You’ve been making tea all wrong – there’s a crucial step you’re missing which is totally messing with the flavour | The SunFebruary 20, 2023
TEA is the second most popular drink in the world behind water – but it turns out we might have been making our cuppas wrong for a long time.
The debate on what constitutes a good cup of tea is decades old.
Some like it milky while others like it strong, and some believe sugar ruins it while others pile the sweet spoons in.
An expert has weighed in on the debate… and his thoughts are not what you’d expect.
Jack McMullon is an expert tea buyer and blender at Ringtons, a 115-year-old tea manufacturer based in the UK.
He highlighted that the most important thing when making a brew is patience – something a lot of us Brits are missing out on.
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To maximise the tea’s flavour, Mr McMullon advises the crucial step of covering your tea while it brews with a paper towel or cloth.
He explained to the The Mirror: "This retains more of the heat and maintains a consistent temperature, which allows the tea leaves to unfurl and the flavours to be released."
And for an even more enhanced flavour, you should be softly stirring the teabag while it brews.
Mr McMullon added that there’s no perfect time for brewing the teabag and this instead comes down to how strong you like your cuppas.
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If you take your tea black, he suggests brewing it for four minutes for a full flavour.
Any longer could cause an "unpleasant bitterness and astringency”.
He was also keen to comment on the milk situation, which is growing harder with every plant-based alternative that hits the shelf.
Mr McMullon said: "You may find that skimmed and low-fat offerings are too watery and don't give you the same silky-smooth texture.
"They're also unlikely to balance out any bitterness in the tannins.”
He believes that black tea is perfect for a morning cuppa, but noted that semi-skimmed and full fat milk can add a "creamy note to your tea, making it smooth and rich".
Non-dairy milk users should heat up their milk first so it doesn’t “split” when it hits the hot black tea.
And the final thing to consider is choosing the perfect mug.
Mr McMullon divulged: "Choosing the right type of mug to conduct heat and retain it effectively, whilst not affecting the taste is a key part of making a tasty cup of tea.
"Glass, china and porcelain are all smooth, non-porous and won’t affect the flavour of your brew.”
Brits consume over 100 million cups of tea a day but the cost of living crisis has made our favourite pass time more expensive than ever.
The price of teabags, milk, sugar and electricity to boil the kettle have all surged.
A 250g pack of tea bags has rover the last year, now sitting on the shelves at a whopping £2.28, according to the ONS.
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While a kilogram of sugar is now an extra 5p at 76p on average, a pint of milk will also set you back an extra 19p from September 2021 at 62p per carton.
Boiling a kettle also rose by 2p per boil in recent months, according to Chronicle Live, adding to the skyrocketing cost of a simple cuppa.
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