To mark the arrival of organic herbal tea drink Honest, we’ve been testing Londoners’ honesty for the past few weeks. Unmanned stands of Honest drinks have been popping up across the capital, complete with a voluntary honesty box. Our only request is that people leave a quid for each bottle taken...

Some might say that Londoners are known (unfairly or not) for being a little busy and impatient - especially during rush hour on the tube - but forget manners for the moment, just how honest are they? Would they leave £1 as suggested in exchange for a bottle of Honest? Or treat themselves to a freebie?

In this lighthearted and totally unscientific social experiment, we pitted north London against south London, east of the capital against west, and men against women. So who was most honest? And who was liar liar pants on fire?

Most honest place in London?
At the top of the honesty leaderboard was one of the trendiest parts of London: Brick Lane. This curry hotspot saw 94% of people making a contribution. Meanwhile, in Brixton Market, only 80% of passers-by who took the drink decided to part with their cash.

Honest Survey London

Men vs women
In the battle of the sexes, women in London seemed to come out looking the most trustworthy, with 86% of women making a donation compared to 84% of men. But when we looked deeper, women were more likely to donate small change whereas men – when they did pay up – would go quids in with the full £1.

What else did we spot?
Couples were the most honest with 92% of pairs paying, compared to 84% of people who were on their own.

Honest Survey London

Do blondes have more fun?
We can’t tell you that, but we can tell you that brunettes came out in front when it came to the honesty stakes – with 88% of brunettes paying or their bottle of Honest, compared to 83% of blondes.

Honest Survey Beards

You can’t judge a book…
We spied a homeless man selling flowers who paid the full suggested price for a bottle, just as a man in a suit grabbed a bottle without paying a penny…

Pooch approval
A dog owner paid for a bottle and then showed it to their pup to see what they thought.

Bonus poll: Is honesty always the best policy?

Not content with spying on the streets of London, we also surveyed a handful of tea fans, bloggers and Coca-Cola employees to find out how honest they think they are and what they really think about Honest drinks…

Honest Survey Marisa Davies

Name: Marisa Davies

Bio: Tea blogger and founder of Cuppa Coasters

How honest are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
8 – I like to think I’m pretty honest. I’d only tell a lie so as not to hurt someone!

Who are you most honest with?
My dad. He knows when I’m lying and when I was a kid he’d give me a stern look over his glasses which made me tell the truth straightaway. That look still works now even in my 30s!

Favourite Honest drink: I really enjoy the lemon-flavoured one. It’s really light and refreshing – perfect in the sunshine.

Is honesty the best policy?
Yes, honesty is best but there are times when a white lie can ensure someone doesn’t get hurt and I think then it’s OK.


Honest Survey Justine Fletcher

Name: Justine Fletcher

Bio: Archivist at our headquarters in Atlanta

How honest are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
I’d probably say a 7.

A refreshingly honest thing you’ve heard?
Someone once said – “I thought you were older”!

One truth you wish more people knew about?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss


Honest Survey Natasha Colyer

Name: Natasha Colyer

Bio: Freelance journalist, editor and founder of Seen in the City

Favourite Honest drink: I like the lemon drinks the best. I’m half Moroccan, so I drink a lot of infused teas and drinks and they remind me of home.

When did you last tell a white lie?
It was about two days ago – I was meant to go and see my grandma but I told her I wasn’t feeling well so that I could spend time with my friend instead.

A refreshingly honest thing you’ve heard?
I listened to one of Seth’s Ted Talks and heard what I think is a Chinese proverb: “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” It resonated with me. Anyone who thinks I can’t do it shouldn’t interrupt me on my journey.

What do you honestly think about Honest?
I think it’s a refreshing brand. I’ve not seen many tea-based drinks about and I’m excited to try more flavours.


Honest Survey Rachael Kinsella

Name: Rachael Kinsella

Bio: Massive tea lover and blogger at Tea With Rachael

Favourite Honest drink: My favourite is pomegranate and blueberry because I like the sweet fruitiness. And because it’s made with fresh fruit, it made me feel good about drinking it.

Is honesty the best policy?
Usually – if it’s harmless and a little white lie could prevent someone’s feelings from getting hurt, then yes. Honesty in terms of business and living your life is incredibly important – the kind of companies that are honest are the ones that stand out.

What do you honestly think about Honest?
I think it’s great. It’s the kind of thing I drink a lot of as I get bored with plain water but need to keep hydrated and this is something a bit different.


Honest Survey Kitty Cowell

Name: Kitty Cowell

Bio: Lifestyle blogger covering fashion, food and fitness at

A refreshingly honest thing you’ve heard?
I met a guy and we really liked each other. He said, “I always palm girls off, but with you I’d like to, and I just can’t”.

Is honesty the best policy?
Usually. I do think sometimes a white lie can make people feel better about themselves.


Honest Survey Kelly Cardamone

Name: Kelly Cardamone

Bio: Brand manager for Honest

A refreshingly honest thing you’ve heard?
I read a quote today in a lifestyle magazine, saying: “I’ve stopped buying into that trap that everyone has it more together than I do.”

Who are you most honest with?
My spouse.

One truth you wish more people knew about?
The effects of littering: it’s a pet peeve of mine and something I find to be terribly lazy and inconsiderate.

What do you honestly think about Honest?
I’m obviously biased but I think Honest is really refreshing.


Honest Survey Ashley Lydiate

Name: Ashley Lydiate

Bio: Entrepreneur, ‘snacktivist’ and founder of Snact

When did you last tell a white lie?
Probably every day – I don’t quite tally them up. Most frequently I lie when I say “I’m full and couldn’t possibly eat another piece of cake”.

One truth you wish more people knew about?
I’d really like more people to be aware that our food choices are critically linked to the health of the planet. We need to look at our diet to keep the world a healthy place.

What do you honestly think about Honest?
I honestly like it. I drink water mostly but Honest is a nice treat as I really like the taste.

Find out more about Honest drinks