From deepest darkest brown to the milkiest beige, Brits have revealed exactly how they like their tea.
Researchers who carried out a comp-tea-hensive study found 33 per cent have gone to the dark side of the brew, while one in four prefer a lighter shade.
Overall the majority generally favour a darker tone than a milky one, while as many as four out of 10 opt for a classic Builder’s tea.
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.
As for the great ‘Milk Before’ or ‘Milk After’ debate, 73 per cent will put water in before the milk, and 19 per cent opt for milk in first.
Those living in East Anglia are also most likely to add a splash of milk before the water, while those in the East Midlands are most likely to favour a water first approach.
Emma Stanbury from Arla B.O.B milk which commissioned the study, said: “The research celebrates Britain as a nation of tea drinkers, with a few surprising results like almost one in five putting the milk in first.
“And with more than fifty shades of tea, everyone’s favourite cuppa is a little different.
”Anyone who has ever worked as part of a team in the workplace knows the complexity of the office politics surrounding the tea round.
“Who makes the best cuppa? Who’s the fussiest? Who is most likely to duck their round? And who’s round is it anyway?
The survey also uncovered the extent to which the UK workforce depends on the humble brew to keep running – consuming 1,161 cups of tea per worker per year.
One in five employees would consider themselves caring tea-makers – someone who looks after their colleagues’ tea needs before their own.
While 18 per cent are left asking ‘Who’s round is it anyway?’ – trying to convince other colleagues to make their cuppa for them.
Those working in the Arts are most likely to offer to do a tea round, while researchers are most used to having tea made for them.
Workers in the research sector are also the thirstiest, drinking four cups a day – one more than the national average, while those working in scientific fields can take it or leave it, necking just two mugs a day.
Employees working in recruitment and HR are the fussiest about how they take their tea, while those working in social care are most likely to have a special mug in the office which no one else is allowed to use.
Fifteen per cent of workers who took part in the study, conducted by OnePoll, consider themselves very fussy when it comes to how they like their tea.
And 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 work gets in the way of a piping hot cup of tea and it’s 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 commit a tea-making sin and microwave their mug.
Three in ten workers would rate their tea-making skills as ‘Great’, and almost one in ten have no problem deeming their brewing abilities ‘Amazing’.
One in two workers make themselves a cuppa as an excuse to take a break from work, and 17 per cent use the opportunity to have a gossip in the kitchen.
Emma Stanbury added: “We know how important tea is to Brits and tea making is a skill. Arla B.O.B makes it… It’s fat free skimmed milk with the taste and texture of semi, meaning there’s no need to choose between taste and health. It’s a no brainer!
“We have endeavoured to remove the drama surrounding the tea round. Our tea round nominator will put the debate to rest and let groups of tea-lovers know, without a shadow of a doubt, who’s turn it is to get the hot bevvies in.”
”Here at Arla, we know how important milk is to a creating that spot-on brew, and using B.O.B, the skimmed that tastes like semi.
”That means there’s never any excuse for making a grey and watery cuppa! With B.O.B we say so long to grey, skimmed cups of tea!”
Test out the Arla B.O.B tea maker nominator at www.whoseroundisitanyway.co.uk/whoseturn/pageone