Different Teas in Britain

Tea is the British and Irish national drink. It is drunk daily and usually many cups a day. Where did this love of tea in Britain come from?

A very brief history of teas in Britain and Ireland

Tea was first brought to Britain in the early 17th century by East India Company. It was an expensive product and only for the rich and guarded carefully.

Catherine of Braganza, the wife of Charles II introduced the ritual of drinking tea to the English Royal Court in the habit was adopted by the aristocracy.

The first teashop for ladies open in 1717 by Thomas Twining and shops began to appear throughout England making the drinking of tea available to everyone.

The British developed their love of tea during the years of the British Empire in India.

History of Teas in Britain Camillestea

Which tea?

There almost 1500 different case in Britain and they all vary in style, taste and color.

Indian Teas

India is one of the leading growers of tea and exports 12% of all the world teas. The three most popular types in the UK are:

Darjeeling, which comes from northern India and is a light delicate tea perfect for an afternoon tea.

Ceylon Tea, which is slightly stronger than Darjeeling. It is aromatic with a slightly sharp taste.

Assam is a strong tea and stands up to being blended.

Other teas found in Britain and Ireland are Darjeeling Orange Pekoe or Ceylon Broken Orange Pekoe. It is not about the flavor but it describes the size of the leaf.

China Teas

The birthplace of tea is China and it produces 18% of the world's tea.

The two favorite types are:

Lapsang Souchong the most famous of all Chinese teas and comes from the hills in the north Fujian. It has a smoky aroma and flavor.

Yunnan is a black tea from the province of Yunnan. It is rich and has an earthy taste and makes an excellent breakfast tea.

There other varieties from India and China which include green tea, white tea and aromatics.

One pot per person-making the perfect cup of tea

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to make the perfect cup of tea. The first ingredient must be a leaf tea not a teabag. Only black tea is considered real for a cup of tea in Britain as black tea is dried and fermented leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

Step-by-step instructions for the perfect cup of tea:

Fill a kettle with fresh water and bring it to a boil

Warm the teapot with boiled water swirl around and discard

Place 1 teaspoon of fresh, leaf tea per person plus one for the pot

Top off the teapot with boiling water and do not allow the water to go off the boil or it will not be hot enough to brew the tea

Leave it to infuse for 3 to 4 minutes no longer or it will get a stewed flavor

Pour the leaf tea into a tea strainer directly into clean China teacups

Step-by-step Making Tea Camillestea

Milk in first or tea in first?

The debate continues as to whether one should put milk in the cup before pouring or after.

Milk is usually always been added before the tea to prevent the hot tea from cracking the delicate bone china cups. But tea experts agree that pouring milk into hot tea after alters the flavors of the tea.

The Right Teapot

The right teapot for the perfect cup is a matter of personal preference so you can use either metal or China.

If you use a metal teapot it will keep the tea hotter but China keeps a finer flavor with no tainting from the metal.