The perfect cup of tea – a thing of beauty
358 years ago tea was introduced to our little island. Since then we’ve made it our own. In Britain we drink a staggering 165 million cups of tea per day, or 60.2 billion a year!
But, how long should you leave the tea bag in the cup and should you put the milk in first? Brits have squabbled about the best way to make the perfect brew for decades.
Scientists (who seem to have nothing better to do) recently claimed to have discovered the method for making the perfect cup of tea.
Experts at the University of Northumbria’s School of Life Sciences spent 180 hours working on the formula. With a panel of volunteers drinking 285 cups in a lab they developed an equation for the perfect cuppa.
Here it is:
- Add 200ml of freshly boiled water to your tea bag (in a mug).
- Allow the tea bag to brew for 2 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag.
- Add 10ml of milk.
- Wait 6 minutes before drinking for the cuppa to reach its optimum temperature of 60 degrees centigrade. But, don’t leave it too long. If the temperature drops below 45C you may as well start again.
Does it matter if you use re-boiled water?
Apparently, for a truly lovely cup of tea you need to use water you’ve only boiled once. Repeatedly boiling water takes the oxygen and nitrogen out of it, which makes tea taste a bit rubbish.
Black or white?
In taste tests the panel reported prevalent whiffs of wood and grass “flavour notes” in black or over-brewed tea with hints of lemon, rose and geranium. Adding milk significantly reduced these and replaced them with toffee and vanilla. The more milk that was added the more these sweeter notes intensified.
Enjoying a cup of tea has a lot to do with the fine balance between biterness and sweetness. By adding milk the wood and grass notes are reduced giving way to toffee and vanila flavours. Lovely!
98% of Brits have tea with milk and maybe that’s why.
Tea has also been found to enhance the design process.
Although yet to be scientifically proven, this does explain the amount of tea consumed at T.Rex Design!