How To Brew The Perfect Cup of Tea

Monday 13 February 2023

The Perfect Cup of Tea 


When the world is at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea

There's magic in its fragrance
There's solace in its taste
And the laden moments vanish
Somehow into space

The world becomes a lovely thing
There's beauty as you see
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea

The Perfect Cup of Tea

There is naught for bringing comfort into one's day like sitting down quietly and having a nice hot cup of tea, be it regular tea or herbal. Princess Catherine of Braganza arrived in England in 1662 to marry King Charles ll and brought with her in her belongings a chest of tea.  This was the start of a "Tea Culture" in the U.K.

Certainly tea was already available in England, but up to that point was popular mostly with persons of quality, meaning people who could afford the commodity along with the imported chinaware to go along with it! It would be a further 100 years before the first made English teapots would be produced that could stand up to the heat of the boiling water without breaking. By then tea drinking had become quite commonplace.

The Perfect Cup of Tea 

Its important to note however, that one doesn't really need anything fancy in order to enjoy a nice hot cuppa!  You don't even need a room full of people or special company to enjoy a cup of tea.

Some of my favorite and most memorable tea drinking experiences have been quite humble and solitary.  (Although admittedly it is much nicer when shared!)

Today when I got home from church I decided I wanted to enjoy nothing more than a hot drink and some kind of nibble with it. I am going to my sister's a bit later on for Sunday supper, so all I really needed was something to refresh and delight.

It was the perfect excuse to dig out my favorite tea accessories, including my beautiful tea cozy that my friend Ginny who lives in New Hampshire knit for me.  Every time I see it, it makes my heart smile.

The Perfect Cup of Tea 

This is a small two cup tea pot that I purchased last year from a vintage china/dish shop on Etsy. I had originally had a Brown Betty Tea Pot, but when my cats knocked it off the sideboard and it shattered I decided I didn't want to risk  something so expensive being broken again.  I found this pot on Etsy at a very reasonable price.

There is something very special about drinking a cup of tea that has been brewed properly in a teapot.  It elevates it to a real treat.  There is a ceremony about it that cannot be beaten.

I used my little tea pot, and set it upon my Emma Bridgewater Black Toast Tea Stand/Trivet. Purchasing this was a pure indulgence on my part.  Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. 


The Perfect Cup of Tea 

I don't drink black or green teas, but I do have an assortment of loose herbal teas.  I got them from The Tea Haus and today I decided to treat myself to a pot of Lime Fizz.  Properly stored they do last a good long time.

I also decided to use my little heart shaped aluminum tea infuser that I had bought from Susan Branch's online shop just recently.  I cannot resist anything heart shaped. Heart shaped objects call my name.

The Perfect Cup of Tea


This is one of my favorite tea cups. If you are  going to the trouble of making yourself a proper cup of tea then you should drink it in a proper cup. Again, it only adds more pleasure to the experience.

This is a cup my dear friend Elaine gave me. Whenever I use it I think of her and, again, my heart smiles. It feels like a celebration just to look at it.  Red and white polka dots, strips, gilt gold  trim, etc. I love all of it.  

A cup of tea tastes better in a proper cup and if that cup has been a gift from a much beloved friend, so much the better.

The Perfect Cup of Tea 

Of course if you are going to go to all the trouble of brewing a perfect pot, then by all means add a few nibbles on the side. They don't need to be really fancy, just tasty.

I had some French Fancies leftover in the freeze from Christmas so I dug out one of those. Yesterday when my sister and I were at Winners I had picked up a box of Mrs. Walker's shortbread biscuits, so I added one of those and then I made myself a few finger sandwiches.

Yes, they are peanut butter and jam.  But I used a good sourdough bread and I cut them into little hearts. Peanut Butter and Jam never tasted or looked so special.

The Perfect Cup of Tea 

I began by measuring my tea into the infuser. The rule of thumb is 1 tsp of tea for every cup you plan on brewing and then one for the pot. 

This Lime Fizz tea is filled with lots of lovely bits and pieces.  Apple Cubes, rose hips, elderberries, orange peel, ginger, lemon grass, coriander seed, lemon verbena, pink pepper, calendula petals, and a natural lime ginger flavor.  Yummy! 

The Perfect Cup of Tea


Bring a kettle filled with fresh cold water to a boil. Pour a little of the boiling water into your teapot and give it a good swirl around to warm the pot and then pour it out.

The Perfect Cup of Tea 

Put your kettle back onto the boil.  Add to the warmed teapot 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per person plus 1 teaspoon for the pot. 

You can just add it loose if you wish, using a tea strainer to strain out any bits at the end, or you can Pop it into an infuser like I did.

The Perfect Cup of Tea

As soon as the water returns to the boil, pour it over the leaves in the pot and then pop on the lid to your tea pot. 

The Perfect Cup of Tea 

Allow the tea to steep for two to five minutes, depending on the strength of tea you prefer and the type of tea you are using.

Typically black teas are steeped longer than white, green or oolong teas.  For herbal blends you will need to use your own discretion. I like mine fairly strong so leave it for the full five minutes or even longer.

But then again, I always drink my tea black

If you have guests you will want to set out a pitcher filled with hot water so that guests who favor a weaker cup can dilute their serving. 

The Perfect Cup of Tea


 Normally it is the hostess who both makes and plays mother/serves/pours the tea. This is a holdover back to the days when women held the key to the tea caddy and therefore the power over the tea in the household.

Each cup is poured, ideally through a tea strainer to capture any loose leaves, and then passed to a guest before the hostess pours the next cup.

The guess will then add milk or a lemon slice to the cup. Milk is typically added to black tea, while lemon is traditionally paired with Lapsong-Souchong. 

In days past, the  milk would typically be added to the cup first, before the hot tea, in an effort to safeguard against the breakage of china.

Sugar is always added last, and only then is the tea stirred.  Once the sugar has dissolved, you can return your teaspoon to the saucer.

The saucer always remains on the table when the cup is lifted to drink.  It is proper to grasp the cup with the thumb and index finger meeting in the handle, with the handle resting on the middle finger.  Contrary to popular belief, the pinkie should never be held upright.  This is actually considered to be quite rude!

The tea should be sipped not gulped, returning the cup to the saucer between sips.

The Perfect Cup of Tea 


I really do enjoy a cookie/biscuit with a hot cup of tea.  But there are a great many things which you can enjoy with a hot cup of tea that will delight the senses and bring enjoyment to the palate.  These are some of my favorites.

GINGER CRUNCHIESYou better get your pinny on because if you like ginger, you are going to fall in love with these crisp shortbread based ginger biscuit/cookie/squares! They are crisp and buttery, very short textured.  They are also topped with a lush ginger glaze and some sweet chunks of preserved ginger.  Don't worry if you haven't got any preserved ginger, you can substitute candied ginger for it, or leave it off altogether.

TRADITIONAL BATTENBURG CAKE - Also known as Church Window Cake. If you love almond, then this is the cake for you. A firm favorite on the traditional English tea table, this is a very pretty two colored sponge cake, put together like a pink and white checker board, with apricot jam holding the layers together.  It is coated in more jam and then a thin layer of marzipan is rolled around the whole cake.

POLKA DOT PETTICOAT TAILS -  A traditional shortbread baked in a large round, dimpled with a variety of jams (Polka Dots) and cut into wedges to serve.  Delicious and quite pretty as well! You could also use lemon curd instead of the jam.

And there you have it, how to brew the perfect cup of tea and what to do with it when you're done!  I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed putting it together!  Not a recipe I know, but plenty of food for thought! 

The Perfect Cup of Tea

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  1. I enjoyed this very much and learned some things too.
    Have a good week!

    1. Thanks very much Mary. It seems like such a simple thing, but surprisingly there are a lot of people who just don't know how to make a basic cup of tea! You have a good week also! xo

  2. Thanks for the tea lesson, I’ve learned some new tips! xo, V.

  3. Thank you so much, Marie😊! This is a informative and, quite charming, post, indeed! Love the ritual of tea and the place it can bring a person... for both heart and soul. Again, many thanks.

    1. Thank YOU so much for your feedback Lisa! You made my day! xo


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