Birds & Words

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tea with Mrs. T

A friend sent me an email and asked "Do you know the proper way to make tea?" Of course I think I do, but actually don't. But I have a friend that does. So I called Mrs. Joan Thomas and asked her how to make proper English tea and, being a proper English lady, she invited me to come and share a cup of tea with her. And even though I'm a rather clumsy Texan, I knew enough to feel honored and accept.

So here's what I needed to know:

You start with a kettle (not a saucepan) of boiling water. It must be boiling! You pour a little into a teapot that will hold enough water for the number of cups of tea you're preparing. This is to temper or heat the teapot. Pour it out.
Add your tea to the teapot. Mrs. Thomas used Twinings loose leaf tea, about 1 1/2 teaspoons for us to share 4 cups of tea. She said that Tetley also made good strong tea. There is one other brand that I can't remember, but I think its Taylor's of Horrogate. I'll call her tomorrow and edit this blog with that name. You can use tea bags if you prefer, and Mrs. Thomas prefers English Breakfast. I think I do, too. :-)
If you like, you can keep an extra teapot with hot water to dilute your tea if it become too strong. This is your "jug of water".
Pour boiling water into your teapot. Cover and let it steep for about 5 minutes. You can cover with a tea cozy while it steeps if you like to keep it hot.
Pour a little milk into your teacup. Use whole milk and not half and half.
Then pour your tea into your cup and enjoy. Serve with scones, bisquits (cookies), crackers, with butter, jam and cream.

It was lovely and Mrs. Thomas is a treasure.


  1. What a delightful time you must have had and thank you so much for the directions!
    I see you have your camera out and snapping!

  2. Cheryl, I am having another tea tomorrow. I wanted you to know so that when you see Mrs. Thomas you can tell her how many times I have used her directions for tea parties. :)