Asking a Brit if they know how to make a tea is considered one of the worst possible insults ever. Because, although the history behind the colonial beverage is as murky as the end result, the ability to make a fantastic cup is the source of a Briton’s pride.
Except, as it turns out, we have zilch to be proud about, because we’ve been getting our beverage wrong all these years. According to the experts, the emphasis of making a good cuppa should be on the brewing time — which is precisely five minutes.
Expert in the science of making tea Dr Stuart Farrimond said that this lengthy brewing time will make the cuppa fully caffeinated.
Doing this will also boost the beverage’s its health properties too, as it will naturally release more antioxidants in this time.
Revealing the information on BBC Two show Inside The Factory, the teabag boffin spilled his secrets to TV presenter Cherry Healey.
He also had another key piece of advice: never drink from a styrofoam cup.
“It absorbs the flavour molecules, reducing the tastiness of the tea”, he said.
Fair enough, we suppose, but it appears that even the colour of our mug can affect the way our tea tastes.
If you have a sweet tooth, opt for red or pink as these colours will bring out those natural elements of the tea, while a blue mug will bring out the salty undertones.
And for those in a hard water area, it’s not just water-specific tea bags that will get rid of the bitty surface.
“What's happening is some of the flavour compounds are reacting with the calcium and they form this scummy layer, so you're actually losing flavour, the flavour is being lost in that scum,” he said.
But there was one debate which Dr Farrimond refused to be drawn into – and so, for now, the age-old question of “water or milk first” shall remain unanswered.