Source. Cached here because this is too important to vanish from the internet.
On boiling the water
Cold water. Boil it once. Pour immediately into a teapot (If you are making tea for just yourself a mug is acceptable.) Left over water in the kettle from last time? Throw that shit away.
This is never cleaned.
- Your friend thinks it would be a great idea to make cocktails in it? Throw it away.
- Sick in it? Throw it away
- Cleaned with anything other than just hot water? Throw it away.
Your teapot should have a tea cosy, it is frowned upon if this is not chequered or floral. Bonus points if it matches your tea towels. Regarding the tea cosy: it is entirely acceptable, if not required, that you put it on your head and refer yourself as the Bishop. (Thanks to iamtheparty)
As pointed out ‘warming the pot’ is a common practice whereby a small amount of boiled water is added to the tea pot prior to the teabags and swirled around. This is to make sure the tea is piping hot. In my opinion this is not strictly necessary but comes under the banner of ‘cocking about’.
Teacups and saucers are only used to impress people that you do not want to come to your house.
Use a mug.
- Mugs should be large, clean and most importantly yours
- Not your Dad’s
- Not one that you found at the back of the cupboard at your office kitchen, even if it is the only one that does not smell like off milk.
- It must be your own mug. There are many like it but this one is yours. You do not use it at 3am when you feel the need for bathroom tap water. You do not use it to keep your stationary in. You do not permit anyone else to use it. This mug is for tea and tea alone.
On Brands of Tea
Most people have a preference to which tea brand they like. Personally I’m a big fan of Yorkshire tea. PG tips, in my opinion, are of the devil. If someone were to hand me a cup of it, I would drink it. I’m British anything else would be impolite. We will cover etiquette later. Students: Red label tea from Sainsbury’s is fantastic for its cost.
On Tea Leaves
Some people have got the time to make loose leaf tea. Well done you. How was art school? I also like loose leaf tea. I drink it when I have nothing better to do or am at a tea shop and have the leisure time to deal with loose leaf. On the whole though, teabags will suffice. Yes they will. Stop it.
One teabag per person and one for the pot. Do not deviate from this method. You do not know better. Again taste varies for the strength of your tea.
It is vital, VITAL that you do not over brew the tea. Some of the naturally stronger teas like Yorkshire should not be brewed for long as they will become bitter.
- Don’t go and have a piss.
- Don’t go and chat up that lovely bird in Finance.
- Don’t play Angry Birds.
- STAY. THE. FUCK. THERE.
If you have used a teapot, after a minute use a spoon to stir a few times. Brewing time should be around 4 minutes. Pour a little out into your mug to check the strength. If it is the colour of a dark ale such as Otter then the tea is at a good strength.
If you have used a mug stirring regularly is fine. A good indicator of when your tea has reached a good strength is that you can only see the top 1/2 inch of the teabag due to the darkness of your beverage.
People vary in their taste for strong tea.
While brewing strength is important milk will also lower the strength of your tea. Add it slowly, preferably from a small jug rather than from an ungainly 6 pint milk bottle. You do not want to make a mess, that would be unseemly.
Some people say that you must add milk first before adding tea. Some people also believe that pluto isn’t a planet. Fuck those people.
I have found that it makes very little difference. Much in the same way that if you were dropped into hot liquid you would scream the same amount as if you had boiling liquid poured onto you.
This component is widely debated.
Some will take enough sugar to cause diabetes within a two mile radius.
The great undecided populous will take somewhere between the most infuriating of measures (just a little bit) and what they call 3 teaspoons, which, due to the ever changing laws of science could mean practically any amount.
Those enlightened few will ask for no sugar. This, apart from being a lot easier to measure, is also the most refreshing way to enjoy tea. I have yet to come across anyone who drinks tea with sugar to be anything less than abhorrent.
Of course I say all this in jest. Drink tea as you like it. I would encourage you to try it without sugar for one week. If you remain stoically unaffected then you may return to your faux tea with my faux blessing.
There is an exception. If someone has just heard some distressing news (like their aunt has just been severely injured by a swan), then sweet tea is the most appropriate prescription.
Also, if you are an OAP, you are allowed to drink tea as sweet as you like with complete impunity. (Thanks Anon_is_a_Meme)
Digestives or hobnobs.
Rich teas are a sick joke and are a trap for those of you who dunk biscuits in your tea.
If you must have chocolate coated biscuits then choose a dark chocolate variety, these will leave less chocolate on your fingers.
- Tea is a social drink, before you make it enquire as to whether anyone else would like one in the vicinity.
- Drink at your leisure, coffee is for abusing when deadlines approach
- Biscuits should be served on a side plate
- If you make any mess while making tea clear up after yourself
- It is always best to throw any boiled water and any unused tea away after using the kettle and teapot
Enjoy. (Thanks to CantWearHats for the musical score)