Chances are you’ve made about a million cups of tea over the course of the past year – but have you been doing it right?
It turns out there are very precise rules to follow rather than simply whacking a teabag in a cup, pouring over scorching water and sloshing in some milk.
Here are four mistakes you’re probably making – unless of course you’re some hardcore tea aficionado – when making your much-loved morning beverage.
Mistake #1: reboiling the water
We’ve all been there: in desperate need of a quick tea fix you’ve picked up the kettle, realised there’s water in it and flicked the switch on. But this is incredibly bad news for the taste of your tea.
Always use freshly drawn (filtered if possible) cold water in the kettle, suggest the experts at Twinings. The reason being: oxygen helps the flavour develop. And if you reboil the water, it loses all of its oxygen and you’ll be left with “a really flat cup of tea”.
Mistake #2: putting the milk in last
As controversial as it sounds, putting the milk in first is key to getting a banging brew if you live in a hard water area, according to an academic no less.
As Professor Alan Mackie, from Leeds University, told The Sun, the flavour of your brew is produced by the different compounds in tea, which include tannins.
“Making tea the traditional way – steeping a bag in hot water before removing it and adding milk – results in the tannins turning into solids before they can develop the flavour properly,” said Prof Mackie, according to Heart.
Add the milk at the start of the process however and the proteins can bind to the tannins and other minerals in the water. This prevents them from turning solid, which in turn gives you tastier tea. Hoorah!
Mistake #3: pouring boiling water over your teabag
Another no-go. The Twinings tea types recommend giving your kettle a couple of minutes to cool down after it’s boiled rather than rushing to fill your cup like the eager beaver you are.
They suggest you should never pour boiling water over a tea bag or loose tea because the boiling water will “burn” the tea, meaning it doesn’t release its flavour potential.
Mistake #4: using the wrong type of teaspoon
Yep, the very material your teaspoon is made from could well be influencing the taste of your cuppa. Materials expert Zoe Laughlin tells HuffPost UK: “The less reactive the metal, the better. This means your common stainless steel does a great job and is far better than a silver spoon, which can impart a metallic taste to food, but gold is the ultimate taste sensation as it is truly inert and won’t alter the taste of the tea in any way.”
*Buys all the gold teaspoons*
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.