Introduction: How to Make a 'proper' Cup of Tea!
It is a well-known fact that since the Americans tried to make tea in Boston Harbor, using harbour water, they have had a hard time making a 'proper' cup of tea!
As a 'proper' Englishwoman, I will instruct those of you (especially all my friends in the Boston area) that wish to learn, how to make a 'proper' cup of tea the English way.
You will need
A kettle (no microwaves, please)
A proper tea pot (with more than one hole inside the spout!)
A tea cosy, to keep the tea pot warm (which can also warm your hands on a cold day)
Loose tea, or tea bags (tea bags with no tags, strings or outer wrappings)
A tea strainer if you use loose tea. I don't use mine much any more now that I have found the round tea bags that don't have the excessive outer wrappings, string and staples!
Step 1: Boil the Water
Boil the water in the kettle. THE WATER MUST BE BOILING!
Take your 'proper' tea pot (one which has several holes inside the spout) to the kettle and put a small amount of boiling water into it. Replace the lid.
Empty out the hot water from the tea pot. This is called 'warming the pot' and is absolutely essential. You cannot make a nice cup of tea in a cold pot.
Step 2: Return the Kettle to the Stove Top
Return the kettle to the stove top (or plug back in if it is one of those new fangled jobbies). The water must be brought back to the boil. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having the water ABSOLUTELY BOILING before pouring on the tea in the pot - but beware of steam burns.
Step 3: The Tea!
Place the tea bags (or loose tea leaves) in the warmed pot. The number of bags or spoonfuls will depend on the size of the tea pot. Rule of thumb for me is one tea bag or spoonful per cup of tea required. I like my tea strong!
Step 4: Take the Pot to the Kettle
With your tea in the pot, take the tea pot to the kettle (not the other way round), and making sure the water is still boiling,fill the tea pot with boiling water. Replace the lid and cover immediately with the tea cosy.
No tea cosy - follow this link!
Step 5: A Nice Cup of Tea!
Let the tea in the tea pot stand for a few minutes for the tea to brew. The tea cosy will keep the tea warm for a long time. Take your tea cup and saucer (prererably of the finest English bone china) pour a little milk into the cup (milk in first, please!) and then fill with the clear, hot, amber liquid of life! Add sugar to taste and there you are!
A nice cup of tea - all ready to drink!