The United Kingdom is known for many things, many great things in fact. But for whatever reason they are most well-known for a few smaller, somewhat insignificant things. One of those being that they are true lovers of a good cup of tea. Anyone raised in England will tell you in all seriousness that learning how to make a good cup of tea was a part of growing up in an English household and all children were taught how to do it. They will also be able to tell you that a true Englishman will drink a somewhat ridiculous amount of tea throughout the day. Drinking tea is now a part of the British culture and who they are. So just how exactly is a good cup of tea made? Well let’s look at what is involved.
The Right Tea and Water
The first and essential step in making a perfect British tea is to get the right type of tea. A traditional English breakfast tea is best. There are many brands that make a proper English breakfast tea now, you want it to be a strong one so doesn’t settle for the cheapest brand. Ideally a British brand would be best. Next you want to make sure that you use water from a clean source, tap water is fine if it ok to drink in your area. If not use bottle or filter water to be sure. Then use a kettle, either electric or traditional stove top, and boil the water. You want the water to come to a full boil before you use it.
Steep the Tea
While the water is boiling get your mug ready with a tea bag in it. If you are making a pot of tea for several people put two to three tea bags into the pot depending on the strength of the tea. When the water has boiled pour it carefully into your pot or mug fully submerging the tea bag. Now comes the important part, let the tea properly steep. There is no need to stir at first, simply let the hot water and the tea bag work their magic. If it is a mug leave it for about 3-4 minutes, if it is a pot you may want to let it steep a few minutes longer. Then before you take the tea bag out give it a few stirs to distribute the flavor. You must remove the tea bag from your mug, a true English breakfast tea is strong and if you leave it in for too long it will develop a bitter taste.
Now comes the best part, enjoy your proper cup of tea. Some people add milk. This is the more traditional way to serve it. Others prefer it black or with a squeeze of lemon. However, you like your tea it is always best with a piece of cake or a traditional scone. Now that you are a pro at making tea you can feel like a true English man.