Rich Tea is the best biscuit to dunk in tea according to a new study by scientists

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Image: The best dunking biscuit has been decided by scientists – but which is it?

Jon Cockley / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: jonnycocker

A team of boffins who pitted five different brands of McVitie's biscuits – including Digestives, Chocolate Digestives, Hobnobs and Ginger Nuts – against each other declared Rich Tea the best after the rest of the competition crumbled. Quite literally.


The eggheads measured how long each biscuit lasted before disintegrating as well as the optimum dunking time and the impact of the temperature of the tea.


Rich Tea biscuit was deemed to be the best after it lasted over 20 seconds before breaking apart. The optimum dunking time for the treat was decided to be between seven and 14 seconds.


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Rich tea

Josh Blacker / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: joshblacker

Hobnobs and Ginger Nuts lasted about four seconds before they fell apart and crashed into the tea, with the advised dunking time suggested to be two seconds. 


Digestives managed to hold it together for five seconds (two seconds was tipped to be the best time), while Chocolate Digestives displayed excellent staying power, lasting 11 seconds – although best when dipped for three seconds.


The research was led by Dr Stuart Farrimond for biscuit giant McVitie'sDr Farrimond, founder of science publication Guru Magazine, also discovered that allowing the tea to cool for three minutes before dunking gave each biscuit a much greater chance of survival.


He added: “The length of time a biscuit can be dunked is roughly proportional to the amount of fat and sugar in a biscuit.


“The sweeter and more buttery a biscuit, the faster it will break apart when dunking, and the Rich Tea had the lowest proportion of sugar and fat of those biscuits tested.”