A tea expert has revealed how to avoid a soggy disaster when you dip your favorite biscuit in a cup of tea.
Yorkshire Tea’s leading tea taster Suzy Garraghan told FEMAIL it’s important to think about the angle, type of tea and temperature when dipping your biscuit, saying it should never be dipped for more than five seconds.
She said TimTams, Ginger Nut and digestive biscuits hold their shape best while also absorbing the perfect amount of tea.
Yorkshire’s leading tea taster Suzy Garraghan has revealed the best biscuits for dipping in tea
Digestive biscuits and TimTams are some of the best for dunking, according to Suzy
“I love a good biscuit dunk—nothing goes better with a good cup of tea than the perfect accompaniment to biscuits,” Suzy said.
“But like most people, I’ve had my share of soggy disaster, fishing the bottom of a mug for the remains of a cookie after letting it steep a little too long.”
Suzy believes everyone has the right to enjoy tea on their own terms, but is happy to share tips for those who want to.
WHAT ARE SUZY’S FIVE TIPS FOR DUNNING COOKIES IN TEA?
It’s all around the corner
The trick to the perfect dunk starts before the tea is poured. Whether you choose a teacup or a mug, make sure you have a wide brim. This allows you to dip your cookie at the right angle. If you’re a “down-dunker,” you might be surprised to learn that you’ve been dipping your cookie wrong all these years. Ideally, you want to dip at an almost horizontal angle so that only one side of the cookie is soaked. The cookie will stay stronger, allowing for repeated dunks.
Choose your tea wisely
When you dip a cookie, it absorbs the quality and strength of the tea’s flavor, making it taste better. So choose wisely! It comes down to personal preference in the end, but for me good top-end dunking teas are high season Assam rich teas like Yorkshire Gold which are full bodied and rich in gutty strength and malty notes.
Check the temperature
Monitoring the temperature of your tea is a game changer for perfecting your dunking technique.
The heat from the tea dissolves the sugar, fat and starch of the biscuit, so that the biscuit eventually collapses under its own weight. Temperature is therefore often responsible for our drowned dunking pursuits.
The hotter the tea, the faster the cookie will dissolve.
While I can recommend 85 degrees as the optimal temperature to drink your proper brew, a perfect temperature for dipping depends on your bike of choice. The temperature of the tea will affect each cookie differently depending on the ingredients.
Look at the clock
The optimal immersion time is comparable to the ideal immersion temperature – it depends a lot on the type of cookies. As a general rule, I’d say never dip for less than two seconds or more than five seconds—and don’t forget to watch for signs of cookie collapse.
For a Ginger Nut, I recommend about 3 to 5 seconds. This is one of my favorites because it can be dipped multiple times. For a Tim Tam or a Digestive, no more than 2 to 3 seconds as these strains are less firm and dissolve faster and make a mess.
Choose your partner
Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for… which cookies reign supreme? While it comes down to personal preference, I do have some favorites:
ginger nut: The gingernut is a funny one because I feel like it’s completely reserved for dipping in tea. Who eats a dry ginger nut? Without tea they are dry and hard, but with tea they become beautifully tough. The taste means they are not universally loved, but they are an excellent value for the avid dunker as they are firm enough to be dipped, bitten and re-dipped.
digestion: A classic digestif is the perfect tea partner with its semi-sweet taste and crumbly texture that will let you appreciate the taste of the tea in all its glory. For those with a sweet tooth, chocolate digestives are also perfect for dipping.
Tim Tam: Chocolate-covered Tim Tam will leave the dunker with the delicious mix of tea, chocolate and biscuit all in one sitting. There are two ways to dunk the Tim Tam: the original dunking method or the more fun Tim Tam slam.
‘When it comes to dunking, everyone does it in their own way. A successful dunk usually comes down to the type of cookie or liquid you choose. You might also consider placing your biscuit horizontally in the cup or adjusting the temperature of your tea,” she said.
The tea connoisseur usually goes for a ‘classic’ digestive biscuit because they hold up well in tea and she loves the sweet-savory combination.
Suzy, who lives and works in Yorkshire in the UK, previously told FEMAIL how to make the perfect brew.
The experienced tea drinker has been tasting brews professionally for over 12 years and talked about the do’s and don’ts of a good brew.
The experienced tea taster will love hers served in the color of a Werther’s original
The experts at Yorkshire Tea say you should always use freshly boiled water when making a cup of coffee
The biggest no, no is using pre-boiled water, according to Suzy, who admits she’s “pretty liberal when it comes to making tea.”
She likes to boil fresh water every time and says that if you boil the same water more than once, the oxygen will run out and the tea will no longer taste.
The next thing most people do wrong is rush the brew.
“Hope you’re not just brewing it at home for 30 seconds,” she said.
Before revealing, the optimal amount of time to brew a good cup of tea is four minutes if you drink it with milk and two minutes if you enjoy it black.
“Milk really compliments Yorkshire tea,” she said, whether it’s cow’s milk or a plant-based alternative.
She said the longer it is stored, the more likely it is for the malty flavors developed in the bush in East Africa to come through.
The expert says it’s perfectly acceptable to dip a biscuit in a cup of tea
Suzy, pictured in the tea tasting room, tastes a thousand brews every day
Suzy also doesn’t believe in ‘hitting around the tea bag’ when the tea is steeping, preferring to give it a slight twist with her spoon before removing the bag from the cup.
This is when you should add the milk to the tea.
Milk is added last as the water needs to be 100°C for the tea to steep and if milk is added to the cup first the temperature would drop too far.
Suzy tastes a thousand teas every day, slurping the warm liquid from her tasting spoon before swirling it around her mouth and over her tongue.
“You can feel that you like tea long before you can attribute it to it,” she said.
“It’s a very sensory experience, drinking tea.”
The core rules about milk, fresh water and brewing time are the only three that Suzy is really committed to – she loves when people make tea the way they want it.
The idea of reusing a tea bag and keeping it on a saucer for later didn’t move the experienced tea taster.
Nor the idea of dipping a cookie into a steaming cup of her favorite brew.
“Unless it’s a chocolate chip cookie, but that’s because I don’t take sugar in my tea,” she clarified.
Adding ice to cool it down, or waiting for the temperature to drop on its own, are both valid options, as is adding cold water.
“You might want to make it a little stronger if you’re going to add ice or cold water,” she said — because more liquid means weaker tea.
Each tea bag can serve 330ml of water well, she said, so if you have a larger cup, more is needed.
She has been a taster for 12 years and has traveled all over the world with her work
They have three varieties available in Australia including Yorkshire Tea, Proper Strong and Yorkshire Gold, their special edition brew?
Suzy doesn’t just taste tea, she also travels the world, especially to East Africa and India to buy tea and build relationships with producers.
She overseas the farmers who pick the crops and controls the oxidation process that turns the tea leaves into the drinkable drink most of the world loves.
“Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world after water,” she revealed.
Yorkshire Tea is the number one brand in the UK. They have three varieties available in Australia including Yorkshire Tea, Proper Strong and Yorkshire Gold, their special edition brew.
What are the most important rules for making the perfect cup of tea?
Never boil the kettle more than once
Brew your tea for four minutes if you plan to add milk
Brew your tea for two minutes if you like black
Always keep your tea in an airtight container
Don’t ‘bash’ the tea bag
Add milk after the tea is brewed, not before