The Tea Method

Making the perfect mug every time is easy. Here's how:

  1. Empty the contents of your kettle and re-fill it. The water must be fresh. Turn it on and let it boil. Please note that we want it to truly boil, not just bubble.
  2. As soon as it's rolling, pour a little bit of the just-boiled water into a mug, swirl it round a bit, then pour it away. This is to warm the mug.
  3. Now add a splash of milk and a teabag (and sugar, if that's your thing, but not too much!) to the empty mug, lift the kettle a foot above it, and slowly pour the water over the teabag. This will help oxygenate the tea.
  4. Take a teaspoon and slowly stir (don't squeeze the teabag). If there are lots of bubbles, use the teabag to soak them up.
  5. When the colour of the tea is to your liking (the darker it is, the stronger it tastes — three minutes is a good baseline), remove the teabag. Do not squeeze the colour from the bag — this will add bitterness, rather than flavour.
  6. Enjoy the best, tastiest, most delicious cup of tea you've ever had.


We do the milk first because it's a bit easier to gauge how much you're putting in this way, and this way you won't get the film on the top. Also, Douglas Adams said so. If you'd like to get all fancy about it, use proper loose-leaf tea and a strainer. Good tea isn't always easy to pick in the states, nor is it easy to settle on a variety. I can highly recommend Smith Teamaker's black teas as a starting point.

Questions? Success stories? Photos? Corrections?

I'm @zacanger on Twitter. This site was forked from Anna Debenham's original version (here) which was in turn inspired by Dan Benjamin's Bacon Method.

Licensed under Creative Commons. The teacup image is Public Domain. Fork this page on GitHub.