Tea Etiquette for the 21st Century

Fran Weeks, Monday January 18, 2016

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An important part of the working day for many of us is tea. It helps remove the mental cobwebs in the morning and clear the cloudiness of a long afternoon.

Tea is the fuel that ignites my creativity and I personally won’t take on any work-related challenge without a cuppa by my side. Whether it’s a challenging brief, a huge report or an enormous research project, a simple cup of tea calms the nerves and readies the mind and body for the workload ahead.

Because tea has been an institution in Britain for hundreds of years, the way we drink it has evolved somewhat. Many of us are now far more likely to be found slurping from a mug than sipping from a china cup and teabags certainly see more use than loose leaves do these days. However, this doesn’t have to mean that all the etiquette surrounding tea should simply disappear. There are still a few basic principles to adhere to when making a good cup of tea. So, here are my top tips for correct tea etiquette in the modern age:

  • When putting the kettle on for tea, you must always offer anyone else in the vicinity a cup of tea. There’s no excuse for sneaky or selfish tea making.
  • Once you have offered someone a cup of tea, be sure to check how they like it. Not just whether or not they take sugar, but how strong they like their tea too.
  • Always use freshly boiled water, if you don’t the flavour will be affected. And on that note, try to only boil what you need otherwise you’ll be wasting energy boiling extra water.
  • Never ever rush making a cup of tea! Tea needs to be brewed in order to release its full flavour and no amount squeezing the bag will bring the flavour out any faster.
  • This one is hotly debated but I say always add the milk last. The tea needs to brew at the optimum temperature before milk is added.
  • Lastly and possibly most important of all, take the time to enjoy your tea. Treat each sip as your entitlement to momentarily push the pause button on the world and reflect. After all, there’s no point in taking a tea break if you’re not going to take a minute to relax.

It’s my firm belief that those precious moments tea gives us can often provide just the mental comfort and relaxation needed to let good ideas in and kick start the creative process.

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