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Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Even very slightly formal events can be a cause for cups and saucers to be used instead of mugs. A typical semi-formal British tea ritual might run as follows (the host performing all actions unless noted):
  1. The kettle, with fresh water, is brought to a rolling boil and water poured into a tea pot.
  2. Enough boiling water is swirled around the pot to warm it and then poured out.
  3. Add loose tea leaves, black tea usually, although tea bags are sometimes used, always added before the boiled water.
  4. Fresh boiling water is poured over the tea in the pot and allowed to brew for 2 to 5 minutes while a tea cosy is placed on the pot to keep the tea warm. If the tea is allowed to brew for too long, for example, more than 10 minutes, it will become "over-steeped", resulting in a very bitter, astringent taste.
  5. Milk may be added to the tea cup, the host asking the guest if milk is wanted, although milk may alternatively be added after the tea is poured.
  6. tea strainer is placed over the top of the cup and the tea poured in, unless tea bags are used. Tea bags may be removed, if desired, once desired strength is attained.
  7. Fresh milk and white sugar is added according to individual taste. Most people have milk with their tea and most people have also learnt to enjoy their tea without sugar in order to prevent weight gain.
  8. The pot will normally hold enough tea so as not to be empty after filling the cups of all the guests. If this is the case, the tea cosy is replaced after everyone has been served.


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