A couple of years ago my husband and I visited some friends and took holiday in Ireland. It was a magical trip of exploring small towns, the countryside, and the big city too. We ate, drank and enjoyed like the Irish. While we were there we tested famous Irish drinks like Jameson whiskey, Guinness, Kilkenny, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Mead liquor and Irish coffee.
But when we didn’t have a pint glass in hand, we had a tea cup. Now, this was new to me. The Irish drank tea after every meal, during the meal, and then even in-between meals. And since we were doing as the Irish did, I thought I would join them. I wasn’t a tea drinker before the trip, but Ireland got me hooked.
When we got home from our trip, I craved tea after dinner. All of the sudden I was checking out a whole new section on the grocery isle… I had never bought tea before! Now I have about 6 boxes in the cabinet, from fruity teas, chai, black, caffeinated and non caffeinated teas. Some I enjoy without any additions, while others I like to add milk, honey or sugar to!
The latest tea that I have tried is Tetley tea. The British Blend (just don’t tell my Irish friends) is one of the few sold in the United States, along with Black Tea and Green Tea. The tea is simple and soothing for an after dinner tea beverage, or just for a sippable warm treat during the day, especially as the days get colder! It is a rich and robust tea, with some caffeine to give me a little pick me up. The tea leaves are from some of the world’s finest from Africa and India. I like to enjoy this tea with a little sugar and milk.
But was I drinking it correctly? Did you know that there are classic methods of drinking tea? Like if the sugar or milk go first? So if you want to be more proper about your tea here are some tips:
- Rather than stirring, the correct way to incorporate milk is to place the teaspoon in the 6 O’clock position in the cup and gently fold the milk from 6 O’clock to 12 O’clock
- Never leave the spoon in, remove it and set it on a plate or napkin
- Milk, rather than cream is preferred, so it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the tea
- Some may add milk before, but adding it after the tea is poured ensures the right amount is added
- Sugar should be added after milk- 1-2 teaspoons is the standard amount
- Although a practice of many, it is not correct etiquette to wrap the string of the tea bag around the spoon and squeeze, but rather, it should be removed and set aside
- Black tea and black-based tea blends are typically the only ones served with milk
- Though most tea today is drank from mugs, if using a traditional tea cup, you should never loop your finger through the handle, but rather grasp it with your thumb and first two fingers. Holding the pinkie up help balance the cup to avoid spills
- Though tea traditions date back hundreds of years, the fact that it provides and rewarding and beneficial experience hasn’t changed and Tetley, the tea preferred by more British households, brings the classic flavors and rich blends to the US