed milk costs 89p these days, though we did find that a one-litre carton of Viva Pure Low Fat Milk costs a bit less at 60p.

food, how much does it cost to make a cup of tea as prices rise?

You’ll need to factor in the price of boiling the kettle, too (Picture: Getty)

Say you’ve bought one litre, and you add a 10ml dash with every cup to make it milky.

In theory, you have the equivalent of 100 dashes in your carton, which values one dash at around 0.6p – though, of course, milk lasts for just a few days, and is often used for more than just tea.

Finally, we need to determine how much it costs to run a kettle.

In our guide to the cost of boiling a kettle, we found the majority of appliances have a 3kW element, and that they can typically boil one cup of water (235ml) in 45 seconds.

Using the Sust-It calculator, which factors in the UK’s energy price guarantee (as per Ofgem) of 34p per kWh of electricity used, that 45 seconds would cost you 1.27p.

food, how much does it cost to make a cup of tea as prices rise?

Of course, how much you pay for tea depends on a variety of factors – such as the brand you use, if you take milk and sugar, etc (Picture: Getty)

Factoring in all of the above, one cup of tea, therefore, works out as 2.67p – or to round it up: 3p.

You could even make it a bit milkier and still keep it around the 3p mark.

However, you can’t get a 3p per cup figure without paying for the box of bags and milk outright. That total, including one boil of the kettle, comes to around £1.26.

Swap the litre for a pint of milk, as it may be more easily accessible in your local shop, and you’ll pay £1.55.

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