First and foremost, the best way to enjoy a really good cup of British tea is by using loose tea leaves. Loose leaves give the tea a special taste and smell that you can't get with other methods. But, for many of us, our busy lives don't leave much time for making tea this way, especially when we want a comforting cup two or three times a day.
British tea holds a special place in the cultural fabric of the United Kingdom, representing a cherished tradition that spans centuries. Renowned for its role in daily life, the afternoon tea ritual is a quintessentially British practice that has become iconic worldwide. Typically served with milk and often accompanied by biscuits or scones, British tea is a comforting and social affair. The British have a preference for robust black teas, such as the classic English Breakfast or the slightly more assertive Earl Grey, often flavoured with bergamot. Tea is not merely a beverage; it is a symbol of hospitality, civility and a means to pause and connect in the midst of a hectic day. Whether enjoyed at home or in elegant tearooms, British tea embodies a cultural legacy that transcends its simple, soothing brew.
Remember, the key to a good British cuppa lies in the balance between the strength of the tea, the addition of milk, and the choice of accompaniments. Whether you prefer a strong builder's tea or a delicate Earl Grey, sipping British tea is about creating a moment of comfort and connection.
From choosing the right tea to mastering the delicate balance of milk and sugar, join us as we show you how to create your perfect British cuppa.
- British tea bags
(Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, Tetley Tea, PG Tips, Twinings, etc.)
- Tea cosy or kitchen towel
- 5 min
- 5 min
1. First, bring water to a boil, but do not let it keep boiling. Remove it as soon as it comes to a boil. Hot water will not do. We want the tea leaves to infuse the flavour of the tea into the water, and tepid or hot water will not do this nearly as well as boiling water.
2. When the kettle is almost boiling, put some water in the teapot just to warm it up. Return the kettle to its base (or stovetop) to make it come to a full boil. Swirl the hot water around the teapot and then drain it out.
3. Add two teabags to a regular teapot or one teabag to a mini teapot. If you’re using loose tea, add one teaspoon per person and one for the pot. When the water just comes to a boil, put the teabags in the teapot and immediately pour the water into the teapot.
4. If you have a tea cosy, cover the pot. If not, use a kitchen towel to keep the pot warm. This also makes a big difference in the outcome of the brew flavour. It also keeps the tea hot for a longer period of time, making a second cup more desirable.
5. Steep for about 3 to 5 minutes; the longer you leave it, the stronger it will be.
6. Now it’s time to pour the perfectly steeped brew. If you’re going to add sugar, add it before the milk so that it has a chance to start melting before adding the cold milk.
Now, enjoy with a piece of shortbread, custard cream, a scone with jam & clotted cream, biscuit, or anything of your preference.