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To dunk, or not to dunk? That is the question. And the rather controversial topic of this blog.

I’ll admit – much to the dismay of many, I’m sure – I am a dunker. I love dipping a biscuit in to my hot cup of coffee or tea. It is a guilty pleasure that I savour within the privacy of my office or on my sofa.

It does seem like an awfully British thing to do.

When I sat down to write this blog, I thought it would just be a conversation topic, but upon researching I realised I was wrong, it is a serious topic, so much so that there have been numerous “scientific” experiments where people have tested various biscuits to find which biscuit has the best dunkability! Testing methods differed but all experiments looked at the structure, texture and how long it took until the biscuit dropped into their cup. The findings varied, some found that an oat-based biscuit structurally lasted well, as well as a ginger snap (a ginger snap can withstand most things!), one experiment crowned the rich tea its favourite, and one found that the Jaffa Cake lasted the longest before dropping. Would you dunk a Jaffa? I wouldn’t. But let’s not digress. However, the experiments did not test the same biscuits. Some tested a custard cream, another a malted milk, a fruit shortcake, a Nice biscuit, a bourbon... So really, not universally conclusive.  

But do these experiments and findings really matter? Who dunks their biscuits and waits?! No, you dunk, perhaps momentarily pause for optimal saturation, then move fast to get the biscuit in your mouth, not only before it crumbles, but also before any of your coffee or tea drips from said biscuit down your top!

Now, what happens when the dunk goes wrong and the biscuit flops and drops and goes splash into your cup? Do you get a spoon and try and retrieve the drowned biscuit before it disintegrates? This tactic is also determined by the biscuit of choice, some just disperse upon their hot bath and your cuppa is doomed. Do you discard the cuppa automatically, in a huff, as your guilty pleasure has been ruined, or do you just wait for the biscuit and crumbs to sink to the bottom and continue with your cuppa ensuring that you leave the last couple of swigs so as not to get a mouthful of mush? I read that a lady who works in a home for the elderly often finds herself washing out the swollen remains of biscuits after teatime. She is obviously not a fan of dunking.

The pleasure of dunking is a guilty pleasure, a habit that etiquette experts say should be enjoyed in private as it is frowned upon in public, “in polite society, we don’t dunk” says one, another even refers to it as an arrestable offence, and apparently more than three biscuits is an over indulgence (there’s no hope for me then!). I have read that there are even tearooms that ask you to leave if caught in the act of dunking! I tend to dunk when only in front of my close friends or family, so perhaps I subconsciously know that it isn’t a practice to be witnessed by the masses.

A biscuit, much like many things, is a very personal choice and dunking is said to enhance the flavour of some biscuits as the hot liquid melts the sugar crystals.  

Do you like a chocolate biscuit with a layer of chocolate on top or chocolate chips that melt upon dunking? Our Chocolate Grissini are great for this. I think melted chocolate just adds to the decadence of the dunk. A thick layer of dark chocolate allows for lots of melted chocolate and the breadstick underneath holds up very well – obviously I have conducted my own experiments – I was very thorough – more than three biscuits were eaten. Do you like a ginger biscuit that is made for dunking and gives way to caramel flavours? Personally, not my biscuit of choice. Or a sandwich style biscuit, think custard creams or bourbons, jammy dodgers, where the centre melts a little. Now I am partial to any of these. Or a rich tea that just gets a little like wet cardboard, but I seem to enjoy them. Cantuccini work very well for dunking, they moisten but still have bite to them, I must have subconsciously know that one day I will write this blog as I tested all our cantuccini and can wholeheartedly say they work well. I really enjoy the Fig and Walnut, and the chocolate Lunardi cantuccini. Seggiano’s Tuscan biscuits are delicious dunkers too!

I have no overall biscuit of choice; I just like biscuits and dunking. I’m a simple girl. Just give me a big mug and a lot of biscuits!

Which of our biscuits do you think you would like to dunk? Check out our current range here…


Certainly a dunker, mainly of oaties, like you said, they withstand a lot. However I don’t usually eat biscuits so it is a rare pleasure indeed. Keep writing, I love it, as much as I love your coffee.

Ah! Ah! Dunking! No, no, no – the person who invented the bis-cuit (i.e. twice cooked in French) wanted us to experience a crunchy, crumbling texture – not some soggy mess. They are not for dunking – with the exception, I guess, of some of the (otherwise) tooth-breaking Italian varieties! Joyeuses Pâcques/Buona Pasqua a tutti.

Compliments on the rigorous scientific approach!

Just a crisp (not soft) Amaretti on the side of a Formula Rosso – perfect

Mouth-watering research!

You’re the best coffee store ever!!!!

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