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24 million ways to make a cup of tea!


As you stand in your kitchen or at work have you ever contemplated the number of different ways you could make your cup of tea? No? Well someone has. Their names are Sebastian Michaelis and Dr James Hind of Nottingham Trent University. Have a guess at what they discovered?

24 million! Yes, 24 million different ways in which you could actually make a cup of tea. Now we’re not suggesting that you try each of these on your boss’s time at work, after all they expect you to spend as little time away from your desk as possible and the 60 seconds it takes to make some of the most popular brands is all your boss would want it to take.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University, which included experts from Tetley Teas’, set out recently to understand what we truly like in our cup of tea. What they found out was an amazing assortment of tastes.  Sebastian Michaelis said: “What I found fascinating is that there are so many possible ways of making a cup of tea, but there is no secret method for the perfect cuppa. Everyone takes their tea a little differently, which is why no one can quite make it as perfectly as you.”

Talk to a Scotsman about his beloved whisky and they will tell you it is a careful blending of liquids and a time honoured system. The same is true with tea with many believing it to be both a science and an art form.

The research was conducted to coincide with the 180th anniversary of the foundation of the Tetley brand and involved the input of not just tea experts but mathematicians, statisticians and others all to determine the number of variables in the composition of the average cuppa. With such variables as what time of day you switch on your kettle, or whether the water in the kettle is fresh out of the tap or has been sitting in the kettle overnight. Furthermore, sugar or no sugar or indeed sweetener and how much do you use? Full milk, semi skimmed, 5% milk or no milk at all, or indeed honey or lemon in your tea?

The final raw data was finally broken down to find that 48 percent brew their teabag for at least a minute. A third, consider this the most crucial part of the process to give the drink the best possible taste, colour and aroma.  A tenth of those asked will never drink tea from anything but a china teacup whilst just three percent warm their milk first before putting it into the tea.

Quite telling is the fact that 75 percent are now sugar free with 17 percent choosing honey or sweeteners instead. Another, somewhat alarming, result of the research is that in the workplace most people prefer how they make tea to how their colleagues make it…but nearly all those who were asked said that they rarely complained about it, instead making their own cups themselves later.

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