British magazine, Waitrose Food Illustrated, took a close look at their nation’s beverage of choice, tea, by commissioning a survey that sought to discover what made the perfect cup. In order to gain true insight, the magazine questioned a 70-person panel, dubbed the Tea Council, which was made up of “top chefs, food and drink writers, tea experts, etiquette gurus, builders, hoteliers, cabbies, vicars and teachers.” Each panel member was asked the seemingly simple (but obviously complicated) question, “how do you make the perfect cup of tea?”
The British Panel specifically described their perfect cup as:
• English Breakfast loose leaf tea
• In a mug
• Steeped for 3 1/2 minutes exactly
• Made in a China pot, which must be pre-warmed
• Tea In First
• Splash of milk
• No sugar
I was most shocked to read that a mug was preferred by 56% of the panel, as opposed to a cup (only 31% preferred a cup and 13% were undecided). As a teacup collector I am quite biased, although, there is something so very elegant and special about sipping tea from a delicate cup as opposed to a hearty mug.
My perfect cup changes on a daily basis, so I am sure I would prove to be a poor panel member. Cool mornings call for a warm cup of Masala Chai with milk, and humid afternoons are soothed with an iced white peony, etc, etc.
Do you have a perfect cup?