Very hot tea combined with heavy alcohol consumption could up the risk of oesophageal cancer by five-fold, according to research.
It is already known that the cancer which starts in the oesophagus, is linked to drinking alcohol and smoking.
The risks are however, increased by the addition of daily cups of ''burning hot'' tea, scientists discovered.
Oesophageal cancer has a rather poor survival rate, with only about 15 per cent of patients living five years after diagnosis in the UK. About 9,200 new cases are reported each year and deaths each year number 7,800.
The tea warning comes from China, where researchers tracked the progress of 456,155 participants aged 30 to 79 for about nine years.
The team led by Dr Canqing Yu at the National Natural Science Foundation of China found that drinking hot tea combined with either alcohol consumption or smoking was associated with a greater risk of oesophageal cancer than hot tea alone.
''Compared with participants who drank tea less than weekly and consumed fewer than 15g of alcohol daily, those who drank burning hot tea and 15g or more of alcohol daily had the greatest risk for oesophageal cancer,'' they wrote in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
High temperature tea drinking also raised the risk to smokers according to the study. The study examined data on 456,155 Chinese adults ages 30 to 79. Drinking boiling hot tea every day also carried roughly twice the risk of oesophageal cancer as consuming tea less than weekly for people who smoked.
Lv Jun, of Peking University Health Science Centre in China, co-authored of the study, told The Telegraph: ''Boiling hot tea will harm the cells in the oesophagus. ''If the person also drinks alcohol and smokes, then the harm caused will be more heightened.''