To dunk or not to dunk? How to make the perfect cuppa according to Brits

In 2023, global consumption of tea amounted to about 7.1 billion kilograms and is estimated to reach 7.4 billion kilograms by 2025.[1] Whether it’s a toasty beverage to keep you warm in winter or just your daily ritual, we Brits are really quite fond of our brews!

However, from how long you should dunk your teabag in, to the correct temperature of your water, how you make your cup of tea is a very personal thing – and it can also be pretty divisive too! There has never really been a solid consensus amongst us Brits of how you should make the perfect cuppa, but we decided we wanted to spill the tea on exactly how Brits feel about their brews.

We’ve teamed up with Angela Pryce, Senior Tea Buyer at Whittard, to hear all of the insights from one of the biggest suppliers of our obsession, and we also used data from Statista to find out which tea is the nation’s favourite too.

How do you make the perfect cup of tea?

We spoke to one of the most knowledgeable tea drinkers in the country – Angela Pryce, Senior Tea Buyer at Whittard – to find out exactly how to make the perfect cup of tea, and some of the mistakes that people make when they’re making their cuppas that might be affecting how tasty their brews are!

What goes first, milk or water?

That is such an important question! There are lots of ways to make tea, but at Whittard, we recommend brewing your tea in water and adding milk afterwards to your desired taste. 

The optimum time to leave your teabag in.

I would say for the optimum time, around 3-5 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a cup of tea, depending on how strongly you like it. Different types of tea mean different times for brewing. When it comes to brewing a teabag, black teas are normally brewed while Matcha Green Tea should be made at a cooler 70°C.  

Most tea bags reach their best strength between 3-5 minutes though but delicate teas like Darjeeling, white and green teas should only be infused for between 2-3 minutes.  

Tea Type Boiling Temperature Steeping time 
Most black tea 100 degrees 3-5 Minutes 
Green tea 80 degrees 2-3 Minutes 
White/yellow tea 80 degrees 2-3 Minutes 
Fruit & herbal infusions 100 degrees 3-5 Minutes 

How to store teabags for maximum flavour.

Store loose-leaf teas and teabags in a cool, dry place away from strong light and odours. Once opened, store in a tea caddy or an airtight container to help maintain the tea’s flavour and freshness.  

Why your choice of water is important.

Always use water freshly out of the tap or a filter jug because the higher levels of oxygen in fresh water make your cup of tea cleaner and tastier. 

The common mistakes people make when making tea

  1. Not letting the tea brew for long enough. This can have a huge impact on the tea itself and the desired flavour.
  2. Hitting the teabags on the side of the mug. It’s best to lift teabags out, as squeezing them makes the tea taste bitter.
  3. Using the wrong temperature water for sensitive teas, such as green tea. Hot water (above 100 degrees) makes the tea taste bitter. 
  4. Leaving the tea to over-brew. It’s important to full-strain loose tea. Use an infuser mug to remove the leaf once it’s ready. We also prefer to use loose tea brewed in a teapot. When comparing loose tea to teabags, loose gives you a more flavoursome cup.
  5. The quality of the tea is important. Fresh quality loose leaf produces the best flavour. 
Follow these steps for the perfect brew

So, we know that everyone has their own preferred way of making a cup of tea, and their favourite flavours too, but is there still an ideal way to make the best cup of tea?

Step 1 – Get your tap running – you don’t want to use the water that’s been sitting in the tap, so letting the tap run for a second or two helps get the water aerated. It’s also best to always use fresh water, rather than re-boiling water multiple times!

To keep things environmentally friendly, try to only boil as much water as you’ll need.

If you can, invest in a boiling water tap. Boiling water taps maintain a consistent temperature, ensuring that the water is always at the perfect temperature for brewing tea. Consistency in temperature is crucial for brewing tea properly and extracting the desired flavors from the tea leaves.

Step 2 – Groundbreaking tip – use some of that boiling water to heat up your mug or teapot by swilling it around and pouring it out, so that when your tea is ready, your cup will stay hotter for longer. This is because tea tastes best when it’s hot, and having a cold mug makes it cool down quicker.

Step 3 – Adding the tea – Put two tea bags into a big teapot if you’re serving a large group or one in a small teapot for just yourself. If you’re using loose tea, add one teaspoon per person and an extra one for the pot.

Step 4 – Let your tea steep for 4-5 minutes to really bring out its flavours. While you wait, why not rummage around in the biscuit tin for the ideal partner for your perfect brew? This is a great time to indulge in homemade sweet treats, like a blondie! Check out our full gingerbread blondies recipe with Jane of Jane’s Patisserie.

Step 5 – Indulge in some customisation – Whether you prefer milk, milk and sugar, a dollop of honey, a squeeze of lemon, or just plain tea in all its glory, the choice is yours!

Would you agree that this is the best way to make a cup of tea too? Even if this method isn’t your cup of tea, we can all agree that it’s time to pop the kettle on. And don’t forget to keep all of your kitchen brewing equipment neat and tidy with our guide on kitchen drawer storage solutions. There’s plenty more inspiration and advice in our blog, so maybe have a browse while you let your brew steep!

No Comments

    Leave a Reply