By French Tart on November 05, 2007
Photo by gailanng
Photo by gailanng
"The perfect pot of English tea leads to the perfect cup of English tea! I know this is NOT a recipe, but it is amazing how many people do not know how to make a PROPER POT of tea! We always make a pot of tea at home - even if there is only one of us here, we just use a smaller pot! I also prefer loose tea to tea-bags, but we do use good quality tea-bags as well. This is my method for making a perfect pot of tea, and therefore a perfect cuppa. This has been posted due to a request from my daughter, who obviously has FAR more sophisticated tastes as a university student than I did when I was one!! Plus, what can be nicer then baking a cake, inviting a couple of friends over and having a natter with a cuppa? It puts the world to rights! Quantities are listed for a pot of tea for two.....you can increase or decrease the amounts to suit.The following extract is from Mrs Beeton's book of Household Management printed in 1880; here she suggests the method for a "perfect" cup of tea, using loose tea of course and NOT tea bags! "There is very little art in making good tea; if the water is boiling, and there is no sparing of the fragrant leaf, the beverage will almost invariably be good. The old-fashioned plan of allowing a teaspoonful to each person, and one over, is still practised. Warm the teapot with boiling water; let it remain for two or three minutes for the vessel to become thoroughly hot, then pour it away. Put in the tea, pour in from 1/2 to 3/4 pint of boiling water, close the lid, and let it stand for the tea to draw from 5 to 10 minutes; then fill up the pot with water. The tea will be quite spoiled unless made with water that is actually ‘boiling’, as the leaves will not open, and the flavour not be extracted from them; the beverage will consequently be colourless and tasteless,—in fact, nothing but tepid water. Where there is a very large party to make tea for, it is a good plan to have two teapots instead of putting a large quantity of tea into one pot; the tea, besides, will go farther. When the infusion has been once completed, the addition of fresh tea adds very little to the strength; so, when more is required, have the pot emptied of the old leaves, scalded, and fresh tea made in the usual manner.""
Serving Size: 1 (10 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
"I am an artist with a degree in ceramics. I have formed teapots out of raw porcelain clay with my bare hands. It's lovely to see how many people in this modern world still appreciate such things! I will admit I can be lazy and make tea in the microwave with a Lipton teabag, but I was trained since art school to appreciate the ritual, and so sometimes one must take the very best teapot off the shelf and do it "the right way". Ever since childhood, I have taken my tea the way my mother does, with milk and a little honey. Thank you so much for the reminder of how much this tradition means to me!"
"Okay, I'm impressed already. Stop tickling me!"
"Wonderful! I used good quality, made in London, English breakfast tea bags. DH has always told me to freshly draw the water and now I am a believer. It was perfect with a slightly heaping tea spoon of sugar and a fresh lemon slice along with some delicious gluten free zucchini muffins fresh from the oven. Of course I will use this recipe again. Made for Winter Wonderland! Christmas and Holidays Tag Game Dec 2010 in KK's forum."
"Sitting in the winter sunshine with a wonderful cup of English Breakfast and a slice or 2 of warm banana cake, what more could you want, delicious. Thank you FT, made for Make My Recipe - Edition 11."
"Growing up as a "proper" young lady~ my wonderful Grandmother made me this tea even though I was only 5 years of age. The tea was served in a proper china tea cup with the proper saucer underneath with a spot of cream and sugar cubes, of which you would use sugar tongs to very gently put into the bottom of the tea cup and promptly put the cream/milk and then the addition of the tea. This quiet afternoon I found this treasure of a recipe to replicate the exact tradition of which I had learned to serve tea. This is exactly as used more the 45 years ago, and it brought to mind many fond memories back in view. I used Earl Grey tea~and even had the absolute sugar cube to sweeten the tea. I just happened upon cream this morning so there I was~set up for the perfect day to enjoy the perfect tea. Thank you FT, for the wonderful memories and the absolute tradition of this afternoon treat."
"How lucky we are to have a real-live English lady to educate us in tea. :)"
"Thank you so much for the lesson on how to make tea. I had to use a tea bag but it just happened to be one from London. It's Camomile and Honey from the London Herb and Spice Company. My sister sent it to me when she lived in England. Made for ZWT 6."
"Thank you, FT! I served this to my not-so-wee-anymore ones for afterschool snack today. I really could eat more sandwiches but that is another review... I'm guilty of tossing a teabag & water into the microwave in a pinch but really needed to slow the heck down & do it up right. I even did the part in the intro about filling the pot halfway then topping it off after steeping. I did use Oolong, though - i got it at a tea shop in Chelsea Markets when I visited Food Network/Scripps/Recipezaar. :) It's really good Oolong, too! i think preparing tea this way gves a 'cleaner' and 'fresher' taste. maybe more 'pure'. At any rate, it is better! I do prefer mine straight up but someday I will serve to guests with all the proper accoutrements. BTW, I LOVE Sage's review.... Thank you, sweets & happy ZWTouring! Made on behalf of the ZESTIES of ZWT6."
"Wonderful ~ thanks so much Ms Tart :) I made English Breakfast and it was just delightful! I'll do this again, maybe for the Ladies Tea at the holidays at church. It should bowl them over! Made for ZWT6 ~ GREAT BRITAIN Region and the Queens of Quisine!"
"Delightful. You've taught me some new tricks with this one. Setting out a warm pot of tea with sugar cubes, a milk pitcher, and lemon slices felt so proper and indulgent, that it may be my new favorite way to pamper myself a little. Thanks so much for sharing this."
"It is indeed a perfect pot and cup of tea! For the first time ever I recently purchased my favorite blend of tea as loose tea. At the time, I didn't have any idea how to make a pot of it instead of using tea bags. I tried using those little strainer infusers...and hated the mess of trying to clean the swelled tea out of them. So I went online and read. Sure enough...the directions I found were very, very similar to your recipe. I love your careful instructions. Thank you for posting this recipe here, so I could make it count towards a required recipe for GB on ZWT #6 - 2010."
"coming to england , this is a required recipe thank youn for posting this zaar tour 6 taking back to the unrulies i think we all need a cuppa"
"How lovely to find this in he midst of the rush of ZWT! I thoroughly enjoying dusting off my tea pot and cups and having the perfect cuppa. I used a fragrant tea that is a blend of whole cranberries, elderberries, black currants and red tea...very delicious. Thank you for posting sweetie!! I'm a Quisine Queen!!"
"Wonderful! I made this using PG Tips bags (as that's what I keep on hand), 2 bags in a small teapot (enough to make a cup and a mug). I brewed it for 3 minutes, and to my cup, I added 2 sugar cubes and a slice of lemon. It was so nice and soothing! Thanks for posting these lovely, simple instructions for making The Perfect Pot of Tea, French Tart! Made for Comfort Cafe January 2009."
"I was so happy to find this recipe-I knew I needed to get the tea right-serving to my British friends! Made to accompany Recipe #230515 for a wonderful afternoon delight! Thank you, French Tart!"
"This as a wonderful Tag.I am a tea drinker and very fussy about preparing the proper way. I inherited this from my mother. I never once saw her drink coffee and her tea time was always special. I have routine; I start my day with a perfect pot of tea, another mid morning and another mid afternoon. It is a great way to make the world around you more serene. Right now I am into green tea. I realize it is not the proper English tea but It is another phase I am in. I have always preferred my tea natural without anything added. Thank you FT for bringing back wonderful memories. I am sorry but my pictures did not do justice for your Perfect Pot and Cup of English Tea! I made this for Everyday is a Holiday Tag game. Rita If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you. ~Gladstone, 1865 Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company. ~Author Unknown"
"Thanks FT for giving me the "proper" way to make tea. It really does make a differance and I've been doing it wrong for some time. DH is home and I made this and served in my "proper" tea set from St. Petersburg Russia and made Recipe #129193 and clotted cream. It was wonderful, even DH says he could get used to this, those he did complain about the size of the tea cups. I think since he paid for them, he should use them. This is the ONLY way I'll make tea from now on."
"Lovely. I made this with the Twinings Earl Grey Aromatic with bergamot flavour that my partner from the 'I can't live without it' swap sent me in the beautiful little antique teapot she also sent me. This is indeed the perfect cup of tea. Thanks FT."
"Wonderful! This is exactly like the tea my girlfriend's mother used to serve after school. I never knew why it tasted better than my mother's but since her mother came from England I just thought she added a secret ingredient. Yummy! I used English Breakfast tea. I take mine with milk and sugar. Thanks!"