How to Make Tea.

How long do I need to brew my tea? Do I need to add milk? Tea Bags or Loose Leaf? These questions make something clear. There’s a LOT of confusion over how to make a proper cup of tea.

Buy a tea in a coffee shop and for £1.50 you get a dusty bag dunked in a not-quite-hot-enough mug of water. Baristas know how to do the Mona Lisa in latte art, but they struggle with a proper cup of tea.

Now here at Tea HQ we’ve tried a lot of tea. We like to think we know a thing or two. So, we’re here to clear up the confusion. Because a great cup of tea shouldn’t be a faff.

Here are our step by step instructions to making proper tea. We’ve even chucked in pictures so you can’t go wrong. No guesswork here. Baristas, here’s how to do it.

How to Make Tea.

How to make the perfect cup of tea.

Step 1. Rolled, Whole Leaves.

Let’s start with the most important part. The tea. Start with your eyes. Tea should look like tea. Look for rolled, whole leaves. The bigger the better. They hold much more taste and don’t lose their oils, unlike the chopped-up dust in supermarket teabags.

Grab a box of the good stuff: English Breakfast Loose Leaf Tea.



Step 2. Get the ratio right

We’ve made many a cup of tea in the past. And we’ve finally decided that the perfect ratio for the best cup of tea is 5g loose tea to 400ml water. If you can’t be faffed with measuring that out (neither can we), we’ve designed our kit to do it for you. Our pot and scoop make tea brewing easy.

If you’re a tea bag fan, a Proper Tea Bag is perfect for 300ml water straight into the Mug.

But hey, it’s all about preference. Feel free to chuck a little more in there if you like it strong.

Step 3. Temperature matters.

No, really. For black teas like English Breakfast or Earl Grey, use 100 degrees boiling water from the kettle into the pot to bring out the flavour.

Watch out for the green teas – they’re a little more delicate. Brew at 85 degrees to bring out those subtle, grassy notes and avoid bitterness. An easy way to do it is to put a splash of cold water into the teapot first. Then pour in the boiling water second. Give it a try. Thank us later.

Tea Brewing

Step 4. Brew for 3-5 minutes.

The average brewing time in the UK is 20 seconds. An absolute travesty for proper tea. Give it at least 3 minutes, and 5 if you like your cup a little stronger. Trust us, it’s worth the wait.

For the tastiest cup, use a teapot with a built-in strainer. Not a basket in sight. The leaves have tons more room to absorb water. The more they absorb, the more flavour they release.

If you’re using a Proper Tea Bag pour the water straight into a mug with the tea, and let it brew for 3-5 minutes. Any milk goes in last with tea bags – keep the water nice and hot.

Step 5. Add milk and sugar if that’s your thing.

Pour out into your mug and add any extras. This bit is totally up to you. Making the perfect cup of tea is all about finding just how you like it.

For English Breakfast, we like a splash of milk. For Chai, we tend to squeeze in some honey. A slice of lemon or as it is for Darjeeling.

Tell us how you drink your tea over at

You’ve got the knowledge. Now you just need the tools.

Some common questions.

What colour should tea be?

Now this depends on the blend. For English Breakfast we recommend a ruby red. For Darjeeling look for a paler, straw like colour and Green is in the name. Look out for the whole leaves & proper ingredients, make sure you brew it for at least 3 minutes, and it’ll be bang on.

Should you put milk in tea?

Up to you. If you’re using rolled, whole leaves then they’ll have enough taste to hold their own without needing any milk. But if you like a splash to soften it, chuck it in. Loose leaf is all about finding the perfect balance.

How to make a cup of tea. It’s a question that’s been discussed for millennia. Even Orwell cited it as a ‘subject of violent disputes’. Great to see we’re still at it. Despite that, his principles (generally) stand firm. It’s all about quality, whole leaves, brewing temperature and the ratio. Better leaves hold more taste with no bitterness.

We’re flying the flag for a better standard for tea drinkers. Coffee has hogged the limelight for too long. Let’s put that right.

For us, making the perfect cup of tea is making the tea you love to drink.

How do you like your tea? Let us know:

Want more? Head to our other posts to find out Everything you need to know about English Breakfast and How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea.

Loose Leaf Tea
Bold & Rich
Caramel, Rhubarb, Hops & some slight Smoke
from £7.99
Loose Leaf Tea
Honeyed & Floral
Caramel, Rhubarb, Hops & some slight Smoke
from £7.99
How To Guides
How to Make Tea.
How To Guides
How To Guides
How To Make Tea Ice Cubes.
0 items