Sunday, May 20, 2012

In this article, I will endeavor to make a tea lover out of you. If you’ve wondered what is all the fuss over English people drinking tea. Maybe you’ve tried some semblence of tea in a restaurant, or some insipid herbal concoction that tries to pass it off for tea, this article is for you.
I will give you two versions. One, the basics of proper tea making, and the more refined British to-the-core tea experience. First, I must tell you American tea won’t work. Lipton is sort of ground up leaves from an oak tree as far as I’m concerned. You must buy British tea. Three that I highly recommend are Typhoo, PG Tips, or Lyons. This is what everyday English homemakers drink and is night and day to American brands. I buy mine at I feel they have the best prices, but I’ve heard some Wal-Marts have started selling Typhoo in their tea section.
You must keep your opened tea containers in a ziplock bag and don’t mix teas in one bag. Teas pick up other flavors very easily and must be kept fresh to be fully enjoyed.
If you’ve tried tea in a restaurant, even if you bring your own tea bag, it will taste terrible. Some brew the water in coffee pots and or they use mugs that have had coffee in them and the taste lingers, ruining the flavor of a good cut of tea. The best tea is made at home.

First, bring water to a boil in a kettle and not in the microwave. When the water begins to roll, it adds more oxygen and gives the tea more flavor. Once boiling, pour the water into a cup and allow it to soak for about a minute. You can stir it once or twice, but don’t mash the teabag or it will give the tea a bitter taste. Remove the teabag so the flavor won’t be too strong. Add sugar, milk, or nothing. When I lived in England, I knew many Brits who drank it black. But never, and I mean never add cream to tea, it is simply not done that way. The cream will overwhelm the delicate tea flavor. Once you’ve made a proper cuppa, sip and enjoy a wonderful taste.

Have I converted you yet? Hmm, perhaps you need to try the truly historical tea experience.
For this you will need:
Tea pot
A cloth napkin or tea towel
Proper teacup--indulge the part of you that truly wants to experience a feminine, English moment and buy a porcelain, pretty teacup and saucer. I’ve bought mine in antique shops, actually I have a collection, but I always make sure on the bottom it says, made in England. This will greatly enhance your tea moment.
A sugar bowl
Petite glass bowl with spout (for pouring milk.)
Assemble items on the tray, boil more water than you think you will need, then pour enough hot water into the tea pot, about half way to “warm up the pot” swishing it around for about 30 second and pour it out. Then add the teabag (one for one person, two for two etc) and add the hot water.
Stir a couple of times until the color looks like how strong you like your tea, then take out the teabag, put the lid back on the pot and tie the tea towel around the pot to keep it warm. You might consider adding a biscuit (cookie) or two before you take your tea tray to somewhere cozy and savor a truly British tea experience.


  1. As you recall I am a total Brit lover myself, and I vote for PG Tips, it is excellent tea, I always grab a box when I am in a British-themed store here in the US.

  2. Wrap a towel around your teapot?

    You need a tea cosy.