I like nothing better than sitting down at the end of the day with a good cuppa. In fact, I enjoy a cup of tea at just about any time of the day. It seems I'm not alone; Britain and the Republic of Ireland are the two biggest tea-drinking nations in the world – 66% of us drink tea every single day, equivalent to around 165 million cups.
Although there is a Starbucks and Costa Coffee outlet on just about every corner (they even do drive-thru now!), we devour about half the number of cups of coffee – thought to be around 70 million a day.
How do you take yours? Many people will answer that question with 'however it comes' or 'wet and warm', but it seems the perfect cup is a mystery. Yet, with tea being the drink of the nation, surely we should be experts at making the perfect brew. To help feed your tea addiction, we've got some fantastic discount vouchers for Twinings Teashop
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This simple beverage has even been studied by scientists, with one team claiming that the key to getting the perfect cuppa is allowing it to stand for six minutes before letting a drop touch your lips.
Why? Well, it apparently gives enough time for it cool down, preventing the liquid from scalding, but also to let the flavour fill your cup. Don't wait too long though, as after 17 minutes and 30 seconds, it'll taste no better than dirty dishwater.
Ian Brown, one of the guys behind the study on tea, said that in order to enjoy a cup of tea we need “a balance between bitterness and sweetness” and the more milk you add, the sweeter it becomes.
Don't forget, teabags, milk and sugar all cost money. And if you're making your way through the average 6-9 cups a day, you might need a helping hand. Fortunately, we've got some Waitrose UK coupons
to save you £20 on your online shop.
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This particular study was carried out by the University of Northumbria, but people have long been searching for the perfect cuppa. In fact, one of the most famous people to lay claim to having the recipe to the perfect cup of tea was George Orwell. It's a shame then that the Royal Society of Chemistry rubbished a number of his 11 golden rules to perfecting tea-making.
Dr Andrew Stapley, an engineer at Loughborough University, decided that six spoons of tea leaves per litre of boiling water is far too strong. He's probably correct, although most of us prefer to use tea bags these days.
However, I agree with Orwell on at least one point: 'add milk to the tea, not vice versa'. The RSC says otherwise because of something called 'denaturation of milk proteins', but we think that's rubbish. I've never suffered with clumpy milk, have you?
If making the best-tasting brew still eludes you, trying following these instructions and see if you can finally achieve the perfect cup of tea.
- Add 200ml boiling water to the tea bag in a mug and leave to brew for two minutes
- Remove the tea bag and add 10ml of milk
- Allow the tea to stand for six minutes and enjoy.
See if you can save on your attempts at the best brew with our Tesco shopping vouchers
– maybe add a couple of packs of biscuits to that shopping basket as well to really embrace the experience of a perfect cuppa.