How to Make an English Cup of Tea

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For a warm, satisfying and comforting beverage, look to a cup of fresh English tea. If you have a few simple ingredients, a tea kettle and a teapot, you can make English tea at home. Follow these steps to make a traditional English cup of tea.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea kettle for boiling water
  • Water
  • Loose tea leaves
  • Teapot with lid
  • Tea strainer
  • Cup and saucer
  • Milk
  • Teaspoon
  • Sugar
  • Boil water on a stove using a tea kettle. Be sure to boil a full tea kettle's worth of water and use only fresh water when making tea. If you use water that's been standing in the pot, your tea will not be as flavorful.

  • Pour some of the boiling water into a teapot. Move the water around the teapot by shaking the teapot carefully for a few seconds. This helps to warm the teapot itself, which then keeps the tea warm and improves the steeping process. Discard the water used to preheat the teapot.

  • Place the loose tea leaves into the teapot. Use 1 tsp. loose tea leaves per person. Also, add an extra 1 tsp. loose tea leaves into the pot.

  • Cover the tea leaves in the teapot with more boiling water. Use about 8 oz. boiling water per person.

  • Close the teapot with its lid and let the tea steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir the tea once during the steeping process.

  • Add the milk of your choosing to a teacup. Look for a delicate, ornate china teacup and saucer for an authentic English tea experience. The English Tea Store has a good selection online (see Resources below).

  • Strain the hot tea from the teapot into your teacup. The strainer helps to catch the loose tea leaves so they don't end up in your cup of tea.

  • Sprinkle sugar into the teacup to taste.

  • Enjoy your English cup of tea with scones for breakfast or with finger sandwiches and pastries as part of an English afternoon tea.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also make an English cup of tea using tea bags instead of loose-leaf tea. Use one tea bag per person plus one extra tea bag for the pot.
  • For stronger tea, use more tea leaves. For weaker tea, use less tea leaves.
  • English breakfast tea makes a great English cup of tea.
  • For a true English tea experience, use a Royal Patrician teapot. You can purchase these teapots online (see Resources).
  • Be careful when working with boiling water to avoid burns.

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