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Cravendale researches the science behind the perfect cup of tea

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

June 30, 2011 | 2 min read

Cravendale milk has come up with the scientific details of how to brew a perfect cup of tea, with help from the University of Northumbria.

With 98% of those questioned drinking their tea with milk and 60.2billion cups drunk in the UK a year, the milk company set out to discover what the formula to a perfect cuppa is.

The research by the University (in which 285 cups of tea were consumed by the volunteers over a 180 hour period) found that the ideal amount on milk is 10ml, the optimum consumption time is six minutes after it’s been brewed, and people like aromas of toffee and vanilla coming through.

The formula created by four researchers in the University’s School of Life Sciences was: Teabag + (H2O @100°c) 2minsBrewing Time + Cravendale(10ml) 6minswait before consumption = Perfect Cuppa (@ Optimum Temperature 60°c).

Senior lecturer, Ian Brown explains the study findings, based upon preferences of the sensory advisory panel: “When enjoying a cup of tea, our palette requires a balance between bitterness and sweetness. Milk quantities and brewing time were key factors studied throughout our investigation into the perfect brew.

“Prominent sensory attributes of black tea are its bitterness and its dry, ‘puckery’ mouth feel, also known as astringency. Our findings show that 10ml is the preferred amount of milk for our cuppas, due to its ability to balance natural bitterness and allow a smoother taste sensation.”

The research also found that 90% of those surveyed thought that tea making should be on the National Curriculum – at least it would clear up work experience people to be able to do actual work.

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