National Tea Day: Expert step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect cuppa

In celebration of National Tea Day luxury boutique hotel group Dakota Hotels has teamed up with brew aficionados at Canton Tea, to reveal, once and for all, how to make the perfect cuppa – by following “The three T’s” ritual.

In celebration of National Tea Day today, a team of brew aficionados has teamed up to reveal, once and for all, how to make the perfect cuppa.
In celebration of National Tea Day today, a team of brew aficionados has teamed up to reveal, once and for all, how to make the perfect cuppa.

With a whopping 100 million cups consumed each day, Tea is undoubtedly the national drink of Britain.

But debate continues to rage over what constitutes the perfect cuppa. How long should it brew for? Milk before or after the tea? Do you add boiling or hot water?

Well, to settle the argument once and for all, Dakota Hotels has teamed up with Canton Tea, one of the UK’s leading premium tea suppliers, to definitively explain how you can make the perfect cup of English breakfast at home.

They say that the secret to the perfect brew lies in ‘The three Ts’ – tea, time and temperature.

James Thirlwall, Canton’s Tea’s in-house expert put the team at Dakota Hotel in Manchester through Canton’s bespoke Teach Training program, which he describes as “like a sommelier training course” for budding tea experts.

James also revealed to the team his step-by-step guide to brewing the perfect cup and oversaw several trial runs to ensure that they had nailed the formula.

Following the training, Tom Husted, Food and Beverage Manager at Dakota Hotels, said: “Start by choosing the best leaves (not all are created equal!), and remember that quantity is vital – for best results weigh your leaves or use a scoop to ensure optimum flavour. When drinking English breakfast, 4g of tea leaves per person is a good general rule to go by.

“The temperature of the water you use is also key. English breakfast is a heavily oxidised black tea, so it should be brewed at a high temperature (95 degrees, or just off the boil) to extract the full range of flavours. The best way to get this exactly right is by investing in a temperature-controlled kettle, while using filtered water also improves the taste.

“When it comes to how long you should brew for, it depends on your flavour preference. If you take your tea with milk, brew for four minutes, while if you like your tea black, then leave it for half that time. Once the time is up, pour off every drop of tea from the leaves. Don’t leave liquid at the bottom of the pot and use it later, as it will over-extract and become bitter.

“And when it comes to milk – ALWAYS go tea first. For optimal flavour, get your brewed tea into the cup and then follow it with milk. Semi-skimmed (or soya/oat) is the best option.”

And there you have it, that’s how you can make the perfect cup of tea!

James Thirlwall, Canton’s Tea’s in-house expert said: “Brewing the perfect cup of tea is a fine art, and if you want to taste all the brilliant flavour that your leaves have to offer, then you need to do it right. That’s why we were so delighted to offer our first-class training to the team at Dakota Manchester.

“So, if you want to enjoy the perfect brew this National Tea Day, then you know where to go!”

Nationa Tea Day falls on April 21.