How to make the perfect cup of tea is a controversial topic – and a new picture guide is bound to stir up debate as it reveals all the different ways people prefer their brew.
The image – a ‘Pantone colour-inspired’ guide – displays 50 different shades of tea ranging from ultra-milky to dark and strong, inviting tea drinkers to pick the one that looks most like the cup they would choose.
It comes as a study reveals that a third prefer a strong, dark cup of tea, while just one in four prefer theirs white and milky.
The survey, commissioned by Arla B.O.B milk, found that 33 per cent of the country prefer a dark brew. However the majority, or four in 10, opt for a classic medium-brown builder’s tea when asking for a cuppa, the study found. How strong a person likes their tea is a divisive topic, as is whether to put the milk in first or the water.
Northern Irish tea drinkers like their brew the strongest and darkest, while those in Scotland and the North East of England are most likely to appreciate a milkier mug with a more subtle flavour. Tea fans in the South East of England are most likely to leave their tea bag in for longer, letting it brew for an average of 64 seconds, which is seven seconds longer than the national average or 57 seconds.
East Anglians are in the greatest hurry, letting the bag stew for just 48 seconds.
Emma Stanbury, from Arla B.O.B milk, said: ‘With more than fifty shades of tea, everyone’s favourite cuppa is a little different.’
The survey also uncovered the extent to which the UK workforce depends on the humble brew to keep running as they consume 1,161 cups of tea per worker per year. One in five employees would consider themselves someone who looks after their colleagues’ tea needs before their own. One in ten have been so unimpressed by their colleagues’ efforts to make a tea to their standards they have asked them to throw it away.
When tea is left to go cold, 11 per cent power through and chug the room-temperature liquid down. Eighteen per cent can’t stomach the thought of a chilly tea and chuck it out, while one in six microwave their mug.