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How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Tea

Remove Tea Leaves And Enjoy

How to make the perfect Cup of Tea with Milk – Recipes by Warren Nash

Just like that you have a delicious cup of tea! Enjoy it however you wish to plain or with milk or sweetener.

Most high quality loose leaf teas can actually be steeped again. So, when you take the tea infuser out of your cup, dont toss the tea leaves out right away. Instead, set it to the side to use later and enjoy your cup of tea.

How do I re-steep tea leaves?

If you would like a second cup, put the tea infuser back in your cup. Using the same tea leaves add hot water and steep again. Essentially, repeat the steps above. For additional steeps you should increase the steep time by 1-2 minutes.

How many times can I re-steep tea leaves?

The amount of re-steeps will depend on the tea. Not all teas will be good for 2 or more steeps. Generally, I like to keep steeping the same leaves again until the water no longer changes colour.

Choose Your Favourite Mug Cup Or Teapot

Once you’ve decided on the tea that matches your mood, you now need to choose the perfect cup to drink it out of.I’m sure you have your favourite teacup it’s your go to every time and you get that terrible feeling when it’s dirty in the dishwasher!We personally believe that the teacup is one of the most vital ingredients to a perfect cup of tea. If you love the cup you’re drinking out of, it automatically makes the tea taste better.Now you have chosen your cup it’s time to get that kettle boiling.

How Tea Is Made

After they are harvested, the leaves are laid out to dry so they become supple for the next stage: rolling.

The leaves are rolled and shaped, releasing enzymes and oils that alter the leafs flavour, and initiating the oxidation process. Exposing leaves to oxygen for a period of time determines the colour, taste and strength of tea. The longer the leaves are left to oxidise, the darker in colour and stronger in flavour they become.

As you might imagine, black teas are highly oxidised whereas white and green teas are the least oxidised. Once the desired oxidation level is reached, the leaves are fired to halt the process and reduce the moisture content to ensure the tea keeps well. Not all teas go through all the stages of the process, and some may go through different stages a number of times.

This all refers to the orthodox process. There is also the non-orthodox process, the crush-tear-curl method that originated in the Second World War to increase the amount of tea that could be packed into a chest. After the leaves are withered, they are put into a machine that crushes, tears and curls them, as the name suggests.

The leaves are formed into pellets, then oxidised and dried. Its a much quicker process than the orthodox method and the resulting pellets are ideal for teabags, of typically black tea.

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Royal Society Of Chemistry: How To Make A Perfect Cup Of Tea

  • Ingredients: Loose-leaf Assam tea soft water fresh, chilled milk white sugar.
  • Implements: Kettle ceramic tea-pot large ceramic mug fine mesh tea strainer teaspoon, microwave oven.
  • Draw fresh, soft water and place in kettle and boil. Boil just the required quantity to avoid wasting time, water and power.
  • While waiting for the water to boil place a ceramic tea pot containing a quarter of a cup of water in a microwave oven on full power for one minute.
  • Synchronise your actions so that you have drained the water from the microwaved pot at the same time that the kettle water boils.
  • Place one rounded teaspoon of tea per cup into the pot.
  • Take the pot to the kettle as it is boiling, pour onto the leaves and stir.
  • Leave to brew for three minutes.
  • The ideal receptacle is a ceramic mug or your favourite personal mug.
  • Pour milk into the cup FIRST, followed by the tea, aiming to achieve a colour that is rich and attractive.
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • Drink at between 60-65 degrees Centigrade to avoid vulgar slurping which results from trying to drink tea at too high a temperature.

Personal chemistry: to gain optimum ambience for enjoyment of tea aim to achievea seated drinking position in a favoured home spot where quietness and calm willelevate the moment to a special dimension. For best results carry a heavy bag ofshopping of walk the dog in cold, driving rain for at least half an hour beforehand.

This will make the tea taste out of this world.


What Kind Of Milk Do British Put In Tea

How to make the perfect cup of tea

Usually, and in the past its been whole milk that Brits use in their tea. In the US, 2% milk is passable, but dont offer me 1% or even talk to me about skim milk. The cream thats in whole milk adds a lot to the flavor of a cuppa. Just know that you should never add cream to a cup of tea! Its just not done.

Now, enjoy with a Bourbon biscuit. Or perhaps an oatcake and some jam?

Or a custard cream or two, and delight in the fact that you have been let in on a bit of British culture!

My friend, Cynthia at What a Girl Eats has a lovely lavender shortbread recipe.

Enjoy with any snack or cake, like this gluten free teabread! The possibilities are endless!

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Add The Teabags And Water To The Pot

I sometimes use a PG Tips and a Typhoo teabag together. This is something my daughter started doing, and we all liked the combination. When the water just comes to a boil, put the teabags in the teapot and immediately pour the water into the pot. Of course, using two or three of the same bag is obviously fine, too.

What Is Western Style Tea Brewing

Throughout this loose leaf tea steeping guide youll see me referring to this steeping method as western style. This is an easy steeping method that is used in a lot of households, restaurants, cafes, etc.

If you typically prepare tea with tea bags, youre most likely already steeping western style. Preparing loose leaf tea with this method is fairly simple too.

In comparison to other steeping methods like gongfu style, western style uses a lower tea leaf to water ratio. The steeping times are also much longer. This allows the tea drinker to extract as much flavour possible at once.

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Choice Staff Share Their Tea Quirks

We asked the avid tea drinkers at CHOICE HQ how they make a cuppa, and received some passionate responses.

  • Loose leaf, brewed for no more than two minutes. Warm the pot if it’s winter and always take the pot to the kettle rather than the kettle to the pot in order to get the water on the leaves at its hottest. – Marg
  • Being English I have a few views on this topic! Tea bags should be left in for six minutes minimum. Only then is milk added. Never before. Earl Grey with milk is, indeed, an abomination. As is any kind of weak, watery, beige-coloured brew. If it’s not the colour of a summer sunset it’s too feeble for human consumption. – Ian
  • Pu-erh tea is the perfect office tea. Break off a few leaves and you can just keep filling it up with boiling water and drink five cups a day! – Dean

Tea bags are the devil’s work. Loose leaf all the way!


Earl Grey with milk is an abomination.


Stick To The Brewing Instructions

How To Make The Perfect Cup of Tea

Now you have poured your water onto your tea you need to let it brew for the recommended time.Our group of professional tea tasters have travelled the world finding and tasting every tea you could possibly image and youll find their recommendation for the perfect time to brew any blend on the box or pouch.Obviously if you like your tea stronger or weaker that is a personal taste. However, the optimal brewing time will produce a beautiful, smooth cup that will leave you wanting more.

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Follow Water Temperatures For Each Tea

Water temperature plays an important role when making a good cup of tea because the flavours a tea releases will differ at certain temperatures.

If the water is too hot, you risk burning the tea leaves and creating a bitter cup of tea.

If the water is too cold, you risk not letting the tea leaves infuse properly and creating a weak cup of tea.

A variable temperature kettle is super handy as you can control the temperature. This is helpful because the perfect temperate depends on the type of tea you are making. The water temperatures can vary and I recommend following the suggestions that come with the loose leaf tea first.

Most tea companies should include ideal water temperatures with their steeping instructions on the tea label. However, below is a standard tea steeping guide.

Please note the above is just a guideline and is most ideal for western style brewing. Water temperatures will vary depending on the exact tea and ingredients if its a blend. For instance, matcha is a green tea but it is actually recommended to use water that is heated to around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

RELATED READ: The 6 Different Types of Teas

How can I heat water to the correct temperature for tea without a variable temperature kettle?

If you dont have a variable temperature kettle, boil the water and let it sit uncovered for the appropriate time listed below. You can also check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer.

Can I use a microwave to heat the water for tea?

How Do You Make The Perfect Cup Of Tea

First, choose our water wisely. Softer water results in a cleaner finish as the minerals in hard water can result in a scummy layer on the tea. Fresher water brings out a brighter, cleaner taste.

Secondly, consider temperature. We tend to use water straight out of a boiling kettle but this might not be the best method for all teas. Different teas require different brewing temperatures to deliver the perfect cup.

And third, get the steeping time right. As tea brews, tannins, amino acids, aromas, and flavours slowly diffuse into the water. How long it takes depends on the compound, tea type and water temperature.

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How To Make A Cup Of Tea Perfectly

Is there a perfect way to drink tea? With hundreds of varieties of tea leaves and 3000 years of history, brewing the perfect cup of tea seems fraught with overwhelming possibilities and potential slip ups.Fear not! Achieve a top notch brew with our expert tips for making the perfect cup of tea.

A cup of tea is part of many morning and daily rituals. It is estimated that the number of cups of tea drunk every day in Britain is 165 million!Tea is an intricate part of our daily lives and no matter what you drink or when you drink it. We believe that everyone should have that perfect cup of tea every single day.There are many theories and ideologies behind making the perfect tea and everyone has their own way, their favourite way, the way their mum taught them.Heres our perfect method to make that special cup of tea.

Watch Henrietta Demonstrating How To Infuse The Perfect Cup Of Tea

How to make the perfect cup of tea


How much tea?

This depends on how you like your tea but a good rule of thumb is a heaped teaspoon of tea and one teacup of water per person.

Not just one infusion

Our rare teas are of such high quality that the same leaves can be infused several times. Each time you infuse the tea different subtleties of the delicate flavours will be released.

It is essential that the tea leaves are not left to stew once they have been infused straining the tea completely between infusions will prevent the leaves from becoming bitter – it’s akin to cooking a steak to perfection and then leaving it in the frying pan.

In China it is widely believed that the second or third infusion of fine tea is the best.

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Accurate Tea Leaves To Water Ratio

First, follow the instructions that came with your tea if it lists how many scoops of tea to use per cup. But, a general rule to follow with western-style tea brewing is about 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces of water.

However, there are some loose leaf teas that are large leaf and may need 1.5-2 teaspoons per 8 ounces of water.

If you use too much tea leaves for little amount of water, your steep will be very strong. It will be more like a tea concentrate than a standard cup of tea.

If you use too much water and not enough tea leaves, your cup of tea will be very weak.

Tip: If you have a kitchen scale on hand, it will be the best tool for the most accurate tea leaf to water ratio. Ideally use 2-3 grams of leaf per 8 ounces of water. A scale is not mandatory for this tea steeping guide though.

What kind of tea infuser should I use?

There are lots of good options. My favourite is a tea infuser basket as its simple to use and fits in a variety of cups or even teapots. But, most importantly, tea infuser baskets are spacious.

Loose leaf teas will expand when steeping. Depending on the type of tea, the leaves can expand up to 5 times the size! Thats why I do not recommend tea infuser balls. They are too small and wont let tea leaves fully expand.

When tea leaves dont fully expand they wont release their full flavour. Therefore, its best to find a loose leaf tea infuser that will give the tea leaves lots of room.

How Do Choice Supporters Make The Perfect Cup Of Tea

We asked our Facebook followers to tell us how they make the perfect brew. Here’s what they said:

  • If you warm the pot, the tea has a smoother, rounder taste, with less tannin. If you add the milk last, the tea will stop noticeably brewing, as the temperature is too low. Always use clean water, fresh off the boil. Otherwise, brewing takes forEVER. – Gemma
  • ‘Real’ tea, boiling water, brew for about 5 min for white. Milk and sugar in cup first. – Noeleen

If you warm the pot, the tea has a smoother, rounder taste, with less tannin.


  • I’ve lost count of the number of baristas to whom I’ve explained that if you’re using a teabag, don’t put milk in first or more commonly straight after adding the water. It stops proper steeping. I think I found a scientific paper years ago that said it wasn’t true but I can’t then help noting every time I drink a tea where the milk was added too soon with the bag, it tastes awful. – Antonia
  • If brewing in a pot use a tea ball so the tea leaves can be taken out when perfectly brewed, not left in to stew into boot leather. – Tanya

Evan shared an unusual method of tea-making:

“First sugar, then tea, then milk. Stir 3 turns clockwise, one anti-clockwise. Then pour it down the sink and make yourself a coffee.”

Read more: What’s the best tasting black tea?

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Milk In First Or Last

This has long been a controversial topic. Do you put the milk in first? Or splash it in after the tea has steeped?This comes down to personal choice, of course, but the milk-in-first approach refers to the early days of tea-drinking. Lower quality china would sometimes crack when the hot water was poured onto the tea leaves. Adding the milk first, resolved the issue. All modern day teaware is made to cope with boiling water which means it is no longer necessary to add the milk first.When using tea bags, let the tea fully infuse the water first before adding your milk. On the other hand if youre using loose leaf tea, the tea will already have brewed in the pot and so adding a dash of milk to your tea cup first wont impact the infusion and steeping time.Milk goes well with the stronger black teas but we would suggest avoid adding it to green, herbal and fruit teas!

How To Make A Proper Cup Of Tea

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea

First of all, a proper-proper cup of tea is made with loose leaf tea, but most of us dont have time for that on a daily basis, two or three times a day.

So this is mostly aimed at US households who are used to a Lipton teabag in hot water in a mug. This will be a big change in flavor for those of you.

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How Much Tea Per Cup

The rule of thumb here is one tea bag per person. And honestly, it is just as easy for loose tea.We would recommend 1 tea spoon or Twinings scoop of loose leaf tea per person.If your choice is a milder white or green tea you can add in another spoonful per person for good measure.We recommend warming your cup or pot by swirling a small amount of hot water in it before adding either the leaves or the tea bags.

What Exactly Is Tea

Tea is made by infusing the dried and crushed leaves of the tea plant in hot water. There are many varieties, typically grouped into five main categories: white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea and Pu-erh tea. By far the most widely drunk tea in the UK is black tea, whereas green tea is more popular in East Asia.

All teas derive from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, a sub-tropical, evergreen bush native to Asia. There are two recognised varieties: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis var. assamica .

Other drinks that we might refer to as tea are not actually tea. Unless they hail from the Camellia sinensis plant, they are technically tisanes.

Read more about the science of tea:

If all tea comes from essentially the same plant, what defines the different categories? Well, it all comes down to how the leaves are processed.

Read Also: Can Green Tea Cause Kidney Stones


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