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How to make a good cup of tea

publication date: Sep 19, 2011
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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Among the skills you will need in the next few days if you’re a fresher is the art of making a decent cup - or rather mug - of tea. Why on earth do you need to be told that? Because so many people make rubbish tea and teamaking skills impress as Masterchef James Nathan confided in the Guardian

Ideally you should make it from fresh leaves but forget that for the moment - it is Freshers’ Fortnight . . .

1. Buy some decent teabags. Tea is not worth buying from a budget range though there’s nothing wrong with own brand. A big brand that’s been discounted is ideal.

2. Use fresh not longlife milk. And when we say fresh we mean in date and not milk that’s been hanging around out of the fridge for half a day. Personally I prefer semi-skimmed milk but up to you

3. Discard any water that’s lying in the kettle and fill with fresh water. This is important because water that’s already been boiled lacks oxygen and will make your tea taste flat. Bring to the boil and make sure it actually does boil

4. Put teabags in mugs and pour in the boiling water. (Don’t let it rest and start to get cold again before you do this and don’t add the milk first!)

5. LEAVE IT for a couple of minutes to infuse. That’s what brings out the flavour. Don’t be tempted to swish the teabag around in the water and squeeze it against the side. (I know, everyone does it, but your tea will taste so much better if you don’t). The only reason NOT to leave it that long is if you’re drinking your tea black with lemon (i.e. without milk)

6. Now finally add sugar and milk to taste. Some people like their tea very milky like a latte. Some people (no names) are strange . . .

7. Don’t forget the biscuits!

Finally reseal the carton your teabags came in so the air can’t get to them or, better still, transfer them to a tin.


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