The 1 Crucial Mistake People Make When It Comes To Making Tea

We all have our preferences but making the perfect cup of tea is an art.

Of course, as a nation, we take our tea-making very seriously. If we’re trying to impress somebody, we’ll often tell them we make the best cuppa (though chances are, your mum actually does) and those who don’t take sugar are VERY serious about their unsweetened preferences.

That being said, one tea expert, Oscar Woolley, the co-founder of the award-winning SUKI Tea Makers, believes that we are still making a few mistakes when it comes to crafting the perfect brew.

What we’re getting wrong when it comes to making a cuppa

Woolley is a big believer that drinking tea is totally a personal preference and says there is no right or wrong way to make it. However, he adds, there is just one exception.

Woolley said: “If you’re adding milk first, you’re wrong.”

While this may seem obvious for some of us, according to YouGov, 24% of 50-64 year olds and 32% of people aged 65+ are still adding milk first to their brews.

Woolley said: “Black tea is subjected to very high heat when it’s being processed, so you need boiling water to activate it.

“Anything less than boiling will not give you the flavour you need, so if you put milk into your cup first you’re reducing the temperature.”

He added that if, like most people, you have a preference for the shade of your tea, you’re more likely to be able to control this by adding the milk once the tea has been hit with boiling water and brewed properly.

What is the best brew time for breakfast tea?

We’ve all looked on in horror as somebody brewed their tea for 15 seconds before adding the milk and drinking.

Woolley said that while the ideal brewing time is subjective, a good rule of thumb is 3-5 minutes. He said that less than three minutes will produce a lighter brew but will not bring out the depth of characteristics, especially in loose leaf tea.

Conversely, over five minutes produces tea that tastes over-brewed, metallic, starchy, and won’t taste like the right temperature.

He added: “However, most of the nation is drinking tea bag tea. These are designed to give everything they’ve got in 30 seconds; you’re getting convenience over flavour, a more two dimensional drink to the depth of character that a loose leaf tea delivers.

“I find a tea bag left in the cup over a minute quite undrinkable personally but each to their own and some people love leaving the bag in!”

Water can make or break your cup of tea

Wooley said: “Your cup of tea is 99% water, so it’s certainly an important factor. Your water should be freshly drawn and freshly boiled (don’t overfill your kettle - save on water and your bills!).”

He added that if you reboil water, you are reducing the oxygen and minerals in the water, meaning that you’re not getting the “best” chemical reaction to the infusion and activating enzymes to bring out the full flavour of tea, leaving you with a flat-tasting drink.

Instad, Woolley advises: “If you really want to elevate the tea character of your brew, filter your water first – ideally with a charcoal filter – and use freshly drawn, and freshly boiled water once.”

Brb, off to make the dream cuppa.