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Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?  
User currently offlineLHMARK From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2464 times:

I've been informed by my British expat friends that Americans don't know how to make a good cup of tea. Seeing as it's your national drink (since handling one's lager seems to be an unmastered skill in the isles), what's the proper method of brewing perfect tea?


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2455 times:

It's a myth that all Brits can brew tea, and that no American can.

I make a better cuppa than my husband does. It's very simple.

1.) Boil water
2.) Put teabag in mug
3.) Pour boiling water over teabag
4.) Steep for a minute
5.) Take out teabag and add whatever you want to add to tea (milk, sugar, lemon, honey, etc)
6.) Drink

This is how pretty much every single Brit makes tea. If they want to be fancy they might use a proper teapot in which case you need a bag for the pot and one for each drinker.

It's not rocket science, it's just tea.

Some people swear by particular brands. I like Taylors or Whittards which is a bit posh, and I also like Twining's Earl Grey tea.


User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5729 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

It's not well known that, per capita, Irish people drink more tea than the Brits! The standard way is to use boiling water to heat the pot, then put your tea bags, or leaf tea if you're a purist, in, usually one bag or spoonful per person. Some people add an extra one if you like it slightly stronger. Pour boiling water in immediately and leave several minutes to infuse.

There's always an argument about whether to put milk in the cup before or after the tea, and this comes down to taste. There is a slight difference: putting the milk in first gives a slightly milkier taste.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2452 times:

"The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink. So a group of the most eminent British scientists put their heads together, and made complicated biological experiments to find a way of spoiling it. To the eternal glory of British science their labour bore fruit. They suggested that if you do not drink it clear, or with lemon or rum and sugar, but pour a few drops of cold milk into it, and no sugar at all, the desired object is achieved."

George Mikes: How to be an Alien.

 Wink



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2452 times:

The secret is in the quality of the tea and the quality of the water. You will first have to find a blend of tea that you like which also blends well with the water, and then decide whether to have loose-leaf tea or tea bags (and then if tea bags whether round tea bags or rectangular ones - experts say that the rectangular ones allow more room for the tea to brew).

To make a good cup of tea, it is best to use a teapot, using freshly boiled water (not reboiled as that can impair the flavour) and then
  • Fill kettle up with fresh water and switch on
  • Just before kettle reaches boiling point, pour a little of the water into the teapot to warm it up
  • Empty tea pot and use one teaspoon of tea per person plus one for the pot
  • Pour on freshly boiled water as soon as the kettle boils
  • Stir and leave pot to brew for 2-4 minutes depending on how you like the strength of your tea
  • Using tea strainer pour tea into mug or china cup and add milk, sugar or lemon as desired
  • Sit back and enjoy your cuppa!
If you use a delicate tea, like Earl Grey, best to use water that is just below boiling point.

Alternatively for a quick cup, use a good quality tea bag (such as Yorkshire Tea), put tea bag in mug, pour on boiling water, stir until desired strength is obtained, remove tea bag, if required add milk, sugar or lemon to taste, then sit back and enjoy.

[Edited 2007-03-20 15:10:38]


MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3208 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2431 times:

What i do... And I've had compliments of it being the best cup of tea they've tasted  

1) Boil Kettle
2) Get suitable cup/mug and put in a teabag
3) Add sugar (yes, before the water)
4) Add boiling water about 3/5 of the way up the cup
5) Get a spoon, stir... then PRESS the teabag against the side of the cup with the spoon to squeeze out all the flavour
6) Stir again
7) Fish out teabag and press against the top of the cup
8) Add milk
 

[Edited 2007-03-20 15:33:07]


Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

I became a tea snob when I started working nights and coffee always upset my stomach and gave me the shits. So in order to survive working overnight without getting a KROC gut from soda I had to find alternate means of caffination: tea.

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 1):
2.) Put teabag in mug

WRONG!! I expect better from someone who lives in the mother country.

Good tea does not come from a bag. Teabags are often made with pretty much the floor sweepinsg at the tea factory.

Go find yourself a tea strainer and a small teapot. Also go find yourself a good vendor of loose leaf teas. If you can't find a tea shop locally, this one has good stuff: http://www.adagio.com/ They have a pretty decent English breakfast tea. Their flavored black teas are good too. I am also a fan of Twinings Earl Grey, it is pretty widely availible online.

Tea should come in sealable tins, if it doesn't, get tins to store it in. Oxygen and moisture are the enemy of tea leaves. Also, plan on shelving loose leaf teas no more than about 6 months.

Good tea leaves will make good tea. Also, if your tap water isn't the greatest, use bottled. Bad water will make bad tea.

As for the actual making of the tea.. Put the leaves in the pot, 1 spoonful for each cup of tea you plan on making, plus 1 extra spoonful. If you want stronger tea, add more. Add boiling water, and I mean a rolling boil. Steep for 5 minutes, mo more, no less. If you go longer you start getting tannin, which is bitter.

Some say stir at the beginning of your steeping, others say after. I stir at the end. Do not stir during the 5 minute steep period. pour the tea through the strainer into the mug.. and you have tea.


User currently offlineThePRGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2414 times:

I guess I'm a bit of a tea purist...

1: Boil Kettle, leave to stand for 2 minutes
2: Place tea strainer over mug
3: Place 3 teaspoons of tea leaves (I have some earl grey ones, but any will do) into half size teapot
4: Pour in water
5: Leave for 45 seconds (I like my tea very weak)
6: Pour over tea strainer into cup up to about 4/5 full
7: Leave to stand for a minute or so
8: Enjoy

no milk/sugar/biscuits!

Thanks
Alex


User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2408 times:

I like plenty of milk in mine, plus 2 sugars Big grin



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

First, you have to get the perfect electric kettle. My trusty Bodum has served me faithfully for over 15 years.

Big version: Width: 640 Height: 480 File size: 57kb


User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
I became a tea snob

Its one thing to be a beer snob, which LHMark takes quite a bit for here in Crapchester. However being a self-proclaimed tea snob just goes right off the deep end. I'm pretty sure me and my gut would rather be called Dungeons and Dragons losers than a tea snob. I can see ole Capt. learning how to drink tea out of the same book housewives learned how to act in the '50's.



User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2386 times:

Quoting KROC (Reply 10):
I'm pretty sure me and my gut would rather be called Dungeons and Dragons losers than a tea snob.

Me and my gut didn't want to go to the supply wench at work and ask for bigger pants and a larger duty belt.. thus I stay away from the soda.


User currently offlineYooYoo From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 6057 posts, RR: 50
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2368 times:

So this is basically what the "experts" say.....

make water hot
put in bag
wait
sugar/milk to taste


is this a joke or something? Hey it ain't rocket surgery people.
 sarcastic 



I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
WRONG!! I expect better from someone who lives in the mother country.

Yeah, I suppose all the Brits I've witnessed doing it were conspiring to make me look stupid. Who has time for loose tea? I work for a living.


User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2352 times:

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 13):
Who has time for loose tea? I work for a living.

Doesn't your kettle have a filtering screen on the pouring spout?


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2343 times:

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 1):
teabag

but the teabags are clearly inferior to standard tea. And standard tea is something where you can mix different sorts, and do add-ons like cinnamon. And then put the tea into the filter, pour the water through, keep the filter in the water for a few minutes to top up the flavour, and then you have a decent tea. And what is important in many countries like Switzerland is the water-filter as unfiltered water is not good for tea.
-
teas to be mixed are Earl Grey, Jasmine, "EnglishBreakfast", and many others. Plus if available some Moroccan mint-tea plus some cinnamon. No milk, but sufficient sugar.
-


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
teas to be mixed are Earl Grey, Jasmine, "EnglishBreakfast", and many others. Plus if available some Moroccan mint-tea plus some cinnamon. No milk, but sufficient sugar.

Part of the problem is that supermarket tea is even worse than supermarket coffee. I get this stuff called Lifeboat tea from the local world market. It's good. I also grow my own peppermint in the summer and use it for tea.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2303 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 16):
stuff called Lifeboat tea

well, here from their WEBsite the explanation: This tea is a unique English Breakfast blend. Packed in England by Williamson Fine Teas on behalf of the world famous Royal National Lifeboat Institution, each cup of tea will help fund these lifeboat men. - so that it actually is Williamson Tea .
-
and this is their WEBsite for consumers in the USA
/www.marktwendell.com/importedteas.htm
-

-
-
and here a TIN of Earl Grey Tea of Williamson

Earl Grey Tea, Loose Tea, Lever lid tin of 125g
-
and the Moroccan tea

-


User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2302 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):

Doesn't your kettle have a filtering screen on the pouring spout?

It's an electric one, so no.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
but the teabags are clearly inferior to standard tea. And standard tea is something where you can mix different sorts, and do add-ons like cinnamon. And then put the tea into the filter, pour the water through, keep the filter in the water for a few minutes to top up the flavour, and then you have a decent tea. And what is important in many countries like Switzerland is the water-filter as unfiltered water is not good for tea.

Like I said, I don't have time for loose tea for my morning or afternoon cuppa. Just not enough hours in the day.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2288 times:

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 18):
Like I said, I don't have time for loose tea for my morning or afternoon cuppa. Just not enough hours in the day

Which is exactly why teabags are so popular. Sure, the quality might be a bit lower, but they're that much more convenient.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2284 times:

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 18):
It's an electric one, so no

Hmmm. So is mine and it has a screen. Oh well.


User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2284 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 19):

Which is exactly why teabags are so popular. Sure, the quality might be a bit lower, but they're that much more convenient.

Right now we're still working our way through what remains of the 160 PG Tips teabags we had to buy to get the free munkeh.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 21):
Right now we're still working our way through what remains of the 160 PG Tips teabags we had to buy to get the free munkeh.

 rotfl 

Me too.  ashamed 



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2276 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 22):
Me too. ashamed

But I got a free monkey! It was so worth it! Of course, I also want one of the big'uns:



User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2235 times:

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 12):
make water hot

No way, Andy, that's the problem! Here in the States they make the water HOT but not BOILING. Tea made with hot water is gross.

LHMark - the one thing Americans do most wrong with tea is to not boil the water. For the love of God, use boiling water!

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 7):
5: Leave for 45 seconds (I like my tea very weak)

My dad would have called that Red Cross tea. "So weak it needs an ambulance to help it out of the pot!"

Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 5):
And I've had compliments of it being the best cup of tea they've tasted

Dear Lord...yes, that cup of tea would certainly be an experience...  yuck 



But that was when I ruled the world
25 Post contains images Fumanchewd : Yes, teabags can be very dirty. I like them for other reasons. Yes, I know...everyone else was was thinking it but was too sophisticated to mention i
26 Post contains images HAWK21M : I would reccommend that you all try the Indian Masala Chai [Tea] available at the Roadside stall in BOM streets.Its also called cutting which means ju
27 AsstChiefMark : I don't like teabagging. You never know where they've been.
28 ME AVN FAN : Had it in Dubai some 3 years ago. Really good ! - - I can tell you where they have been. Being stored for a year or more
29 Post contains images Jush : The difference is simply the teabag. In Germany you don't get the proper Tetley's or PG Tips. Well we have some brands of good tea here but they don't
30 Post contains images NZPM : Why ask the Brits? Your question should be directed at the Chinese who have been drinking tea for over 5000 years. I'm also a tea snob, although I pr
31 Post contains images Gkirk : Never had tea in my life, never will. Tea is a posh English drink. Coffee is much better
32 Disruptivehair : Coffee makes your breath stink.
33 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : if it is REAL coffee, OK. But I still remember that kind of flavoured washing water customary in Britain as "coffee" in the early 1970ies brrrrr! -
34 Post contains images David L : Milk or lemon? I'll never forget watching a Ghurka soldier try lemon for the first time in his tea... which already had milk in it. I think he ate the
35 Myt332 : Me three... I don't actually drink tea though which is the amusing thing.
36 Dougloid : It does....very much so, which is why I never drink coffee if I have to have a face to face with someone, or use a good jolt of Lavoris before hand b
37 Post contains images YooYoo : ok, ok... understood BUT !!... do you eat Timbits with your tea?
38 CastleIsland : I prefer a bit of crumpet.
39 Post contains images KaiGywer : The only kind of tea I really like:
40 LH423 : Maybe you should find another place to get your tea then. Or stop buying it and make it at home. Anyone and everyone who makes a cup of tea at home w
41 Post contains images David L : Wait? For how long? Until the movie ends? Until Jupiter aligns with Mars? It makes all the difference. And it ain't brain science, neither. Wait... y
42 CaptOveur : Sounds like a good way to gum up the kettle.. I have a hard enough time getting the loose leaves out of my teapot.. I boil my water on the stove or i
43 ScarletHarlot : Um, yes, thanks. No restaurants here, or very very few, boil the water. It's all just hot water. I make it constantly at home - four to eight cups a
44 Disruptivehair : I wish some of my work colleagues did that; I have one whose breath could peel paint off a wall. No; we use an electric kettle to boil the water. We
45 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : If you asked for "tea" in the France of the 1950ies/60ies, they filled the kettle with tea and then poured a bit of water over it, and after 5 or 10
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