The proper way to pour tea and the best cakes and biscuits to serve with it has also been up for debate in a new survey
The age old argument of whether the cream or jam should be spread first on a scone may have finally been solved – for a survey has revealed it is jam first.
According to an E-tea-quette guide, six in 10 Brits plumped for a combination of plonking the preserve on the base and then adding a dollop of cream.
And they also may have put an end to the debate over how to pronounce “scone” as more than half were adamant it should rhyme with ‘gone’ rather than ‘phone’.
Research into preparing the perfect afternoon tea also found eight in 10 agreed that tea should be poured into the cup ahead of the milk.
And down-to-earth Brits named “builders’” tea in a mug with milk and two sugars the ideal brew.
The study found we blow £63billion a year on traditional high tea, with sandwiches, cakes and biscuits.
On average, Brits splash out £12.23 a head for a lavish afternoon tea out with 25-34-year-olds spending £17 each compared with the over-55s who fork out £8 for the traditional treat.
The survey found carrot cake was tops with a cuppa, followed by Victoria sponge and chocolate cake.
And the nation’s number one dunking biscuit was named as the Chocolate Digestive, with the plain Digestive second and Rich Tea third.
When it came to crusts on or off for dainty sandwich triangles, more than half wanted the crusts left on.
Smoked salmon and cream cheese was the number one filling on buttered, white bread.
Tea expert Angela Pryce, a former master tea buyer and blender for Twinings said: “Afternoon tea has played an important part of the British daily routine since the 1830s.
“It originated in the Victorian era as a means to curb the mid-afternoon slump between lunch and dinner, when Britons were most in need of a pick-me-up.
“The way we take tea has evolved over the years and today there are many quirky and exciting ways to enjoy it, whether it’s a champagne tea or a cream tea.”
Barclaycard, which commissioned the survey, is now urging the nation to take part in its ambitious online challenge to find Britain’s 50 most loved products, from fish and chips and Cornish pasties to mini skirts and garden gnomes.
Around a quarter of a million people are expected to log on for The Great British Shopping Showdown at shoppingshowdown.co.uk with results out later this summer.
The interactive quiz gives players a series of choices such as wellies or cardigans, bucket and spade or football shirt and coffee or fudge.
Katherine Whitton of Barclaycard said: “We look forward to seeing what the Great British public decides the ultimate British shopping list is.”