How to make tea properly

The Perfect Cuppa

Everyone has an opinion on the making of a perfect cup of tea it seems, whether the debate is milk-in-first-or-after, the length of time the tea needs to mash (steep), even the type of teapot in which to brew. Here are just three points of view from two professionals, and a writer. As you will see, they have a few points in common; use freshly boiled water, let the tea stand, add milk, the rest it seems is personal preference.

The Expert Opinion

The Tea Expert's Method

The Scientists Point of View

Scientists at Northumbria's School of Life Science have discovered that the key to the best tasting brew is to let it sit for six minutes before drinking. Allowing the tea to rest this way avoids it scolding as it has cooled to 140 F/60 C, apparently, the optimum temperatures for the flavors to flow. However, leave it 17 minutes and 30 seconds and the tea will be past its best.

Their conclusion was to add boiling water to a tea bag in a mug and leave for two minutes. Remove the bag, add the milk and leave for a further six minutes or until it reaches 140 F/60 C. Should the temperature drop below 113 F/45 C the flavors are destroyed.

And Finally...the Writers Point of View

A musing, definitely ripe for debate, coming from George Orwell and first published in The Evening Standard, on January 12th, 1946. Tea at this time was still rationed but that doesn’t stop him and his dictates on strong tea. Otherwise, he has some valid points.