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Tea was a drink made from the dried leaves of the tea plant, Camellia, created by brewing the leaves in hot water.[source needed] Tea leaves were sometimes encased in porous bags, making it easier to dispose the leaves after steeping. (TV: The Invasion of Time, The Lodger, PROSE: The Dying Days) The Fifth Doctor once described tea to Will Chandler as "a noxious infusion of oriental leaves containing a high percentage of toxic acid". Will thought it sounded vile, to which the Doctor replied, "Personally, I rather like it". (TV: The Awakening) According to Samuel Johnson, the proper use of tea was to relax the studious, a claim the Fourth Doctor quoted while in the Morovanian Museum. (AUDIO: The Renaissance Man)

Milk and sugar were often used to flavour tea. According to Professor Litefoot, ladies should add only one lump of sugar to their tea. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang) Lemon was also often used to flavour tea. (PROSE: Fallen Gods)

According to the Eighth Doctor, one should "never turn down tea if it's offered. It's impolite, and that's how wars start." Although at first claiming this to have incited at least fourteen different wars, he admitted that he may have been exaggerating when pressed. (AUDIO: Memory Lane)

When tea was not served with a meal, it was often served with biscuits and jam. (TV: The Power of Kroll) The Second Doctor once requested a patty cake with his tea. (TV: The Invasion) The Eleventh Doctor was particularly fond of Jammie Dodgers with his tea. He once fooled the Daleks into believing that the biscuit was the TARDIS self-destruct control. He claimed that he brought the biscuit since he was promised tea. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)

Tea with milk (TV: Doctor Who)

Although unknown in England at least until 1420, (AUDIO: Oh No It Isn't!) tea later became prominent in British culture and was often drunk for comfort. When offered a cup of tea by her mother, Jackie in the middle of an alien invasion, Rose Tyler sarcastically referred to tea as "the solution to everything". Shortly afterwards, Mickey Smith dryly said to Rose that Jackie's offer of tea was the equivalent of "having a picnic while the world comes to an end" and "very British." (TV: The Christmas Invasion) Rose said to a parallel universe version of Jackie that her Jackie would not go to bed until she had a cup of tea, with two sugars. The parallel Jackie did the same as the one from Rose's universe. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)

"Rosy Lee" was Cockney rhyming slang for "tea". (AUDIO: Dead Men's Tales)

Serving tea[]

Tea rooms were businesses that primarily served tea. (PROSE: The Splintered Gate)

The Doctor considered the ability to make tea important. The Fourth Doctor once asked Romana I if she knew how to make tea. As she didn't know what it was, he claimed that the Time Lords no longer taught anything useful. (TV: The Ribos Operation) When Professor Litefoot attempted to educate Leela on the etiquette of tea, the Fourth Doctor told her that the only thing she really needed to know was how to heat a teapot. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)

During his time with UNIT, the Third Doctor drank a lot of tea. Tea was so important to him that the tea lady was allowed in his lab, which was off limits to anyone except the Brigadier and his staff. (TV: Terror of the Autons) The Doctor also profited scientifically from his fondness of tea. When Sergeant Benton offered him a cup of tea, it helped jog his memory that the leaves inside the beverage were the linchpin necessary to finish construction of a functional time flow analog. (TV: The Time Monster)

Tilda and Tabby attempted to trap Mel by serving her tea. (TV: Paradise Towers)

Deadbeat performed odd jobs for Captain Cook, including making Cook's special blend of tea. (TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy)

Daleks, posing as man-made machines called Ironsides, had a variety of duties including serving tea. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)

Louise bringing herself and Liz tea. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative)

Louise Bayliss frequently made tea for herself and Liz Shaw at P.R.O.B.E., remembering that Liz liked hers black with two sugars. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative)

A secretary served tea to Victor Kennedy, prior to Kennedy revealing himself and absorbing her. (WC: Tardisode 10)

After Owen Harper was relieved of his duties with Torchwood Three, he was tasked with providing tea. (TV: A Day in the Death)

Types of tea[]

English breakfast was a commonly drunk type of tea. (AUDIO: Dead Man's Switch)

According to the Seventh Doctor, tea made in a hotel room tasted worse than any other kind of tea. (AUDIO: The Shadow of the Scourge)

The Second Doctor once memorised a detailed map of London in a desperate attempt to not think about the "execrable tea" the Brigadier served him and Jamie McCrimmon. This was AAFI tea, atrociously strong and thick with sugar, but the Brigadier and Jamie enjoyed their cups quite happily. (PROSE: The Invasion) He expressed a desire for Assam for its "particularly agreeable flavour" and Lapsang souchong. (PROSE: Downtime)

Tibetans drank hot yak butter tea to fortify themselves against the cold of their native land. (COMIC: Yonder... The Yeti) The Second Doctor and Professor Travers enjoyed it as the monks served it: Unsweetened, milkless, and with yak butter. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen)

The Seventh Doctor was particularly fond of Lapsang souchong, Earl Grey, and Arcturan tea. He disliked peppermint tea, but drank some because it was a gift from a friend. (PROSE: Original Sin, Lucifer Rising, Notre Dame du Temps)

Captain Cook created a special blend of tea made from tea leaves located in the Groz valley on Melogophon. (TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy)

The Eighth Doctor enjoyed darjeeling tea with lemon. (PROSE: Fallen Gods) He also once acquired oolong tea from Peking, which he offered to his companion, Mary Shelley. (AUDIO: Army of Death)

The Thirteenth Doctor's favourite tea was Yorkshire Tea. (PROSE: The Good Doctor)

Dr Jeremiah O'Kane left Dr Colin Dove a sizeable amount of tea, including red China, India, Earl Grey, lapsang souchong, green gunpowder and black Russian. When offered, Peter Russell asked for red China. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative)

Iced tea was a form of tea that included ice. Liz Shaw poured some for herself and Ed Crowborough. (AUDIO: The Sentinels of the New Dawn)

Healing properties[]

Tea was considered a healing substance. According to the Tenth Doctor, the free radicals and tannin in tea made it ideal for "healing the synapses". At the time, the vapour from a spilled flask of tea had helped the Doctor recover from his recent regeneration. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)

The Sixth Doctor drank tea to recover from Sancreda's psychic attack. (AUDIO: The Spectre of Lanyon Moor)

The Eleventh Doctor used a large amount of very strong tea to save the life of Craig Owens, who had been adversely affected by a ceiling that had been altered by a time ship's attempts to find a pilot; the Doctor claimed that it "reversed the enzyme decay". (TV: The Lodger)


While tea was an Earth creation, it was enjoyed by aliens as well, and existed on some other planets.

Davros enjoyed sweet tea. (AUDIO: Guilt)

Turlough expressed a fondness for tea, or as he called it, "that brown liquid." (TV: The Awakening)

Vilgreth was fond of tea and took some with him when he left Earth in his spaceship. (AUDIO: Last of the Titans)

Skagra, when attempting to read the mind of Professor Chronotis, experienced the taste of tea and found it "faintly unpleasant". (PROSE: Shada)

After hypnotising Pete Lomax, the Master stole Pete's shortbread biscuit and dipped it in his tea before leaving. (PROSE: Harvest of Time)

Tea existed on Mondas at the time of the creation of the Cybermen. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)

Despite their differences, both Charlie Smith and Andrea Quill enjoyed tea. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die)

The Doctor[]

The Third Doctor took his tea with milk and four sugars. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs) He had a habit of stirring his tea with whatever was available, such as a silicon rod. (TV: The Three Doctors) The Brigadier was once confused when the Third Doctor did not put milk or sugar in his tea. In fact, he was not having tea with the Doctor, but with the Master, who had temporarily stolen the Doctor's body. (PROSE: The Switching)

The Emperor of China once gave the Doctor a gift of tea. During her travels with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa gave the tea away, unaware of its origins. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)

The Fifth Doctor took his tea with two sugars (AUDIO: The Eternal Summer, PROSE: The Comet's Tail) and told Private Bates that he wanted it "stirred, not shaken". (AUDIO: The Helliax Rift) The Ninth also took two sugars. (TV: The Unquiet Dead) The Sixth Doctor took his with six (AUDIO: Project: Lazarus) whilst the Fourth Doctor once asked for tea with "just eight" sugars (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Star Beast) and the Twelfth Doctor shovelled at least seven into his cup. (TV: Death in Heaven)

An attempt on the Sixth Doctor's life was made by poisoning his tea with soluble aspirin. The Doctor counteracted the aspirin by eating chocolate. (AUDIO: The Condemned) Constance Clarke offered him one last cup of tea at her house when she returned home. (AUDIO: Quicksilver)

The Seventh Doctor once met a potential future version of himself who had a particularly great interest in tea. (COMIC: Party Animals)

In a coffee shop in London in 1963, John, a Jamaican employee served the Seventh Doctor a mug of tea. The pair chatted about adding sugar to tea, and whether it would "make a difference", leading the Doctor to muse about the larger ripple effects that occur through time even from small decisions. John's father had worked in the sugar fields in Jamaica, hence, the Doctor concluded, if he controlled people's taste buds so no one would take sugar with their tea, John's father wouldn't have had the job. John replied that if sugar hadn't been put in tea, his Great-grandfather wouldn't have been kidnapped, chained up and sold in Kingston in the first place, and that he'd be an African. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)

Sometime before his ninth incarnation, the Doctor pushed boxes of tea at the Boston Tea Party. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

The Tenth Doctor drank tea at the Warp Hotel on Askenflatt Minor, which he found to be "the best cuppa in the known universe — and at least half of the unknown universe". He thought the coffee on Askenflatt Major was better, but not the tea. (PROSE: The Hero Factor)

After shunting Gallifrey into a pocket universe, the Doctor's first life cycle celebrated with tea at the National Gallery with Clara Oswald. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)

Whilst in possession of Davros' wheelchair, the Twelfth Doctor enjoyed a cup of tea. (TV: The Witch's Familiar)

While serving as assistant to the Doctor at St Luke's University, Nardole brought tea to his office, adding "a bit of coffee" to "give it some flavour". (TV: Thin Ice)

The Thirteenth Doctor promised Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan that they would all have "a cuppa" and some fried egg sandwiches once they were done saving Karl Wright from Tzim-Sha. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) She later claimed she would have offered "a cuppa" to Police Officer Mason while he was searching her room at the Sahara Springs Motel, if not for the bad service. (TV: Rosa)

The Thirteenth Doctor believed that "a shock [was] no reason to waste good tea". She told Graham O'Brien this after his shock at discovering Bethany Brunwine was a Stilean flesh eater caused him to almost drop the tray of tea and biscuits he was holding. (COMIC: Hidden Human History)

When the Thirteenth Doctor met with Martha Jones in 1969, she explained regeneration over tea and custard cream. (COMIC: A Little Help from My Friends)