How Many Cups of Tea?

How many cups of tea does it take a British person to change a light bulb?


  1. One beforehand because they don’t want to rush the job
  2. One in the middle as a break
  3. And one afterwards… with a biscuit …as a reward for a job well done.

How many cups of tea does it take a Pole to change a light bulb?

In my experience of working with Poles*, they’re hard-working, problem-oriented and like to get on with the task immediately. Poles will solve the problem first and then, and only then, will they make a cup of tea, sit down and complain about the light bulb breaking again.

Brits have a more laid-back attitude towards problem-solving and can postpone the solution until the kettle has boiled.

cup of tea

I used to work in a corporation in which teams of Poles and Brits worked together to deliver services. Generally speaking, the Brits had more experience, so the Poles relied on their help to solve certain issues. The Poles wanted help straight away and would ask the Brits for help via an online messenger. The Poles got frustrated if the Brits didn’t reply immediately and share the information that was required to solve the problem. And if the Brits went for a cup of tea…

In my experience, Poles are more energized by solving problems than by achieving goals. If your pulse is racing and adrenaline flowing because of some issue you’re facing, then the last thing you want is a cup of green tea. In the UK it’s the other way around. British people tend to see the problem as a minor inconvenience on the way to achieving a goal and so don’t feel the urgency to tackle the problem immediately.

When it comes to filling the kettle, timing is everything!

*Just bear in mind that I’m talking about young Poles in a multi-national corporation. This doesn’t refer to the guys who are renovating your apartment!

2 thoughts on “How Many Cups of Tea?

  1. Except that 50% of Polish people prefer coffee. Most nations are situated at one of the extreme ends of the coffee-tea spectrum. In Europe, the British Isles and post-Soviet countries are lands of staunch tea drinkers, most of the rest drink coffee. Poland is quite unique in sitting squarely on the fence.


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