Looking for the perfect cuppa? Follow our guide for the perfect brew…
Only freshly-drawn water can bring out the full range of notes and flavours in your tea. It goes without saying that the water should be cold when you decant it into the kettle.
A cold teapot is a terrible thing; use the first set of boiling water to scald your teapot and bring it back to life. Chipped mugs and handle-less crockery have no place at a refined table. Ensure your china is clean and in keeping with the season.
3. Add tea and boiling water to teapot
Select your finest tea leaves and allow one teaspoon per person, plus one for the pot. As soon as the kettle comes to the boil (not a moment before, not a moment after), carefully pour the water into the teapot. Ensure you do not allow any tea leaves to swill too far up the inside of the teapot, or, heaven forfend, out of the teapot.
How long to allow your tea to brew has been debated for centuries. but science has supplied us with a definitive answer. Ignore the boffins at your peril! Add a modest amount of milk to the teacups. Not enough milk and your china may suffer from tea taint. Too much milk and you may as well be drinking dishwater. Be prudent with your portions.
The moment has almost arrived, but steady your hand so you can pour bold and true; aim for a steady, steaming stream and direct it around the lower inside of the teacup. Do not overfill the cup or spill even a drop into the saucer.
Perfection awaits! Now you may reward yourself with the finest of brews, the pinnacle of taste, the tincture of the gods. You deserve this, so take a moment to relish your achievements.
Image 1: Teapot photo taken by M. Higgins, used with permission; April 2016
Image 2: From Flickr; https://flic.kr/p/ejffG6; Elephant’s tea party, Robur Tea Room, 24 March 1939, by Sam Hood and posted by https://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/; No known copyright; retrieved April 2016