Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Perfect Cup of Tea

I'm a coffee drinker. I prefer it black and often. Perhaps that's why I’d never given hot tea much of a chance. As a Southern girl to the bone, I like my tea sweet and cold, with lots of ice. Still, there were times I'd give hot tea a try, but it only tasted like iced-tea warmed up. No, thanks. I didn’t like it at all.

But as fate would have it, I happen to have a beautiful cyberspace friend in gorgeous Oundle, England, and she was always raving about her tea. So, a year or two ago, I asked her what was the secret to a perfect cuppa (as they call it across the pond), and she happily shared her “recipe” with me.

Here’s how to do it:

While a kettle of water heats up, gather your ingredients:

  • One special tea cup and saucer
  • One nice, round Tetley tea bag
  • One teaspoon of choice
  • Honey (optional)
  • Milk

When the water boils, pour over the tea bag, filling cup about ¾ to the top.

Place saucer over cup and allow to steep at least three minutes.

After tea has steeped, squeeze tea bag and remove.

Add enough milk to make the tea the color of rich caramel.

Add 2-3 teaspoons of honey (more or less; suit your own sweet tooth) and stir well.

Sip slowly and savor the moment.

Repeat this simple pleasure as often as necessary.



  1. Oh yum! I love adding milk to tea. This looks delicious.

  2. I may just have to try that! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I add cream to my tea too (fat-free half-and-half) but most of my friends do not. I use sugar instead of honey. I like to eat honey off of the spoon ;)

  4. nice post thanks for sharing..i found out about your blog..looking for to visit more...blessings..

  5. Your "recipe" for tea sounds wonderful. My husband's cousins from Canada are wintering down here and they are major hot tea drinkers. I got so nervous the first time I made tea for them. One thing that I see that you are (in my book) doing right is using china. Even coffee tastes 100 times better in a china cup. I remember that my grandmother would never use a mug. She always wanted a china cup. I was reminded of this Christmas Day when I served coffee ... and hot tea after the meal and in china cups. Yep! Delicious!!
    Enjoyed your post so much and will try your method soon,
    Ladybug Creek

    1. Karen,I agree. The cup and saucer in the photo is part of a set that belonged to my grandmother.

  6. Never heard of using the saucer to steep the tea.
    Trying this today!

  7. Like you, the only tea this Southern gal is fond of is sweet and cold! But... you've made this enticing, so I may just have to try it!

  8. As I recall, from my limited but well-loved travels in the South, "tea" was what we Canadians call "iced tea". Our cup of "tea" was referred to as "hot tea". I guess our respective climatic conditions play a major role in what gets known as just plain "tea"!

  9. Not a tea drinker, but the way you described the process made me want to like it. lol! {although I drink hot chocolate with the same pleasure...}

  10. I'm with you - coffee for a hot drink, tea ought to be cold! However, once in a while a nice steaming cup of Constant Comment fits the bill nicely. I think part of the love affair with the cuppa tea is the ritual of preparing it.

  11. Like you I like my tea cold and on ice. I'm not much for warm drinks. I don't drink coffee but I love the aroma. I will drink a cup of hot cocoa every now and then. So curious did you try it and like it?


    1. Oh yes! It's fab! Some days just call for a perfect cuppa to make the world seem right. Never thought I'd say that.

  12. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read your first paragraph, Dayle! It was like you'd crawled inside my head and were talking about me! :)))

    This season is the first I've tried drinking hot tea ... and walked away unimpressed. Now, I'm encouraged to try, try again.

    PS - LOVE that picture of your teakettle.

  13. Ahhh tea is sooo satisfying, but definitely not sweet tea as my daughter who lives in South Carolina drinks, nooo! Hot tea! My tea ritual is a little more complicated, but you have the idea. I boil the kettle, gather up my teapot, tea leaves or a tea bag is also acceptable, a tea cup and saucer (I have a thin bone china mug), milk and sugar or honey if required. Warm the teapot with boiling water, empty, add tea leaves, pour on boiling water and seep for two to three minutes. Add milk to the cup and pour your tea, good strong, hot tea, drink as often as needed - in my case 5 or 6 times a day :}

  14. Oh, my goodness. This cuppa looks delectable.

    I prefer my tea hot, weak, sugarless and creamless. However, I WILL be trying this recipe, Dayle.

    I'll have to look for Tetley on Guam if Manila doesn't have it anywhere. And my pretty Philippines Noritake tea cup/saucer will do nicely with my grandmother's sterling silver spoon. I feel a a Wednesday "Quiet Day" treat is in the works...

  15. My husband drinks tea and I love to smell it as he passes by in the morning leaving a waft of lemon in the air but . . .
    Try as I might {and I try often} I just don't like it.
    Now I have a new way to try it so I will give it one more shot.

  16. Thanks for introducing yourself. I love that you are a twin, too. Identical?

    I also love quilts but not quilting. I leave that to the experts.

    Can't wait to get to know you better. It is always nice to meet someone new in the fire community.


  17. Hi Dayle,
    Thanks for stopping by to check in on me...I am so appreciative of all the people praying for me. I am doing nicely after my lumpectomy and am going for the second surgery on the 13th (lymph nodes). This has been quite a journey and I know I couldn't have made it without knowing, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13.


  18. Hi Dayle,

    i was browsing through random blogs and bumped in this wonderful blog.
    Have to say ur writing is amazing !!
    ur writing gives a sense of friendliness when one reads it.
    i read couple of articles from ur website and they had hypnotic effect on me.

    u now have one regular viewer frm India now ;)

    Ashish Godse

    1. Ashish, how lovely to hear from you. Thank you for your very kind words. I promise hypnosis is not part of my regular bag of tricks, but you gave me a good smile, and I'm honored to have a reader from India.

  19. I call my afternoon coffee a "cuppa" I guess I have a little mixed up British in me or something. I do like hot tea. I don't drink iced tea/sweet tea. (shocked?) but I like hot tea. I will try it your way. I've never steeped with the saucer on top. I guess it keeps it warm?

    1. Debbie, my limited knowledge of tea is that it should always be steeped with a lid on it; I'm assuming it enhances flavor. I make my iced-tea not with tea-bags but with loose tea (I declare it has so much more overall depth of flavor than tea-bags), and after I bring it off the stove, I steep it with a lid on it for several minutes (or at least until all of the grounds have settled). Hmmmm ... maybe I should research this steeping thing.

  20. I've wondered about this. I'm not a coffee drinker or a big tea drinker either. Have to give this a try!


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle