In a nation of tea drinkers everyone has an opinion on the perfect cuppa, and the Queen is no different.
Speaking to Hello magazine, he said: "I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer."
Mr Harrold notes that the Queen always adds milk to the cup after the tea because: “since the 18th century, the ‘proper’ way of brewing tea has been to serve tea before milk, and this is something that the British royals adhere to”.
British tea survey
While most of us will never take tea with royalty, many are still enjoying a brew just the way you might at Buckingham Palace - that’s according to a new study anyway.
Tea experts at UK Tea and Infusions Association (UKTIA) had published the first ever Tea Census Report detailing research from more than 1000 British adults.
It found four in ten enjoy a regular cup of Earl Grey – just like the Queen – while 20 per cent drink Assam, another brew favoured by the palace.
Dr Sharon Hall, head of UKTIA, said: “Tea is a fantastic British tradition, enjoyed by many UK households – from Buckingham Palace to the humblest abode.
“The UKTIA research poll found that more than seven in 10 adults (74%) love a good strong cup of regular black tea but they are also willing to try different types, such as Assam, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or an herbal infusion.
“Six in 10 (57%) add dairy milk, just like the Queen, but unlike Her Majesty 27% of Brits also add sugar.
“Having a cup of tea in a china cup with a saucer is a special way to mark the Jubilee and is certainly something Brits love to do given our long history of street parties in 1953, 1977, 2002 and 2012 and Afternoon Tea being a key part of these celebrations.”
How to make the perfect cup of tea
According to Dr Hall, you should follow these steps for making the perfect cuppa.
1. Smart boil
Fill your kettle with fresh water but use only just what you need – to help take care of the environment. Using your mug, measure out the water you need for the number of cuppas you are making and just boil that.
Dr Hall said: “This will help save on energy costs and will ensure a good flavour tea which develops best when made with freshly boiled water. The lack of oxygen bubbles in re-boiled water can give the tea a flat taste.”
2. Add the tea
Add one tea bag or one rounded teaspoon of tea leaves per person into a china or glass tea pot – never use a metal teapot as this can affect the flavour.
Add the boiled water and brew for at least three minutes – this develops the flavour as well as maximising the beneficial polyphenol compounds in tea.
Most black teas should be brewed for three to four minutes, while Lapsang Souchong black tea tastes best after four to five minutes. Brew green tea for three to four minutes and oolong tea for three to five minutes, depending on your strength preference.
Pour the brewed tea into a cup or mug and add a splash of milk if desired. Or if using a tea bag directly in your mug, remove the bag after brewing, before adding the milk. Sit down, relax, and enjoy!
For tea addicts, you can find out more about teas from around the world via UKTIA’s Around the World in 80 Teas series on YouTube.