Happy New Year!!
I do hope everyone has had an amazing and blessed holidays! We’ve been a little silent and we do apologize but between holidays and the flu, it’s not been the easiest last few weeks. But, thankfully the new year has brought better health already and things are back on track to being amazing!
So, I didn’t want to do a recipe like normal today. I wanted to give you a little nugget of knowledge I got from my dearest friend over in the UK. She’s a tea snob and I love her for it. She’s my go to on many things concerning tea and I’m so grateful for her wealth of knowledge. As she is a tea snob, I asked her recently to clear some things up for me about tea drinking traditions in the UK. They’re all about tea and they have rules to how they should be enjoyed. So I messaged her and said, “I just need you to clear this up for me and I know you’ll give me the best answer to your ability.” She said she was honored to clarify and proceeded to educate me on proper UK drinking habits – whether she follows them or not. So I figured I’d pass the knowledge on.
Now, some might know and some might have heard mixed facts, and some might just be blank to it. In the end, drink it how you enjoy it! But if you’re over in the UK and you drink tea and you don’t drink it by the book – you’ll at least know why you’re getting strange looks. 😉
“Warm the teapot (basically fill with boiling water, swill, chuck out), 1tsp loose tea or 1 tea bag per cup PLUS one for the pot (so if it’s a 4 cup pot you put in 5). Boiling water onto the bags/leaves. Let stand for 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you want it. If using leaves obviously have to use a strainer. Now tradition states milk in first, but personally I put it in last so you can gauge color better, sugar to taste. That’s for black teas. Earl Grey is traditionally served with a slice of lemon (but I like it with milk and sugar myself!)”
I proceeded to ask about things like Lady Grey, Irish Breakfast, and others. And got a great tidbit.
“Lady Grey is normally a “lemon” tea. Any Breakfast, Indian, or China Tea fall into the ‘black’ category and should be served with milk and sugar e.g Darjeeling (Indian), Lapsang Souchong (China).”
I asked her specifics on the water temperature – whether it needed to be boiling for a while or just when it comes to a boil.
“As in boil kettle, pour once it clicks off or if you can see the water so long as it’s bubbling.”
We gabbed a bit more of random things, then I thought about herbal teas.
“Well, herbal/fruit you can seep for a while longer to get the flavor out…. you do that to black teas and it’s like you’ve boiled old tires!”
So now you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Proper tea drinking traditions from the UK. Now – drink tea and be merry! 🙂