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Boffins brew up formula for consummate cuppa

Enjoyment = Milk x Caffeine²

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Here at Reg Hardware, we rely on a regular supply of fresh tea in order to function properly. We'd like to think we're rather good at brewing our bevvies too, but apparently there is actually a science to it.

Boffins at the University of Northumbria have come up with a mathematical formula that can be applied to produce the perfect cup of tea.

Results show, they say, that a flawless cuppa takes two minutes to brew, after which, the teabag should be removed and 10ml of milk added. For maximum enjoyability, consumers should then wait six minutes for the tea to reach 60°C before gulping it down.

Tea

Brewed by the best

Senior lecturer Ian Brown, who led the research, said: "Our palate requires a balance between bitterness and sweetness…"

Apparently, there are wood and grassy flavours in black and over-brewed cups, with hints of lemon, rose and geranium. Add milk and the flavours are replaced with toffee and vanilla. Sounds like they've been taking taster tips from Jilly and Oz.

The team spent 180 hours of lab-time testing different brewing methods and consuming 285 cups of tea. We think that's a pretty poor ratio really - fewer than two cups an hour is almost unheard of in our office.

The research - funded by dairy Cravendale Milk - claims we drink 165m cups of tea a day in Blighty. That's 60.2bn every year. At least 90 per cent of us reckon tea making should be on the national curriculum too. I concur.

Feel free to print out the following formula and stick it above the kettle in the kitchen as a reminder.

TB + (H2O at 100 degrees centigrade) 2mins BT + M (10ml) 6mins BT = PC (at OT 60 degrees centigrade).

TB = teabag
BT = brewing time
M = milk
PC = perfect cuppa
OT = optimum temperature

Our in-house tea expert reckons it's all a load of tosh though, as the best cup of tea is brewed in a pot, as any fule kno.

How do you brew your perfect cuppa? Let us know below. ®

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