Experts have discovered there are over 24 MILLION different methods to make a cup of tea.
Researchers came to the conclusion after looking at the reasons why so many of us struggle to nail a brew at home or in the office for anyone but ourselves.
The team of experts which included Tetley master tea maker Sebastian Michaelis and Dr James Hind of Nottingham Trent University, also discovered how the majority of us like our tea.
It consists of 60 seconds of brewing, a dash of cold semi-skimmed milk, three dunks of the teabag with no sugar and is usually made by the drinker themselves.
Michaelis, whose taste buds are insured for £1million, also revealed the formula for the perfect blend, which helped to uncover the staggering number of brewing variations.
Sebastian Michaelis said: “What I found fascinating is that there are so many possible ways of making a cup of tea, but there is no secret method for the perfect cuppa.
“Everyone takes their tea a little differently, which is why no one can quite make it as perfectly as you.
“Whether you add milk or not, drink it weak or strong, what is crucial to a great cup of tea is the blending.
“The complexity of the equation reflects the many layers required to craft the nation’s favourite drink.
‘’Blending tea, like blending whisky or champagne, is both a science and an art. “
“Without the right balance of flavours, brightness and body, your tea would taste less like a Grand Cru and more like cheap plonk.”
The research, commissioned by Tetley Tea to mark its 180th birthday and analysed by a mathematician, factors in all possible variables when it’s time to pop the kettle on to create a formula for the perfect cuppa.
The key variables centre on the process of perfecting a blend from crop to cup, including years (Y) of experience and weight (W) of tea in the teabag.
Also captured is the duration of training (T) for the master tea blenders and the colour (C), size and density of the leaf; the brew’s purity of colour (its sparkle – S); the weight of the tea in the mouth (its body – B) and the overall liveliness of the tea on the palate (its zing – Z).
The study found 48 per cent brew the teabag for at least a minute, with almost a third of UK tea drinkers considering brewing time the most important factor when it comes to making tea.
One in ten drink a cuppa from a teacup rather than a mug and three per cent even heat the milk up first.
Almost three quarters opt for a sugar-free tea, with 17 per cent choosing replacements such as honey or sweeteners instead.
But office tea round could be on the way out with only one per cent of people admitting they prefer their colleagues’ tea to their own.
Researchers also revealed putting in too much milk, splitting the tea bag by squeezing it too hard and reheating tea in the microwave makes the worst tea
Sebastian Michaelis added: “As for me, I pour as soon as it’s boiled. Black tea tastes best when brewed in fresh water as close to boiling point as possible.
“As the temperature reduces, the flavours will develop for a better quality taste.”
Michelle Jee, from Tetley said: “Our Blenders and Buyers have been crossing the globe for 180 years to source the freshest, tastiest teas and bring them together to make the perfect blend.
“The rest really is up to the nation’s tea lovers, and what better way to celebrate our anniversary than to raise a cup to 24 million possible combinations of the nation’s favourite beverage?
“But we aren’t stopping here. We want to continue our live research by inviting people to share a picture of their perfect cup of tea and method using the hashtag #perfectcuppa.
“Do it and you’ll be in with a chance to win a range of prizes as a thank you for helping us continue to learn.”
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