With an abundance of scone, cookie, biscuit and tea sandwich recipes hitting the web this week in anticipation for today's Royal Wedding, I thought it would be remiss not to cover the drink that accompanies these classic English finger foods. Tea, of course.
I do like to think of myself as a bit of a tea connoisseur. I've been drinking it for more years than I'd like to count, not a single day goes without me sipping at least one cup (but often more), and my cupboard currently stocks thirteen different varieties of tea. There is tea I brought back from France, tea brought back for me from England, tea imported from Russia, orange pekoe, white, green, herbal and roobios teas as well. As a non-coffee drinker, it's tea that gets me through most of my days and offers comfort when I'm feeling sick, cold or tired.
I imagine Willy and Kate share a cup of tea or two every once in a while, don't you think? While I'm not privy to how they prepare their beverages I do know this method makes a royally good cup of tea:
- Always try to make a pot of tea, versus an individual cup. Place the tea bag into the tea pot using a ceramic tea pot and not a glass one if possible.
- Fill a kettle with water and bring it to a full boil, not a simmering boil. Allow the water to boil for 1 full minute.
- Add a small amount of the boiled water to the pot and mug(s), swish it around and dump it out. A good cup of tea always starts with a warm mug.
- Add the tea to the empty pot and cover with boiling water. Not the other way around.
- Let the tea steep. Don't dip the tea bag in and out of the water or squeeze the bag against the side of the cup. A proper steep is 2-3 minutes long, depending on the desired strength of the tea.
- Milk (never cream!) should be added to the cup before the tea. If you like to sweeten you tea, use white sugar not brown. Honey is okay as well (I'm a fan) although once upon a time it wasn't.