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02 October 2010


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hahaha! This made me smile! After 20 years I still hand the tea making duties over to someone else. From mother in law to after dinner friends I boil the kettle, I put tea bag in mug, I pour water then I shove mug, milk, sugar and spoon in their direction saying 'I still havent mastered the art of tea with milk, you don't mind making it yourself, do you?' Then I say something about also still not being used to drinking tea with milk and preferring black tea or iced tea (and here, everyone gasps).

Its because everyone likes their tea different. 'A splash of milk' or 'just dip the tea bag in' or 'lots of milk' or 'quite strong' can all mean different things.

However, when it comes to builders, I make the perfect cup of tea. (Once I learned one needs to make lots of tea/coffee for builders) I have learned they like it strong usually, so I leave the tea bag in for ages. And when I asked how they have their tea, I add a girly laugh and tell them Im sure they won't mind if I get it a bit wrong as Im American and they'll understand and they always smile and laugh back and when I hand them the 'cuppa' they never seem to complain.

Good post, Susanna, very appropriate for an American expat in the UK!!

Expat Mum

Fabulous - you've obviously read my book! One thing I think can't be stressed enough though is - never, ever make tea with micro-waved water. Yes, it might be scalding to the touch, but it does strange things when a tea bag is immersed, and tastes bloody awful.

Belinda Bull

Also, never, ever make tea using water out of the hot tap(!), which my younger brother once did. What was worse was he didn't tell me until afterwards, I thought it tasted disgusting but he was proud that he'd thought of a time saving idea!


Everyone makes tea differently. Here are instructions from my "now British husband" on the subject: http://punctuation.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/how-to-make-proper-english-tea-for-me/

Corey Palmer

I feel so ashamed. Haha! For years, I have been drinking green tea and other fancy flavored tea - without milk! Reading this post made me remember how my grandfather made it - just like you said black tea with milk. And it was so good...here's to going back to that again.


Ah well very interesting. My own Mum is English and this is how she makes proper English tea (she never EVER puts a tea bag in boiled water already in the mug):

Boil the water in an electric kettle.
Put tea leaves or bags in a tea pot.
Pour still boiling water (this is very important) into tea pot.
Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour milk into mug(s) FIRST. Then pour tea into mugs.
Better with no sugar (but infidels such as myself are tolerated as I am family after all).

Ah well. I must say that is the way I prefer my black tea, but have got used to lots of other ways on my travels :-).


I will certainly enjoy my tea now! thank you so much:)

you can use the outdoor tap

Hmmm, As a contractor, I will curse you if I'm not offered tea or refreshment if working in your home (especially on a hot day) Pity the client who expects decent service without showing basic hospitality. How would you feel?

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