ness talks about life

how to make a cup of tea

I’ve discussed the Art of Making a Mug with fellow countrywomen (and found that some pour the milk first and the water after *shudder* and others scald the teapot before beginning the brew etc etc) and have decided to throw in my penny’s worth.

Here, dear friends, is a true and definite guide to how I make a cuppa.

step one: assemble ingredients


Needed: A dodgy tin containing tea bags* (origin unknown, possibly from shop down the road).

A cup, most likely slightly tea stained

Milk, in my case, goat’s milk

A kettle

*Note to reader. The round tea bags are to be preferred to their weaker relatives, the pyramid tea bags. The shape is important. (No, really. It is).

step two, three and four: boil kettle, deposit tea bag into tea cup, pour boiling water into cup


Tip the boiling wrath onto the innocent tea bag. (Pouring directly onto the tea bag causes it to bleed more rapidly). Continue pouring until an inch or less (measurement could be grossly overestimated, hence the less) beneath the rim of the Chosen Vessel.

step five: add the milk


Do not overdo this step. Actually, as a point of fact, don’t underdo it either. Over brewed tea is awful and leads to a Wiggling Serpent of Discomfort in one’s unfortunate stomach. Overdoing makes it white and bland and boring.

step six and seven: be impatient, grab a teaspoon

I don’t like waiting for my tea to brew. Occasionally, I can leave it for say, ten seconds or perhaps even more than that (gasp!) but then I worry that I might be over brewing it and this is a genuine fear that grips me, my friends. 

This. Is. Tea.

On the most part, I fling brewing advice out of the window and wield a teaspoon.

behold! The ‘Teaspoon’

step eight: drain the tea bag of its life


Personally, I like my tea to be the colour of a medium sun tan. Take that spoon, fish for that bag and then push it against the side of the cup. Watch the last dregs of its life spiral out and colour your future drink. Desperately hope that you don’t split the tea bag with your fervour.

step nine: bin the tea bag

Fling the spent and tired bag into the bin. Take a moment to reflect on its sacrifice. Clean drops from its voyage from side to bin.

step ten: enjoy the tea of your labour


Reading, writing and living in general – all is made complete with a cuppa.

14 thoughts on “how to make a cup of tea”

  1. Instructions not clear. Accidentally cured cancer.

    Also, can you explain the milk for this non-Brit? I love tea, but I never understood putting milk in it…

    1. A happy accident then 🙂

      *splutters* never understood? Wha-? My dear friend, milk in tea is magnificent. It prevents a watery taste. It is not too creamy, it is not to thin – it compliments the brew and is … is perfect.

      (Though it must be ordinary tea English breakfast, Yorkshire tea, 99 tea blend or just anything that is tea. Proper, solid, honest, without bells or whistles tea.)

      It is … a shadow of heaven. It is tea. (Am I overdoing it? I’m probably overdoing it but: tea!) XD

      1. Okay, I’ll have to try it some time. I guess it’s like putting half&half in coffee? My favorite is peppermint or hibiscus – will it work in that? Tea is pretty great, though. (But I’m a Southern gal, so I prefer my tea sweet and iced. YUM.)

      2. No, I wouldn’t usually put milk in a herbal tea.

        Don’t use half and half. I tried to replicate a cuppa when I was in America with that. I was drinking black coffee by the end of my trip.

        It has to be … gosh, what would it be over with you? English breakfast? I wish I could ship you some but *narrows eyes* what’s this about Boston Harbour?!! XD

  2. No milk in herbal tea. Got it.

    Okay. Interesting…

    Pretty sure we’ve got English breakfast tea. Nah, we stopped chucking tea into the harbor years ago. Now we just drink it while we put on posh accents and pretend to be refined Brits. 😉

    1. You can, of course (DON’T LET ME LIMIT YOU! FLY FREE, MY FRIEND!) but it isn’t the tea I speak of in this post.

      A ‘refined Brit’ is hard to find most times. We are your usual mix of earthlings, just in love with tea (most of us, that is – there’s a man I know who has no hot drinks WHY?!!!) or whatever our beverage is, speaking with various accents and complaining about the weather.

      It’s raining here at the moment, by the way. Again.

      1. Haha, okay. : )

        Heehee. (WHAT?! IS HE EVEN BRITISH?!) I’m trying to perfect the different accents, but I can’t get the Northern accent down. I need to watch more BBC shows… : P

        It rains a lot here, too. And I despise it (most of the time).

        (And this entire conversation is reminding me of this Vine: LOL.)

      2. With a bit of practice, I’m sure you can do it!! (And obviously you need to watch more BBC shows :D)

        Snap! Oh well. It’s the reason why everything becomes such a lovely green.

        HAHAHA! Just watched that vine. BRILLIANT 😀

  3. I think half-n-half makes it SO much more creamy and prevents that watery taste you spoke of. And I like putting the cream and honey in the bottom with the tea bag so that they all mix together when the water is poured. I’m so curious why you think this is horrible!

    1. To be honest, I don’t like creamy tea – it has to be *just* between creamy and watery.

      (Though to be fair, when I was in the States, the teabags I used weren’t the traditional sort of tea that I usually bung in my cup, so the combination of not-my tea-tea plus half-and-half, though alright in its on way, wasn’t quite the thing.)

      Oh gosh, you put the cream in first?!!! *splutters* why!!! XD

  4. Love the way you write! Even writing about tea becomes fun and funny!

    Lol, I was going to ask the same question about milk in tea. I’ve never done that; kinda makes tea sound like coffee. I like tea because it is just flavored water, and I’m not a huge fan of other drinks. I’m also a Southern girl so I do drink iced sweet tea from time to time. 😀

    1. Thank you : )

      ‘Just flavoured water’ – that, for me, is herbal tea. (Peppermint is my personal weakness). ‘Tea’ as in my tea is English Breakfast, PG Tips, Yorkshire Gold, 99 Blend, (I used to like Earl Grey but gosh no. It’s too … scented? Wrong word, I’m sure) etc etc

      Ice tea – I’ve had that! It’s quite different to the way I mean ‘tea’ but you go, my friend. Drink your beverage and obsess with me over its glories!! XD

  5. Wait…so for the people who put the milk in first…do they let the tea bag sit in the milk….then add the hot water? I dont….understand???

    Also I usually add my milk after the tea is done brewing and I’ve removed the tea…but it seems I don’t need to wait?

    My british friend may be visiting me in the states in April. If so I have already told him he may need to pack a carry on bag full of english teas for me. Apparently what we have here just doesn’t cut it. And I am currently having an “awakening” it seems when it comes to loving tea. I am starting to review different teas on my blog if you’d like to take a look!


    1. They put the bag and the milk in and then add the hot water. So yes – exactly as you said. AND TO MY MIND IT IS QUITE WRONG. But each to their own.

      If I do let it brew, it is always after I’ve poured the milk in. You can’t tell what colour it will be if there’s no milk to judge with it!

      Ooooh, interesting. I shall take a look. All the best with your friend visiting 😀

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