Biscuits and tea go together like fish and chips, salt and pepper or Fred & Ginger. 

dunking time of our biscuits


Whether your biscuit should be dunked in your tea, however, is a divisive matter.

A recent study has revealed you should never dunk at the office if you want to keep your colleagues on side as dunking at your desk is considered a major faux-pas by a fifth of British tea drinking office workers.

If you are a ‘professional’ dunker though, is there anything worse than holding your biscuit in the tea just a fraction of a second too long, leaving you with a soggy mush at the bottom of your brew?

Fortunately, we at Hay Hampers are here to help you. So we dunked 7 types of our classic biscuits into tea and timed them to see which would crumble first.

The biscuits tested included fan favourites such as a traditional ginger fairing, an all butter Scottish shortbread, a rich Dutch waffle and a crunchy Italian biscotto with chocolate chips.

The ultimate winner was the caramel infused Dutch waffle, which held on for more than 4 minutes, nearly as long as the next best dunker, Italian amaretto, which lasted for more than 3 minutes before crumbling.

The handmade oatcrunch apple pie cookie only lasted for 23 seconds and was surprisingly the weakest biscuit, according to our test.

Traditional Cornish fairings was the third worst after the sugar all covered cracknel, lasting 32 seconds before crumbling.

At the top of the leaderboard, an authentic Scottish shortbread came in third place, while a rich cranberry biscuit lasted for 48 seconds and came in fourth followed by Italian Cantuccio. 

Each biscuit was dunked half way into a freshly brewed cup of tea and held in place until it broke. 

We have now put together recommended dunking times for every classic variety - and most should be dunked for about five to eight seconds.

Previous studies into this very important matter have, however, drawn different conclusions.

In a 2004 study, the rich tea was crowned champion, but a 2009 survey of 3,000 people claimed the chocolate digestive took the top spot, whereas a most recent survey held in 2018 saw the chocolate bourbon at the top of the chart.

There’s only one thing for it: eating a lot of biscuits!

Here are all the results:


Dutch Caramel Waffles, De Banketgroep  > 4 minutes 3 seconds
Amaretto Biscuits, Nonna Jole  > 3 minutes 5 seconds
All butter Shortbread, Duncan of Deeside 1 minutes and 34 seconds 11 seconds
Cranberry Biscuits, Bisquini  48 seconds 5 seconds
Biscotti Cantucci with Choc Chips, Italy2eat 45 seconds 9 seconds
Original Cornish Fairings, Furniss  32 seconds 3 seconds
Sweet Cracknel Biscuits, Van Den Berg  27 seconds 6 seconds
Oatcrunch Apple Pie Cookies Handmade 23 seconds 7 seconds