Research has finally proven that Mancunians make the best cups of tea in the UK

Tell us something we don't know.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 11th February 2021

It’s finally official.

After what feels like a debate that’s been dragging on for a lifetime, with just about everyone from your Grandad and Auntie, to even a ‘professional tea taster’ chucking their opinion into the mix, actual proper research has revealed what everyone in Manchester already knew anyway.

That us Mancunians make the best cups of tea, and everyone else is just doing it wrong.

It’s as simple as that.

Now, we know that talking to Brits about brews is a very delicate business, because simply put, Brits love a brew, and it was even found last year that we’ve been buying tea more than ever during lockdown – with an additional £24 million spent on the stuff in a four week period.


Basically, we’ll pop the kettle on at any chance we get, but this new research has confirmed that if you’re going to want anyone to pop the kettle on for you, it’s us Mancs.

So, how has this obvious conclusion come about then? Well, it’s all about strength.


A survey of 2,000 UK adults – commissioned by watch and sunglasses specialist, Tic Watches – found that the time an average person leaves their tea to brew is just one minute and ten seconds, but experts actually advise leaving the teabag in for between four and five minutes to make sure you “unlock all its flavour”, and it was found that just one in 50 – or 2% – of UK tea-drinkers actually follow this guidance.

In fact, Brits are three times more likely to remove the teabag in under 10 seconds (6%), than they are to brew for the recommended length. 


Across the UK, us Mancunians make the best brews, with 5% of us listening to the experts by waiting at least four minutes for their drink – which is the most of any city – and we also have the longest average brewing time too, at one minute and 26 seconds.


As the only northern representatives on the top five list, Manchester is joined by other places such as Nottingham and Norwich.

And then at the other end of the spectrum, Bristolians were found to make the weakest tea – also known as the worst – with an average time of just 47 seconds. 

So you really can’t argue with that.


The UK cities making the strongest tea are: 

  1. Manchester – 1 minute, 26 seconds 
  2. Southampton – 1 minute, 20 seconds 
  3. Nottingham – 1 minute, 14 seconds 
  4. London – 1 minute, 14 seconds 
  5. Norwich – 1 minute, 10 seconds 

UK average – 1 minute, 10 seconds 

The UK cities making the weakest tea are: 

  1. Bristol – 47 seconds 
  2. Birmingham – 56 seconds 
  3. Newcastle – 59 seconds 
  4. Glasgow – 59 seconds 
  5. Leeds – 1 minute, 2 seconds 

The age of the tea brewer was also found to be a factor too, with millennials having the strongest tea (1 minute, 17 seconds), while baby boomers brew up the the weakest cup (1 minute, 6 seconds), and it also appears that tea is gradually becoming less popular, as each new generation is drinking less of it. 

While 91% of over 65s say they enjoy a brew, this drops to 85% among Gen Z, with a steady decline in between.  


On a slightly more shocking and controversial note though, when it comes to whether to add the milk first or last, 30% of Mancunians are most likely to opt for the milk-first method apparently, with us only being beaten to the top spot by 31% of Londoners.


What’s that all about?

Do you agree with that claim Manchester?

Wading in on the findings, Danny Richmond – Managing Director at Tic Watches – said: “The length of time that someone brews their tea for is an incredibly personal thing and everyone is different, but our study showed that many people are not following the expert suggestions for brewing, 

“But as long as it tastes good to you, that’s the only thing that matters.”