The Knack: How to make a cup of tea, by Sam Twining
Saturday 01 August 1998
Brewing time is critical. Let the tea brew for three to five minutes. Stir, before serving. If you take milk, always put it in first. Nancy Mitford got it wrong when she said we should put milk in last. And try to leave out the sugar. It numbs the palate, is not good for the body and spoils the tea. Forget the tea cosy, it speeds up the stewing process. If you must use one, to save face with granny, use an infuser or tagged tea-bags so that these can be removed.
If the weather improves and you want iced tea, use Ceylon. Unlike other teas, it doesn't go cloudy when it cools. Brew it the traditional way (but at double strength), allow it to cool, pour over ice and dilute to taste. Alternatively, use cold water and leave for four hours. Add a sprig of mint and perhaps a slice of cucumber or lemon for that final touch." Fiona McClymont
Sam Twining, from the ninth generation of the famous tea family, drinks Ceylon at 11am, Darjeeling at noon, Earl Grey in the afternoon, and takes Jasmine, Oolong or Rose in the evening
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