Ahhh, tea. A ritual that is nearly impossible not to fall into while living in the UK. Tea is more than a soothing drink for the throat to us Brits, it is an intricate part of our days, a ritual! Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little, but we do take a glorious cuppa seriously. So seriously that over 165 million cups of tea are drunken daily here in the UK.That is nearly 60 billion cups a year!
Green teas, black teas, white teas, all teas come from the same plant: camellia sinensis. So, whether you enjoy the layers of taste from an oolong tea or the zesty flavour of a yellow tea, they all come from leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Victoria always opts for a naturally decaffeinated rooibos tea, due to caffeine making her a little too energetic!
No matter what flavour tea you fancy, enjoying a proper tea is healthy! Due to its polyphenols and flavonoids (two types of antioxidants), it’s pretty well established that the compounds in tea are good for our heart and may help against free radicals that can contribute to disease. Drinking 4 cups a day is all it takes to reap the benefits. So, drink up!
Not a fan of tea? Let’s change that! Here are some tips from Twinings for preparing perfect cup of tea.
- Use filtered, cold water in your kettle. Tea loves oxygen as it helps the flavour develop, so using fresh water allows the leaves to let oxygenate to create a divine taste.
- Don’t using piping hot water. You may be thinking this is crazy, but let the boiling water sit for just a few minutes to cool. Water that's too hot can burn the leaves, taking away most of the flavour.
- Brew the recommended time. After pouring water, let the tea brew for the recommended time which is often on the box or pouch. Different teas take different times, so optimize brewing time to produce a smooth cup.
- Remove leaves or pouch. Be sure to separate the tea leaves or pouch from water immediately after brewing.
The rest is up to you! Adding milk and sugar is all personal taste. 98% of tea is taken with milk, while over 30% take with sugar.
Want the full afternoon tea experience? Check out our guide to top places to enjoy in London.
- Party Tea: Sketch in Mayfair. This buzzing, millennial-pink tea spot is perfect for a girl’s day out. Enjoy Sketch’s fun atmosphere, Beatles playing string quartet and egg-shaped loos all while devouring savoury snacks and sweet treats.
Address: 9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG
Telephone: +44 20 7659 4500
- Quirky Tea: Brigit’s Bakery Tea Bus. Brigit’s Bakery combines all things London from tea to site-seeing to create this on-the-road tea experience. Hop on a vintage double-decker bus to enjoy finger sandwiches and cupcakes while watching London roll by. Perfect for entertaining visitors!
Address: Bus picks up at8 Northumberland Avenue off Trafalgar Square, London WC2
Telephone: +44 20 7237 3392
- TraditionalTea: Ritz Hotel. Feeling like royalty? At The Ritz, the proudly treat afternoon tea as a traditional event. Dress to the nines to pick from a list of 18 types of tea and indulge in a three-tiered masterpiece of goodies.
Address: 150 Piccadilly, London W1
Telephone: +44 20 7300 2345
- Simple Tea: Number Sixteen. Tea can be relaxed and stylish at this simple location. Number Sixteen creates a simple experience to enjoy in their garden on lovely afternoon.
Address: 16 Sumner Place, London, SW7 3EG
Telephone: +44 20 7589 5232
Let’s raise a cup (of tea, of course) to this glorious day!