A trio of Michelin-starred British chefs and hospitality dons have weighed in on the big tea debate.

Munchies approached the hugely successful chefs how they like their tea.

With the order of milk v teabag a hotly debated top across the UK, their answers might seriously surprise you…

Dimitri Bellos, restaurant manager at Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck:

Milk v Tea

“Personally, I would put the milk in later. I like to get the strength and flavour first—before I add the milk. This way, I know how much milk I would need to add.

“I do remember reading though that the Royal Society of Chemistry, after months of research, came to the conclusion that milk should go in the cup first. I’ve a feeling that this part of the ceremony is very individual and you would probably find a 50-50 split through the UK. I’ve got a cousin who has got the same name and surname as me and he puts the milk in first.”

Anna Tobias, head chef at Rochelle Canteen:

So right v so wrong

“I’m not a fanatic tea drinker nor do I take tea particularly seriously—I don’t have a kettle that heats to 80 degrees and I don’t set a timer for the infusion. But tea does hold a sort of spiritual importance. It has that ability to soothe and calm, and produce that Oh, that’s nice! effect.

“We’re talking builders’ for me and I’m afraid my choice is purely shallow. I go for the box or tin I think looks nicest, like Yorkshire Tea, for instance. (I told you I was shallow). My method is:

1. Boil the kettle.
2. Put tea bag in mug.
3. Pour over hot water.
4. Twiddle bag around a bit.
5. Take out tea bag and squeeze it as you do so.
6. Pour in milk (colour should roughly resemble a Werther’s Original).
7. No sugar.
8. Drink and breathe sigh of relief.”

Mark Hix, former executive head chef of The Ivy London and founder of the HIX Restaurants group:


“The perfect cup of tea is Rare Tea English Breakfast loose leaf tea steeped in a China pot, which must be pre-warmed for three and a half minutes exactly, and served in a mug. The tea goes in first, then a splash of milk. No sugar.

“Failing that: a Long Island ice tea.”

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