Saturday, July 01, 2006

Making A Good Cuppa Tea

Sri Lanka is famous for its tea, specifically Ceylon tea, around the world. The Sri Lanka Tea Board desires to "make Ceylon tea the leader in the international beverage industry".

But what is the secret of making a good cup of tea?

I learnt these five simple rules from Manilal Pereira, Chief Executive Officer of Sanasa Insurance in Sri Lanka, after he, to his great horror, observed I had broken all the rules of making good tea!

These are the five simple rules he shared:
- Use good tea leaves, in particular Ceylon tea.
- Warm the cup you are using.
- When pouring water in the cup, bring the cup to the pot, rather than vice versa. This to ensure that the water in the pot stays hot.
- Let the tea brew for at least three minutes.
- Once brewed, tea should ideally be drunk without milk and sugar; this enables one to savour the real taste of tea. However, many add milk and sugar for taste.

Interestingly, George Orwell shared something similar in the Evening Standard, London, on 12 January 1946 in his essay, "A Nice Cup of Tea".


1. Use Indian or Ceylonese tea.
2. Make tea in small quantities in a china, pewter or earthenware pot.
3. Warm pot beforehand.
4. Use strong tea.
5. Put the tea straight into the pot.
6. Take the pot to the kettle, rather than kettle to the pot.
7. Give the pot a good shake.
8. Drink out of a good breakfast cup.
9. Pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea.
10. Pour tea into the cup first.
11. Drink tea without sugar.

Go on then, make yourself a good cup of tea!

Dharmendra Yadav

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