How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea

Bring Back the Teapot!

Although the usual method of making tea these days seems to be to give a teabag a quick dunk in a mug of hot water: you can’t beat making it in a teapot for flavour. It’s also a small calming ritual in what may otherwise be quite a frantic day.

If you frequently make tea for one, it’s worth investing a one-cup teapot. If you try to make a small amount of tea in a larger pot, by the time the tea has brewed it will have lost too much heat and won’t be hot enough.

Use a small pot and fill it to the top with boiling water and by the time it has brewed it will be just the right temperature. Bag-in-a-mug tea tends to be scalding hot with a thin and papery flavour, unless you have flattened the bag on the side of the mug with a spoon, in which case it still tastes papery and now tastes a bit ‘stewed’ as well!

Making the perfect cup of tea in a pot takes barely any more time and is less messy - as it doesn’t involve trailing the dripping bag across the kitchen balanced on a teaspoon.

Boil the kettle using freshly drawn water.

Take a little water from the kettle before it boils and warm your teapot, swilling the water round and discarding it.

Put in your tea bag(s) or loose leaves

‘Take the teapot to the kettle’ so that when it boils there is no delay and the water doesn’t go off the boil.

Fill the teapot with the boiling water and leave to ‘steep’ or ‘brew’ for 3-5 minutes before pouring.

At home in Lincolnshire when I was a little girl, by the way, we talked about ‘mashing’ the tea, rather than brewing. I still love to hear people using that expression.