Cathy Cassidy, author of Alice in Wonderland-inspired Looking Glass Girl, gives her simple step-by-step guide to making the perfect cup of tea.
How to make the perfect cup of tea - step by step:
1. Fill the kettle with fresh water from the tap (water that has been boiled already will affect the taste of the tea).
2. As the kettle starts to boil, warm your teapot by rinsing it out with hot water.
3. Add one teaspoon of tea leaves for each person and one extra spoonful ‘for the pot’.
4. Just before the kettle water boils, pour into the pot. It doesn’t need to be stirred.
5. Leave to infuse for three to five minutes, depending on taste.
6. Serve, using a tea strainer.
The right kind of cup
If aiming for perfection, it has to be bone china. The delicacy of the cup definitely enhances the delicacy of the tea within.
Milk or no milk?
Many teas taste delicious with milk, particularly stronger teas such as Assam, where the milk tempers the strong flavour. Generally, the lighter the tea, the less likely it is that it needs milk. Green, white and yellow teas as well as aromatic and floral teas should be drunk without milk. Very light teas such as Darjeeling can easily be overwhelmed by milk. If you are not used to drinking your tea ‘black’, try it – you may be surprised by the difference!
Milk in first or last?
This question has divided tea drinkers for some time! Putting the milk in last was considered to be the ‘correct’ thing to do in refined social circles, but the reason for this is often forgotten. In the early days of tea-drinking, poor-quality
cups were inclined to crack when hot tea was poured into them, and putting the milk in first helped to prevent this!
Fancy a piece of cake with your cuppa? Check out these delicious recipes, perfect for a Mad Hatter's tea party: