Food & Drink

The nation has spoken on the correct way to make a cup of tea

Posted by
Dave Fawbert
Cup of tea

Milk first, or milk last? YouGov tackles the debates that matter

Spare a thought for the good people at YouGov, and the pollsters in general, these days. After years of operating under the radar, just quietly going about their business of asking the nation every so often about the tiny swings this way and that in the political world, suddenly they have become the centre of attention - and not in a good way.

First up everyone had a go at them when they failed to predict the Conservative election win in the 2015 General Election, then everyone had a go at them when they failed to predict Brexit, then everyone had a go at them when they did actually predict the 2017 General Election right. Now, they have to almost daily deal with angry people being angry about Brexit as poll after poll comes in showing how everyone blames everyone else for the mess we’re currently in.

So, at last, a bit of light relief. A poll on tea. Yes, it might be pretty much as divisive an issue as Brexit, but at least we’re all agreed that we like tea, even if we might disagree on how best to enact it.

The big issue in tealand, of course, is whether milk is to go in first, or last. And it seems we’re not quite as divided as you’d think judging by the results of YouGov’s poll, with a whopping 79% of the population believing that it goes in last. Opinions are strongest amongst 18-24 year-olds, who simply cannot countenance the idea of the milk going in first - only 4% of them finding this acceptable. Oh, the idealism of youth.

The 65+ age group is much more relaxed about things, with two thirds of them still preferring milk last, but a third of them going milk first.

Presumably to kill a bit more time before they had to go back to being spat at in the street over Brexit, YouGov decided to run a couple more polls on tea issues, with one on ideal tea strength coming in exactly as you’d expect.

Well, we say ‘expect’, but the great British public did not cover themselves in glory when they were asked a similar question on the correct shade of toast eighteen months ago - in short, they got it completely and utterly wrong - so perhaps we should be grateful the results came in as they did.

Finally, the YouGov bods asked the nation what their favourite brand of tea was, and the nation went along with astronaut Tim Peake in choosing Yorkshire Tea as it hoovered up 25% of the vote, edging out PG Tips, who could only muster 22%. Tetley took bronze with 16%, while Twinings took 6% - presumably those votes were taken entirely from the ‘Metropolitan elite’ - and Typhoo 4%.

Hard to argue with that either, really.

So, just for today, forget about Brexit, brew up a Yorkshire Tea to a mild brown colour and put the milk in last and, finally, we can be united as a nation again.

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(Image: Getty)


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Dave Fawbert acting editor Dave is famous for electropop, power ballads and urban snake wrangling.

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