Many of you willl read this and think, of course the bloody milk goes in second, you plebian. But I'm talking to the outsiders. The mavericks. The utter fruitcakes, who firmly believe the milk goes in BEFORE the tea, in order to make the perfect brew. For years we've let you make this life choice with little more than a disgusted face in the office kitchen, but things have gone on long enough.
The Queen of all things delicious has spoken, and you are making your tea wrong, old friend. Mary Berry says the milk goes in SECOND, and we'll hear no more on the subject.
The Great British Bake Off star waxed lyrical for the Guardian on the merits of the perfect cuppa, and she ain't taking no prisoners.
"I believe it is correct to put the milk in second so you can judge how much you need", she says. You tell 'em, Mezza.
In possibily the most British article ever, she told The Guardian that tea should contain fresh, not re-boiled water, must be taken in china cups (it tastes more delicate) and Earl Grey lovers should use leaves. Oh, and the only time you should be drinking it is the afternoon.
Here are Mary's full instructions for the perfect cuppa - go forth and be British, you scallywags:
1. Fill the kettle with fresh water. It gives a better flavour than re-boiled water, which can taste stale. Warm your teapot with a swirl of the boiled water.
2. If you are heading out to the garden and the tea is going to hang about a bit, heat the cups too. I don’t like a mug; in the afternoon it must be a bone china cup and saucer, as for some reason I think it tastes better and more delicate.
3. If I am making Earl Grey, I use leaves – one teaspoon per person and one for the pot.
4. Put the lid on the teapot and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Give it a stir, let the leaves drop and pour. If using teabags, let them infuse for a few minutes. Do not squeeze as this forces the flavour.
5. If you have very fine china, put the milk in first to prevent the cup cracking, but I believe it is correct to put the milk in second so you can judge how much you need.
6. If I have given someone a cup of tea and they aren’t taking sugar, I take the spoon away – I don’t like it rattling on the saucer. For me, sugar in tea spoils the taste, particularly as I like to serve it with cake or a biscuit, which is sweetness enough. Match the china and serve your cake with a small tea fork to eat it with – nothing nicer!