Tea is definitely the firmly established British drink of choice. Yeah, we like our cuppa tea.
Now, I just want to clear up the image of Brits drinking tea. It is not so much a china teacup and saucer affair with your little finger poking up sitting at a well dress afternoon tea table, in the great hall of some castle or stately home (to be honest, the picture I just painted does happen). For us regular folk, tea is drank usually in a mug – preferably your favourite mug which could be chipped, cracked and stained but well used and loved. A mug of tea with a splash of milk and if it is your desire, a sugar or two. Not for me though, I gave up having two sugars in tea, I was totally convinced this was the way forward and tea sans sugar was gross. It was a bit of a slow, weaning off kind of process but it was worth it. Tea doesn’t need sugar, trust me. Oh, and I don’t like to drink out of mugs which are coloured on the inside, I don’t know why, just don’t.
The tea needs to be drank piping hot and made with boiling water. I have witnessed some crazy tea making antics since being here in the US, such as water being heated in the microwave or a ‘hot’ water function of a coffee machine! NO no no my American friends, this just can not do! Tea must be brought to life with the addition of boiling water, this doesn’t mean a cup of water with a tea bag on the side, and the expectation that I am supposed to brew this tea myself by dunking the tea bag in and out on the end of a string. The only thing that should be dunked, really are the biscuits (more on that later).
Some will add their milk in first and some after the water gets poured in. This can cause a little bit of debate as people can be pretty adamant that their method is the correct method. I don’t have too much to say on this as I flip flop between the two – controversial. Apparently the ‘milk in first’ rule is about protecting the china from the sudden introduction of boiling water but the milk in after rule is about getting the tea leaves introduced to boiling water to get the most flavour.
How To Make a Cup of Tea – teapot style
- if you’re using a teapot make sure it is clean, and warm the pot first by swirling round some of your boiling water
- the general rule of thumb is one teaspoon of loose tea per person and one for the pot, teabags can be one between two people or one per person depending on how strong you like it
- loose leaf tea gets brewed for 4 – 7 minutes, think the larger the leaf, the longer you brew. Teabags will not take as long
- you can remove the teabags after 5+ minutes to avoid over brewing – this will make your tea taste bitter, or leave them in to ‘top up the pot’ with more boiling water for extended tea drinking
- tea cosies can be used to help keep the pot warm
How To Make a Cup of Tea – in the mug style
- place you teabag in the mug and boil your water
- decide whether you are going milk in first or after
- after the addition of your boiling water you can use a teaspoon to stir the tea and even gently press it against the side of the mug to extract stronger tea
- remove the teabag
Tea is drank at any time of the day, throughout the day, everyday. It is drank for taking a break – a tea break at work or after chores or being out etc. To help solve problems – friends discussing something or getting over something, such as a break up or any kind of argument. It is used for resting after work; for when you put your feet up; gossiping; laughing; crying; thinking; watching TV; studying; the office; in business meetings – usually brought in by the ‘tea lady.’ Basically it is a support for people at any given time or event.
That said, get the kettle on and lets have a nice cuppa tea.