A survey found that 33 per cent of the country go to the dark side, while just one in four prefer a milky tea. Another 40 per cent like it somewhere in the middle.
Northern Irish tea drinkers like their brew the strongest and darkest, while those in Scotland and the North East of England are most likely to appreciate a milkier mug.
Tea fans in the South East are most likely to leave their tea bag in for longer, letting it brew for an average of 64 seconds – seven seconds longer than the national average or 57 seconds.
But East Anglians are in a hurry, letting the bag stew for just 48 seconds.
As for the great milk before or after debate, 73 per cent will put water in before the milk, and 19 per cent opt for milk in first.
Emma Stanbury from Arla B.O.B milk which commissioned the study, said: “The research celebrates Britain as a nation of tea drinkers, with a few surprising results like almost one in five putting the milk in first.
“And with more than fifty shades of tea, everyone’s favourite cuppa is a little different.”
The survey also examined the politics of tea making at work.
It discovered that the average worker drinks 1,161 cups of tea a year. One in five employees say they always offer to make the tea but 18 per cent admit they try to dodge their turn and wait for someone else to offer.
One in two workers make themselves a cuppa as an excuse to take a break from work, and 17 per cent use the opportunity to have a gossip in the kitchen.
The survey found that many Britons are proud of their skills with three in ten workers rating their tea-making skills as “great”, and almost one in 10 plumping for “amazing”.
That seems just as well as 15 per cent of workers who took part in the study, conducted by OnePoll, consider themselves very fussy when it comes to how they like their tea, with people in HR the most particular and those working in social care are most likely to have a personal mug that no one else is allowed to use.
And one in 10 have been so unimpressed by their colleagues’ efforts to make a tea to their standards they have thrown it away.