One thing which I have never managed to find outside of the UK is a great cup of tea, coffee is everywhere and this beautiful drink seems to have faced a great amount of neglect over the years. When I talk about a great cup of tea I am not speaking about some of the delicious herbal teas which you can buy in places like China where they respect this drink, and even add some drama to the serving of it such as the kung fu tea style. What I am referring to is a cup of English Breakfast tea, black tea made from the best ingredients and the perfect way in which to start your day.

If you aren’t sure how to make the perfect cup of tea, here are some tips on doing exactly that.

The Teabag

You should do all that you can to find the finest teabags available, my recommendation would be something which is sourced from India or East Africa and features a blend of Assam and/or Darjeeling tea leaves. Usually a great teabag will be indicated by its higher price, but don’t try to skimp on this, getting the perfect bag is vital.

Boiling Water

Allow the tap to run for a while before filing up your kettle to boil the water, this will serve to keep the water aerated. The key to a great tasting cup of tea is both a great quality of teabag, plus oxygenated water. It is for this reason that we only boil the kettle once, doing so more knocks the oxygen from the water. Once the water has boiled, leave it for 1-2 minutes before pouring the water.

Teabag First

If you plan on putting milk or sugar into your tea, make sure that you do this at the end. There has been much debate about whether the tea tastes better with the bag in before the water or after, but there is only one answer to this question, teabag first. Pour the hot water slowly over the teabag, and then allow it to stew. You should leave the teabag in the water for at least 4 minutes, more if you want a stronger cup of tea.


If you wish to add milk and sugar or a sweetener, do so once the teabag has been removed. When pouring the milk be sure to do so little by little until you get it right, remember that you can always add more, but you can’t remove any.

The Cup

If you sample tea in a few different types of mugs or cups, you will notice that the taste is different with each one, even if the tea is made in exactly the same way. In light of this it is essential that you get your selection right when making the perfect cup of tea. Usually china cups are the absolute best for this, they retain the heat well, they are pleasurable to drink out of and they maintain all of the flavours of the tea itself.

Why not ditch the coffee this week and opt instead for a beautiful cup of English tea!