How to Make a 'proper' Cup of Tea!





Introduction: How to Make a 'proper' Cup of Tea!

About: Born in England many years ago, moved to California in 1980, moved to New York in 1993, became a US citizen. Favourite place to visit, besides London England, is Lake Winnipesaukkee in New Hampshire, home o...

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!




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    75 Discussions

    It's just not the same without the harbor water :(

    I like Grey and realize that no milk is nessicary but like it with a bit of milk.

    I'm an avid tea drinker. I prefer Earl Grey over all other teas ... and I drink it with a small splash of milk, and a 1/2 tsp. of sugar (or agavé nectar). There really are no "rights" nor "wrongs" ... it's all dependent on YOUR tastebuds! :o)
    No lemon in any hot tea, and some hot teas don't need any milk or anything in them ... I only take lemon in a big glass of iced tea! To each his own, right?

    Could you do another instructable on how to drink a cup of tea? I have now made a 'proper' cup of tea but don't know what to do next. Please be quick I think it's getting cold!

    4 replies

    And enjoy ! :))

    Drink it !

    WTF it's been a year and still no follow-up instructable on this...I tried to google a proper drinking solution and ended up in the hospital with 3rd degree burns on my sphincter.


    3 years ago

    Im a heathen..i drink herbal black or green for me

    1 reply

    I drink all kind of tea I don't mind .

    A few points that you need to be aware of in making a proper cup of tea.

    The water must not be reboiled before it is poured into the teapot. The process is a chemical reaction which requires oxygen in the water and reboiled water does not have this in sufficient quantity.

    Being a chemical reaction over time the amount of time for brewing is essential. On pouring the water onto the tea leaves caffeine will be produced which gives the feel good factor. But after about 3 mins tannin starts to be produced which gives the bitter taste of stewed tea. So for best tea a brewing time of between 3 and 4 mins is optimal.

    It is irrelevant as to whether the milk should be put in before or after the tea but it was considered common to put the milk in first and posh to put the milk in after. I drink my tea without milk anyway.

    Hope that this helps with your proper cup of tea.

    5 replies

    That's exactly what I do . But you explained it .

    Boiling is a physical change, not a chemical change. The water changes into gaseous H2O (steam) as it boils, but all this means is that the molecules are moving more quickly. The chemical makeup of the water stays the same.

    Water that we drink is not pure h2o. It has dissolved minerals and gasses in it oxygen being one of them. As the water heats this O2 is lostore easily to the surroundings.

    True. But a pot of water isn't just pure H2O. There are also tons of trapped O2 molecules in there. What do you think fish are breathing? They aren't giving off hydrogen. Those bubbly things you see in aquariums are replenishing the O2. Boiling water forces the trapped O2 to escape. Beer brewers, for instance, know that they have to re-oxygenate the beer after boiling so that yeast have something to work with. That said, I don't think losing O2 is a concern w/ tea. The kettle is covered when you boil and you'd have to leave it boiling for about 15 minutes to deplete the O2.

    wow thanks,I love tea but dont really know much about how to properly make a cup of tea,and this help a lot,thanks,im gonna make one now :3