How to Make a 'proper' Cup of Tea!

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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!

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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!
https://www.instructables.com/id/How_to_knit_a_quotproperquot_English_tea_cosy/

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!

Cheers!

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    78 Discussions

    0
    WilliamD267
    WilliamD267

    3 months ago

    The method described here is acceptable in every detail as the 'proper' way to make tea, save for the outrageous heresy of putting the milk in first. Putting the milk in first is a cardinal sin known amongst civilized people as 'scalding the milk'. Those who habitually perpetrate this heresy often seek to proliferate and perpetuate it, as demonstrated in this 'instructable', by insisting to uninitiated foreigners and rootless colonials that putting the milk in first is the 'proper' way to make tea. It is a hallmark characteristic of such heretics that they unfailingly become physically violent when contradicted in this connexion.

    Plainly many of the commenters here have never been in a fist fight over the proper way to make tea. All proper tea is best. Everything else is post postmodern consumerist bilge.

    0
    fgfmvgyu
    fgfmvgyu

    Reply 11 months ago

    The tea tasted very nice but I put in a bit too much sugar.

    0
    bthcas
    bthcas

    4 years ago

    Im a heathen..i drink herbal tea....no black or green for me

    0
    GretchenT7
    GretchenT7

    Reply 12 months ago

    Perhaps you’d like to know the meaning of “herb”. Black, green, or purple, it’s all “herbal”.

    0
    R&IM
    R&IM

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    PlayaSinNombre
    PlayaSinNombre

    2 years ago

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

    0
    harry_osullivan

    If it is Earl Grey Tea, then the correct way of serving is with NO milk and a slice of Lemon to taste

    0
    R&IM
    R&IM

    Reply 2 years ago

    That's good for herbal tea ...

    0
    stinkymum
    stinkymum

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Absolutely correct - if you like Earl Grey

    0
    Rjdsmith
    Rjdsmith

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    praise_song
    praise_song

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    1
    luctay
    luctay

    6 years ago on Step 5

    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!

    0
    R&IM
    R&IM

    Reply 2 years ago

    And enjoy ! :))

    0
    R&IM
    R&IM

    Reply 2 years ago

    Drink it !

    0
    stringer.bell.9693
    stringer.bell.9693

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1
    HJDAP
    HJDAP

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    A thousand internets to you good sir

    1
    postmaan paat

    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.

    0
    R&IM
    R&IM

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    JennyT3
    JennyT3

    Reply 4 years ago

    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.