Ananova, 24 June 2003
And they go against the traditionalists by saying a cuppa tastes better if the tea is poured over the milk.
The findings were released to coincide with the centenary of the birth of George Orwell, who will be spinning in his grave.
After fascism and totalitarianism, Orwell's pet hate was people who put milk in the cup before the tea.
The study was carried out by Dr Andrew Stapley, of Loughborough University, who has lectured on tea for three years and took two months to study the best properties to make the ideal cup.
Dr Stapley said it was essential to use soft water, warm the pot rigorously before filling and allow your tea to brew for three minutes.
His study recommended loose-leaf Assam tea and advised drinkers to sup at between 60 to 65C "to avoid vulgar slurping".
Tony Benn, who drinks 10 pints of tea a day, was the first to taste the ideal brew at the Royal Society of Chemistry headquarters in London.
Having popped his preferred sweetener into the china cup, he took a gulp and declared: "It is very tasty, delicious."
But he disagreed on the milk issue: "I take Orwell's view - you put the tea in first, then you know how much milk you need to put in to get exactly the right colour," he insisted.
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