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Enjoying tea like the Queen: The perfect royal cuppa


Enjoying tea like the Queen: The perfect royal cuppa

Enjoy the perfect cup of tea to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee…

Former butler to the Queen, Grant Harrold:

“I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer.” Mr Grant notes that the Queen always adds milk to the cup after the tea because: “since the 18th century, the “proper” way of brewing tea has been to serve tea before milk, and this is something that the British royals adhere to”.

Most of us will never have tea with royalty but many of us are already enjoying the same type of cuppa you would get at the palace. That’s according to a new report by the tea experts at the UK Tea & Infusions Association (UKTIA) who have published the first ever Tea Census Report.

Detailing real world research from more than 1000 British adults found that four in ten enjoy a regular cup of Earl Grey – reputed to be the Queen’s favourite tea – while 20% drink Assam – another brew favoured by the palace.

Dr Sharon Hall, head of the UK Tea and Infusions Association:

“Tea is a fantastic British tradition, enjoyed by many UK households – from Buckingham Palace to the humblest abode. The UKTIA research poll found that more than seven in 10 adults (74%) love a good strong cup of regular black tea but they are also willing to try different types, such as Assam, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or an herbal infusion. Six in 10 (57%) add dairy milk, just like the Queen, but unlike Her Majesty 27% of Brits also add sugar.

“Having a cup of tea in a china cup with a saucer is a special way to mark the Jubilee and is certainly something Brits love to do given our long history of street parties in 1953, 1977, 2002 and 2012 and Afternoon Tea being a key part of these celebrations.”

 UKTIA’s Dr Sharon Hall shares her 5 steps to making the perfect cuppa:

  1. Smart Boil. Fill your kettle with fresh water but use only just what you need – to help take care of the environment. Using your mug, measure out the water you need for the number of cuppas you are making and just boil that. Dr Sharon Hall adds; “This will help save on energy costs and will ensure a good flavour tea which develops best when made with freshly boiled water. The lack of oxygen bubbles in re-boiled water can give the tea a flat taste.”
  2. Add one tea bag of one rounded teaspoon of tea leaves per person into a china or glass tea pot – never use a metal teapot as this can affect the flavour.
  3. Add the boiled water and brew for at least 3 minutes – this develops the flavour as well as maximising the beneficial polyphenol compounds in tea.
  4. Most black teas should be brewed for three to four minutes, while Lapsang Souchong black tea tastes best after four to five minutes. Brew green tea for three to four minutes and oolong tea for three to five minutes, depending on your strength preference.
  5. Pour the brewed tea into a cup or mug and add a splash of milk if desired. Or if using a tea bag directly in your mug, remove the bag after brewing, before adding the milk. Sit down, relax, and enjoy!

Grant Harrold:

“Pour the tea into the cup from a teapot, add milk to the cup after the tea and never before, stir back and forth (never use a circular motion and never touch the sides). Lastly, you should always sip from the cup and never slurp”.

To discover more about different types of tea and the countries where they are grown tune into our Around the World in 80 Teas series at

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