When Tea meets Pop Culture: Our favourite on-screen tea moments

Real or reel, tea is an essential. Lets look at some popular on-screen tea moments.

A cup of tea seems like the best solution - anytime, anywhere. Having a rough day? A cup of tea will fix it. Quarantining alone? You have tea! Confused about what to do in the evening? Make some good tea and invite a friend over to share it.  First date? Conversations and tea make the best deal. There is something ever so comforting about having a hot cuppa. Coming in second only to water as the most consumed beverage, tea has taken many variants across different cultures, all over the globe. From flavourful green tea to cutting masala chai and everything in between

Tea has become an integral part of our lives and our favourite TV serials and movies. The essence of tea on screen immediately tells you something about the characters and the plot. Let's look at a few marvelous on screen tea moments where tea is either being brewed, boiled, served, passed around, or used as a prop to convey something funny, serious or casual that have kept us wanting more tea!

  • Alice in Wonderland - The Mad Hatter’s eccentric tea party

The very iconic tea party has one rule, “it’s always tea-time”. Tea is always associated with good company and stories to go with. In this scene, the dormouse, the March Hare and Alice are hosted by the Mad Hatter who is always excited about this beverage and the stories it comes with. Why restrict tea time to 5 o clock anyway?  Watch the scene here.

Alice in wonderland

  • Bridgerton - Queen Charlotte sipping tea

Thanks to Bridgerton, fancy tea sets have become the new home must-have! While the show and all the afternoon tea parties and soirees make us want to have tea in dainty tea-sets with a British accent literally all the time, we simply cannot forget those scenes where the beverage came to the rescue for the Queen as well, while complex decision making and judgements.


  • Sherlock - The one where Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty fight

This is hands-down one of the best scenes to come out of HBO’s Sherlock. Rivals Sherlock and Moriarty have a candid conversation over cups of tea. It starts with Benedict Cumberbatch displaying the most elegant way of stirring tea before intensity brews between the two characters. Moriarty is there to drop some codes in a conversation with Sherlock. The line “In a world full of locked rooms, the man with the key is king, and honey, you should see me in a crown” delivered flawlessly by the actor. The scene’s power grows with every sip of tea.

Sherlock Holmes

  • Scott Pilgrim Vs the World - Ramona Flowers telling Scott Pilgrim that there are ALL kinds of tea

We cannot begin to explain how much this scene speaks to us. Scott Pilgrim is seated at a table where his romantic interest, Ramona Flowers asks him what kind of tea he wants and to which he enquires “There are more than one?”. The answer includes, “blueberry, raspberry, ginseng, sleepy time tea, green tea, green tea with lemon and honey, liver disaster, ginger with honey, ginger without honey, vanilla, white truffle, blueberry chamomile, decaf vanilla walnut and earl grey”. So many unique blends of tea, so little time! After all, there is tea for every mood, emotion and occasion. Watch their conversation.

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Tessomancy at Hogwarts

 If you are a Potterhead, you simply cannot forget this scene from the movie. In the relatively mysterious year at Hogwarts, during one of the Divination lessons, Professor Trelawney reads the tea leaves in Harry Potter's cup and sees four things: the falcon, a deadly enemy; The club, an attack; The skull, danger in one’s path and the Grim, a spectral dog which is an omen of death. Tessomancy is the art of reading tea leaves to predict events in the future and is taught as part of the Divination course at Hogwarts. This connected tea to spirituality and magic and kept the audience hooked to the story.

Harry Potter

  • Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Bilbo Baggins brews some tea for Gandalf.

Hobbits love hosting their close ones for breakfast, lunches, supper and tea. Along with the rich food culture, this fantasy series constantly mentions tea. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf meets Bilbo Baggins after so many years and finds himself seated in his cosy little home as he pours him some tea -  a scene which is so wholesome and warm to the viewer. In the books, however, tea finds a whole new meaning. In 'The Hobbit', Bilbo uses tea time as a tracker to describe the passage of time. In some initial chapters, tea time becomes the only indicator of time as the hobbit thirsts for tea on his adventure with the dwarves. That makes it quite an essential beverage!

Lord of the Rings

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