It is the age-old question that divides homes and offices nationwide – should you add the boiling water to your cup of tea first, or the milk?
Now a new study claims to have provided an answer to the problem once and for all, having surveyed 1,600 tea drinkers aged between 18 and 65.
The poll, carried out by YouGov, revealed that the ideal way to make a brew is to pour the boiling water over the teabag first, followed by a splash of milk, with almost 80 per cent of people following this routine.
However, the findings also revealed that people’s tea-making habits tend to differ with age, as the survey revealed that more older people opt to add the milk to their mug first. More than 30 per cent of over-65s add milk first, compared to just 4 per cent of 18-24 year olds.
According to the British study, whether or not a person poured their milk in first or last supposedly once had strong class connotations as the most expensive china would not shatter when boiling tea was poured into it, so the less well-off cooled their vessels by pouring their milk in first.
Almost 60 per cent of Britons drink tea every day, with 11 per cent opting for more than five cups a day. However, the UK only came in at number 12 in a list of the world’s biggest tea-drinking nations.
Paraguay bagged the top spot, consuming a huge 12.22kg per capita per year, followed by Uruguay who drink 9.66kg. Britain’s knock back 2.06kg per capita per year, whereas Australia didn’t even make it into the top 20.
The findings also quizzed cuppa fans on the optimum strength of the perfect mug of tea, revealing that the majority of people prefer to drink a strong brew.
On an eight-point colour scale, ranging from a dark milk-less brown to a dairy-drenched pale beige, almost half of participants chose the fifth strongest, a mid-brown, with another fifth going for the slightly stronger and darker brew and 14 per cent opting for a milkier, paler hue.