Various friends, often internationals, come and visit me at home in Totnes, England.
They kindly offer to make a cup of tea. Well intentioned. No training in making a cup of tea. No idea. Bless ’em.
They think you pick up a teabag, drop it in a cup, and pour some hot water on it. Then add some milk (preferably oat milk, soya or coconut milk) and maybe sugar. Oh dear, oh dear.
Drinking a good cuppa tea is a form of mindfulness practice, a ritual, a sacred ceremony, a spiritual practice. There is an art in preparing a cuppa.
In Britain, if there is a crisis, we first put the kettle on to make a cuppa tea – equivalent to holy communion.
I recently switched from teabags to loose tea. I read initially that the first tea bags fell apart when hot water was poured onto the bag. So, chemicals were added to the tea bag to strengthen them. I finally had a reason to switch to loose tea.
It is not easy to find packets of loose tea in UK shops. Buy loose tea from small tea companies. Support your small companies. Small is beautiful.
Differences in taste in tea are as great as tastes of different wines.
Most tea in the UK comes from Sri Lanka and India. I am currently using Miles West Country Tea to make tea.
Twelve Steps to Make a Good Cuppa Tea.
- Reflect on how the tea arrived in your packet. Seeds, plantations, workers, factories, transportation, businesses and shops.
- Use a teapot. Cheap ones often found in charity shops
- Boil the kettle
- Pour some hot water into the kettle to warm it up and throw away the water
- Put one spoonful of tea into the pot for every person
- Boil again the kettle
- Pour boiling water into the pot (very important). Pour equivalent of up to one and a half cups of hot water for each person
- Wait three to five minutes for tea to brew in teapot (very important).
- Use a spoon to stir tea in pot clockwise, stir seven times and one for luck
- Pour milk (if used) first into cup rather than last. Tea will then stay hotter at the top
- Pour tea into the cup. You made need a tea strainer
- Pour tea slowly, stop for a moment, pour again and stop, to ensure strength of tea.
- Add more hot water, if cup of tea is too strong.
- Drink mindfully.
- Enjoy the taste.