From a cuppa to cappuccino: The traditional brew is a thing of the past

Apr 01, 2021

IT USED to be “milk and two sugars”. Now you’re more likely to hear “Cappuccino with oat milk”… The era of the traditional ‘builder’s tea’ is over.

Tradespeople across the UK favour coffee over a hearty brew for their caffeine hit while at work, according to a new study.

The results of a survey of around 1,000 van drivers by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, whose UK headquarters are in Milton Keynes, show that a cappuccino tops the list of favourite hot drinks ahead of a latte.

The humble English breakfast tea ranks third, ahead of hot chocolate, an Americano, and a flat white.

Van drivers are not just becoming more discerning with their choice of tea or coffee, either, with almost one in five opting for an alternative milk, such as oat, almond, soy or coconut.

And when they opt for regular milk, it is semi-skimmed over full fat for most.

Claire English, head of fleet at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “It is time to think again when you ask your plumber, electrician, or builder if they want a brew because the chances are it’s not top of the list.”


Cappuccino 18%

Latte 16%

English breakfast tea 13%

Hot chocolate 12%

Americano 11%

Flat white 10%

Espresso 9%

Mocha 5%

Other tea 2%

Almost one in three of those drivers surveyed buy multiple hot drinks in a day, while only one in ten buy none at all. The van drivers who spend most on hot drinks during work are in London, with an average seven per week, compared to Welsh van drivers who purchase just three per week.

Ms English said: “We are proud to support the nation’s van drivers and hope this research will mean their customers are well-stocked with coffee – and alternative milk options – when they arrive.”


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