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How to brew the perfect cup of tea

25 February 2014 ( 14 August 2019 )

Step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect cup of English tea by Henrietta Lovell, owner of Rare Tea Company and a devotee of Tregothnan’s teas.

Perfect cup of tea
Henrietta Lovell, owner of Rare Tea Company, shares her tips for brewing the perfect cup

'When I first started buying tea, the plantation owners would laugh and show me the absolute dregs because the British had such a reputation for drinking appalling tea,’ says Henrietta Lovell of  Rare Tea Company, which she founded in 2004 after leaving the world of corporate finance. 

‘Thank goodness that’s changed now. We Brits have reclaimed premium tea.’ But, says, Lovell, making a good cup takes time, and the best brew comes from using leaves, not bags.

Using leaf tea also avoids worrying about whether the tea bag itself is compostable, as you can just put the leaves straight in your food caddy or compost bin. 

How to brew the perfect cup of tea

1. Put one teaspoon of tea per person into a teapot.

2. Boil the water, let it cool to about 85°C and measure it out – one cup per person – before pouring it into your teapot.

3. Allow the tea to steep: 3–6 minutes for white tea, 2–3 minutes for green, and anything from 1–4 minutes for black.

4. Strain and serve. If you strain the leaves completely, you’ll be able to use them at least two more times – your infusion will get better and better.  

5. Whether you add milk or not, and whether you do so before or after pouring your cuppa is down to personal choice. But please, add only to black tea.

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So there you have it – no definitive answer on whether the milk goes in first, but expert tips for the perfect brew.

And if you need something to go with that cup of tea, may we suggest a scone? Here's our round up of delicious scone recipes to try from Mary Berry's fruit scones to a delicious raspberry and white chocolate version. 

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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