So THIS is how long you leave the bag in for! Expert reveals how to brew the perfect cup of tea

It’s been debated by British tea lovers for years – just how do you make the perfect cup of tea?

Do you add the milk first or last? How long should you leave the tea bag in for? Should the water be freshly boiled? So many questions!

Well you’ll be relieved to know that we finally have the answer to exactly how to make the perfect brew, thanks to none other than an expert in the science of tea making.

Dr Stuart Farrimond told TV presenter Cherry Healey the four-step process that goes into perfecting a proper cup of tea on the BBC2 show Inside the Factory.

Firstly, he revealed, you should never drink your tea in a Styrofoam cup. Stuart believes that Styrofoam absorbs the flavour molecules and makes the tea taste worst than it actually does.

The colour of the mug you drink your tea in matters too. ‘Research shows that tea drunk from a red or pink mug will taste sweeter than from a white or blue one,’ Stuart explained.

And filtering your water before you boil it really affects the taste of your tea as well. Hard water can make tea scummy, so using a filter to remove any calcium and magnesium residue can prevent that scum that sometimes forms on the top of your tea.

‘What’s happening is some of the flavour compounds are reacting with the calcium and they form this scummy layer, so you’re actually losing flavour, the flavour is being lost in that scum,’ he said.

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However, the most important factor is how long you brew your tea for. Five minutes is the optimum amount of time you should leave the bag in.

It seems like a long time but Stuart says there’s a reason for it: ‘Tea is a great source of antioxidants and these are natural substances that our body uses to help fight disease so it is important you leave it to brew.’

So there we go – the perfect cup of tea awaits!