Do you take your tea like the Queen? Four in 10 Brits do

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·4 min read
Four in 10 Brits take their tea like the Queen, pictured in 1977. (Getty Images)
Four in 10 Brits take their tea like the Queen, pictured in 1977. (Getty Images)

A royal insider has revealed the "proper" way the Queen takes her tea and it turns out the method is pretty popular.

Cup or mug? Milk first or last? Earl grey or English breakfast? How to make the perfect cup of tea is a debate that has been raging for years.

So who better to settle it than the Queen herself who has no doubt sampled more cups of tea than most?

Ahead of the monarch's Platinum Jubilee celebrations next week, a royal insider has revealed exactly how the Queen likes to take her tea, other than in a china cup of course.

Grant Harrold is the Queen’s former butler and therefore knows exactly how she likes her brew.

Speaking about the royal's preferred brands, Grant revealed: "I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer."

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Grant went on to note that the Queen always adds milk to the cup after the tea because it is the "proper" way of doing things.

"Since the 18th century, the 'proper' way of brewing tea has been to serve tea before milk, and this is something that the British royals adhere to,” he said.

The British etiquette expert also advised how families at home can take their tea in a similar fashion to the Queen, giving a precise step-by-step guide.

a“Pour the tea into the cup from a teapot, add milk to the cup after the tea and never before, stir back and forth – never use a circular motion and never touch the sides.

“Lastly, you should always sip from the cup and never slurp.”

The Queen's former butler has revealed exactly how the Queen takes her tea, pictured in 1998. (Getty Images)
The Queen's former butler has revealed exactly how the Queen takes her tea, pictured in 1998. (Getty Images)

Turns out the Queen's preferred type and method of making the perfect cuppa is a popular choice.

A new report by the tea experts at the UK Tea & Infusions Association (UKTIA) found that four in ten enjoy a regular cup of Earl Grey – reportedly the Queen’s favourite tea – while 20% drink Assam – another brew favoured by the palace.

The first ever Tea Census Report also revealed that six in 10 (57%) add milk, just like the Queen, but unlike the royal, 27% of Brits also add sugar.

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How to make the perfect cup of tea

Dr Sharon Hall, head of the UKTIA, also shared her advice on making the perfect cup of tea.

She suggests filling your kettle with fresh water but use only just what you need – to help take care of the environment.

"Using your mug, measure out the water you need for the number of cups you are making and just boil that," she explains. “This will help save on energy costs and will ensure a good flavour tea which develops best when made with freshly boiled water."

Dr Hall says it is the lack of oxygen bubbles in re-boiled water that can give the tea a flat taste.

After boiling the water, Dr Hall recommends adding one tea bag or one rounded teaspoon of tea leaves per person into a china or glass tea pot.

"Never use a metal teapot as this can affect the flavour," she adds.

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The Queen is an expert tea drinker, pictured in 1982. (Getty Images)
The Queen is an expert tea drinker, pictured in 1982. (Getty Images)

The next step is to add the boiled water and brew for at least three minutes. "This develops the flavour as well as maximising the beneficial polyphenol compounds in tea," Dr Hall explains.

"Most black teas should be brewed for three to four minutes, while Lapsang Souchong black tea tastes best after four to five minutes."

When it comes to green tea, this should be brewed for three to four minutes, according to Dr Hall, while oolong tea should be brewed for three to five minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea to be.

Finally, Dr Hall suggests taking the Queen's approach to tea-making and adding milk after the tea.

"Pour the brewed tea into a cup or mug and add a splash of milk if desired," she says. "Or if using a tea bag directly in your mug, remove the bag after brewing, before adding the milk. Sit down, relax, and enjoy!"