Did you know that 120 million cups of tea are drunk every day in Britain? Or that the ‘tea break’ has been central to the nation’s working life for 200 years? We even have a Tea Council, charged with protecting and promoting all things cha. By continuing our campaign to get NYC (and the rest of the US) taking afternoon tea, we’re hoping to import a small part of this milky, caffeinated love over the Atlantic. Following cake and scone recipes, and not one but two tea guides, here’s the lowdown on how to brew the perfect cup.
Select a tea of your liking. Swirl boiling water in the teapot and then empty it out. This will warm the pot so proper brewing can take place. If you are using loose tea you can add one teaspoonful of tea for each person person one for the pot. Bring fresh water to a rolling boil and pour it directly into the teapot.
The official tea set of the Diamond Jubilee, approved by Queeny herself.... You can buy yourself one here.
The teapot must now be left so that the tea can “steep”. About five minutes is a good amount of time for the host water to extract the full flavour of the tea. Small-leaved teas, like a green tea, will take less time.
Give the teapot a stir and then get ready to serve. If you are using loose tea you will need to place a strainer between the spout and the cup.
This gentleman certainly knows what he's doing.... Pinky up!
It is customary to pour milk into the teacup first. This tradition, which dates back to the era when delicate China cups were used, was observed by those who wished to avoid cracking the cups by pouring hot tea into them. If you were very righ, the tea was poured in first, to show that could afford to replace your broken teacups. Nowadays, we tend to put the milk in last to control the color of the tea.
How do you take yours? Top graphic, courtesy of tea-chart.co.uk
When using a tea bag in a cup, it is best if you warm the cup first with boiling water. If you are making a pot of tea with tea bags, then the rule is one tea bag per every two or three cups.
And remember, we sell a selection of the finest China, imported from the UK, in-store, as well as tea – of course! You can find us at 110 Greenwich Avenue or take a look online. The text below is from our Tea & Sympathy cookbook, which you can also purchase in-store. If you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 212-989-9735.