It is amazing how many people can't make a decent cup of tea. I encountered a non-tea drinker during the summer and I asked her why she doesn't drink tea, expecting the usual response of "I don't drink caffeine", but surprisingly her response was "It doesn't taste very nice, a bit like hot water with milk". This angered me as I'm a devoted tea drinker, my response/defense was that I'm devoted to the ritual, tradition, caffeine, taste, oh taste! When I tasted the cup of tea in front of me it did taste like warm water with a dash of milk. To paint a better picture, we were sitting in a reputable cafe in Dartmouth which serves good tea and coffee, not the best but good. From then on I continued to drink tea with this reminder that it tastes a bit shitty, apart from when I make it, and I've been told I make a good cup of tea.
This recipe, or method was formed due to the lack of water quality in London, showing progression can come from deprivation. I noticed that everyone was drinking tea with a weird scummy crust floating on the top. By chance I discovered that if you put the milk in the cup first the scum doesn't appear (although it's probably lurking underneath the surface).
1 Large cup or Mug or Bowl (Not a fucking tea pot)
1 tea bag (or 2 if you're a builder)
1 Large dash of milk (1/10th the capacity of your drinking vessel)
1 Table spoon (Not a fucking teaspoon)
1. Fill your cup/mug/bowl with water and pour it into your kettle so you have the exact amount of water and don't waste electricity. Begin to boil.
2. Put the milk and tea bag(s) in the cup ready for when the water is at boiling point.
3. As soon as the water is boiling and the kettle has turned itself off, pour the boiling (and I mean boiling) water into the cup.
4. Using the table spoon stir the tea and get the bag moving around, then start to press the bag against the side of the cup/mug/bowl (this really gets the flavor out)
5. Leave to brew for 5-10 minutes giving the tea bag a press every now and then
6. Remove the tea bag and drink your fully flavorsome, slightly sweet, perfectly warm tea.
Let me explain before the uproar begins
Using a larger mug/cup/bowl will allow the tea to brew for longer as the volume of water takes longer to cool down. It also means you get two cups in one, so you don't have to get up and make another.
The milk in first gives a completely different flavor, especially when the boiling water hits it, but also the tea then brews into the milk not just the water (like a chai tea). Using a little bit more milk than normal will counteract the bitter tannins, so the tea still tastes good after a long brewing session.
Using a table spoon means you are less likely to break the tea bag and the larger surface area of the spoon presses out more flavor.
My method goes against traditional tea making, where you are creating a perfumed, delicate, refreshing drink. I think this method went out the window when the british started putting milk in their tea. Instead with mine, you have a much more powerful, rich, intense drink, that will warm your heart and either make you sink further into your arm chair or give you a massive wake up slap.
I fucking love tea.