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How to Make Tea, British Style

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We recently hosted our own English style High Tea here at our studio. Afternoon Tea is the perfect way to celebrate a Bridal shower, Baby Shower or just a great way to spend time with your girlfriends. Wanting to keep it simple and easy to achieve our High Tea menu consisted of light and delicious cucumber sandwiches, yummy salmon and dill sandwiches, deviled eggs using our own garlic aioli recipe and a selection of cute miniature sweets. Our High Tea menu was really easy to put together but when it came to the tea, we turned to our British writer and PR gal Emily to guide us through this ancient process! Here is Emily to teach us the proper way to make a British cup of tea:

According to tea connoisseurs Twinings, the taste of tea is greatly affected by the environment in which it is grown. From the soil it grows in to the climate surrounding it, tea leaves from the same family can have a totally different taste. For that reason always choose a good quality loose leaf tea grown by a company who supports fair trade. We are using Twinings Loose Leaf Traditional English for our High Tea. This is perfect with milk and maybe a little sugar to enhance the flavors for a truly British afternoon tea. Begin by filling your kettle with fresh cold water. Tea loves oxygen and if you keep re-boiling old water you will end up with a really flat cup of tea – yukky! Once the kettle has boiled, leave it for a minute or two. Boiling water will burn the tea, it scalds it and the tea doesn’t release all of its maximum flavors so take the time to let it cool for just a moment. You don’t need to pack lots of loose tea into your pot for a flavorful cup. The most important thing is for the leaves to have movement and freedom, so the typical rule is one teaspoon per person plus one for the pot. Allow the tea to brew for 3 minutes then it is ready to serve. There’s an age old discussion in the UK around whether one should pour the milk into the cup first or the tea. In Victorian times the milk was poured in first to save the precious china from cracking as the hot tea goes in though it has become acceptable to pour the milk into the tea. If you do not want milk in your tea then a slice of lemon adds a refreshing touch, especially for summer. Black tea is bitter to taste so you may find you need something to sweeten it. If milk is not your thing add a little honey to sweeten it or add a little sugar if you’d rather. Either way the sweetness will intensify the flavor of your tea. (Emily)

Thanks Emily! I just adored this slow, thoughtful process of making tea. And you know what, it worked, I truly believe we made the perfect cup of tea that day. If you are planning to host your own High Tea, pop back to our earlier posts to see our version and for free printable high tea invitations. Enjoy! ~ Lia

 

 

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