The perfect (but controversial!) cup of tea
You know what I love?
I’m not awake until I have my first (oversized) mug of green tea in the morning, which I make incredibly strong using two teabags of the strongest brand I can find. If Ben and I are driving anywhere, even the short distance to visit his mum, I have a travel mug full of the green stuff.
You could almost say I’m addicted, and I would almost agree with you.
When I was younger, both my parents drank normal tea, although they both preferred soy milk (I shudder at the thought!): My mother liked hers strong and with a little milk, whereas my dad liked his with two sugars and quite milky. Every day I’d make them many many many cups of tea, as they sat on the back porch, smoking cigarettes and chatting away.
Myself? Well, I loved pretending to be a grown up, drinking my own cup of sweet tea whilst trying to participate in grown up conversations (and trying to avoid the second hand smoke) until we found out I was allergic to caffeine… Then I would do all of the above, but drinking milo instead.
Actually, one of my favourite pastimes as a kid was joining my parents on long drives to their favourite vineyar out in Camden, NSW. On the way back, we’d always stop off at a quaint, side-of-the-road café (like those you find in any country area, along any country road, with lace curtains and wooden furniture) where we’d enjoy a tea and scone, known in Australia as a Devonshire Tea.
We’d (well, they) would then spend a relaxing afternoon chatting about things I can’t actually remember at all, though likely involved wine or whatever event or occasion we were buying the wine for as my parents seemed to always be entertaining or being entertained.
Of course, because of the whole caffeine allergy thing, I would have what we coined as a Devonshire Milkshake – scones with jam and cream, and a strawberry milkshake.
But I digress; we’re not here to discuss my history of tea drinking, but how to make the Perfect Cuppa, aren’t we?
Although I’m now known as the person who drinks copious amounts of incredibly strong green tea, I do enjoy decaf tea also, especially in winter, on cold rainy days! Nothing is more relaxing than curling up in bed with a book and a cup of tea.
Along with my own love of tea and being a bit of a perfectionist, my experience as a child of making tea for my parents every single day helped up my tea game. As well as that, spending 11 months in London where in every office everyone takes turns making the tea on the hour every hour, means my tea skills are pretty damn good.
Don’t believe me? My last job in London working for a very large technology firm, the CEO would only drink the tea I prepared for him because my tea making skills are that good. I am pretty sure if he remembers me for anything it won’t be my lovely Australian accent, but the perfect Builders Brew I’d prepare for him whenever he was in the office.
Now, I should warn you, my methodology is very controversial, but you know what? It makes a flawless cuppa, so that’s why I am going to share it with you now, because to not share it is to be incredibly selfish, and I am all about sharing the tea love.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea
- Fill the kettle with cold water
- Pour a bit out because you’ve overfilled it, as always
- Turn kettle on
- Turn on the radio, and then stare out the window for a minute
- Find your favourite mug
- Wash thoroughly, because you forgot to last time
- Place tea bag in mug
- Add sugar, if required
- Pour about 1 tbsp of milk in mug,
- Be distracted by whatever song is playing and have a mini dance party whilst no one is watching
- Watch the kettle as it starts bubbling and remove it before it clicks off because you’re impatient like that
- Add boiling water to mug, and stir for 30-40 seconds whilst continuing to dance a little
- Remove tea bag, wash tea spoon, set tea spoon on side of sink, sip tea and enjoy.
Voila – the perfectly brewed, perfectly coloured, perfectly hot, cup of tea.
That’s right, adding the milk first is essential, as is keeping that tea bag moving as it brews to ensure maximum flavour in a short period of time. Also, although the dancing may seem unnecessary it is an incredibly important part of the tea making ritual.
So that’s it, that’s how you make the perfect cup of tea.
The best cup of tea you’ve ever had? Definitely.
How do you prefer your tea?