Drinking a cup of tea is only good if you make it. Whether you like it milky with three sugars or strong with no milk, if someone makes you a cup of tea you are more than likely to receive a cup of tea the exact opposite to how you like it.
And if you leave it you run the risk of offending the tea maker which is possibly the last thing you want to do, so you sit there drinking almost a pint of sweetened milk when you prefer your tea super strong with no added sugar.
If only everyone had their tea the same way and there was no other way to make it. How easy would that be?
The famous George Orwell in his time had a set of tea rules that he lived by that no one should dare depart from.
George Orwell’s tea rules
- Use tea from India or Ceylon (Sri Lanka), not China
- Use a teapot, preferably ceramic
- Warm the pot over direct heat
- Tea should be strong – six spoons of leaves per 1 litre
George Orwell and his famous tea rules
- Let the leaves move around the pot – no bags or strainers
- Take the pot to the boiling kettle
- Stir or shake the pot
- Drink out of a tall, mug-shaped tea cup
- Don’t add creamy milk
- Add the milk to the tea, not vice versa
- No sugar!
Orwell said that tea was one of the “mainstays of civilisation” and completely ruined by sweetening. He said that anyone flouting his diktat on shunning the sugar bowl could not be called “a true tealover.”
That’s us told!
Not only did he have a weak spot for a good cuppa, he also had distaste for scientists, so in 2003, to mark the 100th anniversary of Orwell’s birth, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) broke down his 11-point formula to rubbish a good many of his ‘golden rules.’
And Dr Andrew Stapley – a chemical engineer at Loughborough University – found a number of Orwell’s points were wrong.
Orwell’s six-spoons of tea per pot were found to be just far too strong to drink. The RSC research found that just a single spoon of leaves was sufficient.
Pouring milk after the tea was made was seen as a no go because according to their research;
“At high temperatures, milk proteins – which are normally all curled up foetus-like – begin to unfold and link together in clumps. This is what happens in UHT (ultra heat-treated) milk, and is why it doesn’t taste as good a fresh milk,” says Dr Stapley.
“It is better to have the chilled milk massed at the bottom of the cup, awaiting the stream of hot tea. This allows the milk to cool the tea, rather than the tea ruinously raise the temperature of the milk.”
And this whole malarkey about no sugar isn’t backed up by the team as sugar “acts to moderate the natural astringency of tea.” In other words it just makes tea less bitter.
This would clearly anger Orwell who said that “Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter.”
Well whatever your tea style we at UlsterWeavers.com follow these fabulous tips to ensure that all of our staff get a decent brew every day of the week.
- Make sure the kettle is clean and well maintained. Water contains minerals and limescale that can build up at the bottom of your kettle overtime. De-scale and rinse your kettle regularly especially if you live in a hard water area.
- If your water tastes good then half the battle is complete. Tap water is usually fine but filtered water can be a better option as it has a high amount of oxygen circulation throughout. Try to avoid using distilled or previously boiled water as the kettle prefers pure water.
- Whether you are using a teapot or a single cup, give the tea at least 2 minutes to brew. A good tip is to ensure that the water stays hot and this can be done with either tea cosies or simply placing a small plate on top of the cup. This keeps the heat in giving you a steaming hot cup of tea every time. Be careful not to burn yourself on the boiling water.
- If herbal and speciality teas are your thing then let the water in the kettle cool a little as finer teas taste better at lower temperatures.
Whether you put the milk in before or after or whether sugar is your thing is a personal thing, but one thing we can all agree on is that tea needs to be piping hot.
Twitter Tea Cosy from UlsterWeavers.com
A great way to do this is through a tea cosy from UlsterWeavers.com. The home textiles company has a range of tea cosies available from their online store which would look perfect in your home and a great solution to keeping your tea super hot.
Their latest collections include the adorable Twitter tea cosy, an adorable owl themed collection. Cotton with polyester wadding and a wooden based insert, this tea cosy is complete with appliqué detail making it the perfect accessory for your home.
The collection comes complete with a double oven glove, pot mitt, cotton tea towel, gauntlet and a cotton apron, the ideal way to make your house a home.
For more information visit UlsterWeavers.com today.