The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.53
SUMMER2017

How to Make Tea Properly, from What Shall We Have For Breakfast?

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"Fill the kettle with fresh cold water, and set it on to boil. If soft water can be procured, it should always be used.

Never make the tea with water that has been long on the fire simmering, or that has been twice boiled. The natural aëration of the water is thrown off by long-continued heating, and the "hardness" of the water, or the proportion of mineral matter contained in it, is increased by the evaporation that takes place. The more rapidly the water is heated the better the tea.

Warm the teapot. Put in the tea in the proportion of one ounce to seven persons, or a teaspoonful for each person and a teaspoonful over. Pour on the boiling water, filling the teapot at once. The old-fashioned plan of "wetting the tea" and allowing it to stand on the hob to draw before filling the teapot extracts more tannin and makes the flavour less delicate. Cover the teapot, and allow it to stand from five to seven minutes before pouring out. Take care that the teapot used is in right proportion to the number of persons. If the teapot is not filled, the tea cools rapidly. If the tea is required in haste, while the water is coming to the boil put the tea into the teapot and stand it inside the oven until it is thoroughly hot through. Pour on the boiling water, and in one minute it will be ready to pour out.

Fine China teas are the best; but for breakfast most persons like a blend of China and Indian teas. Three parts of China teas to one of Indian is a good proportion." (Maitland 9)