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 What can you learn about your colleagues from their hot drinks?

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There are many routines engraved into modern office life, but none more sacred than the tea round.

It’s a rite of passage that’ll test your ability to multitask, attention to detail and knack for making a good brew.

Better than that, it’s a valuable way to reveal the true nature of the people you work with.

The problem is that it can take a while to get up to scratch with this unique office ritual.

So we’ve put together this short guide to tea round etiquette, helping you get to grips with the different types of hot drinks (and personalities) you’ll encounter in the office.


Builder’s Tea

A British classic and confusingly frowned upon by the rest of the world (‘milk in tea?’); Builder’s Tea is the staple of the tea round.

Traditionally made milky with two sugars, tea drinkers are consistent and reliable. If you ever get landed with a big project, they’re the ones you want on your team!


Black Coffee

Typing a hundred words a minute and emitting a constant buzz of energy; black coffee drinkers work hard and fast. They need that super-charged caffeine hit to deliver results – so remember to get their drink made quickly and their work done first, otherwise, there could be an office meltdown!


Herbal Tea

Mature and refined, or just a bit odd – whatever your take on herbal tea drinkers, you have to applaud them.

It is widely known that anything that’s good for you, doesn’t taste nice and though herbal teas smell great and have plenty of health benefits, they do tend to taste a bit like perfumed feet bathed in hot water…

But do not be deceived, herbal tea drinkers are full of wisdom.

So if you’re ever looking for a fresh perspective, be sure to get a fennel and peppermint detox tea over to them pronto and you may just find they’ll be more than willing to shed some valuable light on your dilemma. Don’t forget to ask them about the health benefits of the tea – they’ll be dying to tell you!


Decaf Coffee

Drinking decaf coffee is a bit like drinking non-alcoholic beer or still Fanta, it’s just not the same. There is a large proportion of society that doesn’t share this sentiment though, and are happy to drink a nice cup of mud water.

But don’t pass judgement, just give them their drink and hope that they’ll one day realise all the health benefits of caffeine that they’re missing out on…

A decaf coffee drinker (unlike their caffeine counterparts) are less likely to have a meltdown, so they will always be a good source of help when you need it.


Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate drinkers want to unleash their inner child – they express their flamboyance through whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and an assortment of flavoured syrups.

They can be a great source of inspiration if you ever need to get creative on a project!

We will be honest though, it is very rare that a colleague will ask you to prepare them a hot chocolate, but if they do leave it till last – it’s the drink that goes cold the quickest.


It’s important to remember

While we’ve been playing around with hot drink stereotypes in good humour, things like the tea round, team lunches and after-work socials are great ways to stay connected with your colleagues.

You’ll be spending most of your time with the people you work with, so taking the time to get to know them well will really help you make the most of office life.


Discover more careers advice on our Graduate Blog – or check out our jobs board for graduate jobs.

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