The real Brexit crisis: the price of a cuppa is set to soar

Brexit vote has pushed up the price of tea - what can you do?

'Builder's tea' in a Union Jack flag mug with two homemade oat cookie biscuits

It doesn't matter where you stand on the issue of Brexit, one thing is certain: the decision to leave Europe, and the subsequent plunge in the value of the pound against other currencies, has brought about a proper British crisis - because the price of a cup of tea is set to rise.

The news was revealed by The Grocer Magazine. It said that the heart of the matter is the fall in the value of the pound against other currencies. It means that when British brands like Tetley buy in their raw materials - like the tea itself - they have to spend more in pound terms for the same amount of tea.

To make matters worse, at the same time, a number of failed harvests have meant tea prices were already on the rise. This is adding to the pressure on manufacturers.

So far they have been swallowing the extra cost, but Tetley told The Grocer that it was getting to the point when it was going to have to look more closely at raising prices. And Yorkshire Tea said that unless it sees a recovery in the pound there will be a long term impact on the price.

What can you do?

The good news is that you can unwind any price rises by shopping around. Comparing teas is always difficult, because the priciest teas tend to be high end loose leaf teas, which are an entirely different beast to the stuff you get in bags sold as the nation's most popular brands.

However, if we just shop around for everyday brands, we can get some savings. If you were on the hunt for Tetley tea bags, for example, they are on offer at Tesco at the moment, so you can get 160 bags for the equivalent of 12.3p per 10 bags. At Asda they'd set you back 18.8p per 10 bags.

Similarly we can trade down to a supermarket own brand. Typhoo tea bags (160), for example, cost 21.9p per 10 bags from Tesco. Meanwhile the same number of Tesco bags would cost 12.2p, and the same number of Asda bags just 11.6p.

Finally, we can buy in bulk. If you were to buy 160 at a time, for example, then the supermarket own brand ranges, would cost between 11.8p and 12.2p per 10 bags. If you were to buy 240 that would fall to as little as 10.4p at Asda (which is currently on offer).

The proviso with buying more, of course, is that you need to make sure you store them in an airtight container, and get through them within a year to ensure they stay fresh enough.

Finally, don't just assume these basic rules of thumb are correct - you actually need to check the prices when you buy - is good for this sort of thing. Take Sainsbury's fair-trade Red Label tea, for example. It is charged at 11.9p per ten bags when you buy either 160 bags or 480 bags. However if you buy 240 bags you'll pay more - at 12.5p.

Some clever shopping around could bring the price of a tea bag down from more than 2p to as little as 1.04p. That way you can survive whatever tea price hikes are thrown at you, and still be better off.

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