How to make a perfect cup of tea

As it is revealed there are 24 million different ways to make a cup of tea, we ask expert Angela Price to share her own method.

Storage

Where you store tea is important because it absorbs moisture and kitchen smells, which can affect the flavour.

Angela says: “To keep your tea fresh and avoid spoiling the flavour keep loose tea or teabags in a sealed container.”

Refill the kettle

Angela recommends always using freshly drawn, cold water every time you fill the kettle.

“The oxygen in the water is vital to produce a lively, bright brew,” she says.

“Over boiling the kettle reduces the oxygen in the water.” explains Angela. “This changes the taste and appearance of the tea.”

Take care of your teapot

Make sure your teapot is clean each time - this is important because a dirty teapot can affect the taste.

Heat your teaport first

Swirl a small amount of boiled water around the teapot before filling it. “This ensures the water temperature remains hot when poured,” she says.

Quantity

The amount of tea will affect the taste, so add more or less depending on how strong you like it.

Generally speaking Angela recommends one teaspoon per person and one teaspoon for the teapot, if using loose tea.

“If you prefer teabags, use two or three per pot depending on how strong you like your tea to taste,” she adds.

Temperature

Boiling water is recommended for black teas and herbals and a touch cooler for more delicate greens, oolongs and whites.

“If you have a temperature controlled teapot then 80°C is perfect for these lighter teas,” says Angela. “Or simply leave your boiled water to cool down for around five minutes before using.

Banish the tea cosy

Leaving the tea in the pot brewing under a tea cosy will extend brewing time and leave the tea tasting bitter and stewed.

“A removable infuser, or decanting the tea leaves into another pot are good solutions,” says Angela.

Brewing time

Tea should be left to brew for three to five minutes depending on the leaf.

“The general rule is: the darker the leaf, the longer the brewing time,” says Angela. “Black teas up to five minutes, while most green teas just three minutes.

Loose tea or teabags?

Angela says both have their benefits. “For many people, the ritual of preparing loose tea is part of the pleasure, while teabags are more convenient.”

Milk in first?

Historically, the ‘milk in first’ rule was to protect the fine bone china it was served in, but nowadays it’s down to individual taste.