​Brits are making tea ‘wrong’, according to science

Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
Four out of five British people don’t know how to make their tea correctly, according to a stirring new study.

Researchers at University College London (UCL) found Britons fail to brew their tea for anything like the required length of time, which they say is up to five minutes.

Professor of Materials and Society at University College London, Mark Miodownik, told the Telegraph: “What frustrates me is the British think they know about tea, but most people have no idea what they are doing.

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It’s obviously subjective but I feel people are missing out on a drink which could be so much more sophisticated because they don’t wait for the tea to brew long enough.

Tea is made of 30,000 different chemicals, it’s a very complex thing and those molecules take time to emerge and influence each other.

I think of all the people who grow and pick these plants in order for you to experience this wonderfully complex drink and at the last minute Brits throw that all away by brewing it badly.

Miodownik also said if people want a milky drink they should opt for something other than tea.

The study suggested that the optimum temperature for drinking is around 65C.

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Researchers also attempted to clear up a question which has trouble the British since the dawn of tea: whether to put the milk in first.

If using a mug, the milk should go in after pouring, researchers opined. To put it in beforehand would interfere with the brewing process.

In what will come as a great relief to middle class tea drinkers, it is apparently okay to put the milk in first if you are using a teapot.

The study’s conclusions are among the most controversial on the topic since radical author and journalist George Orwell suggested in his 1946 essay “A Nice Cup of Tea” that the drink should be supped without sugar.

Poppycock! Put the kettle on.