This charming video from 1941 shares tips for the perfect cup of tea. Openculture.com have helpfully summarised them in to 10 golden rules:
1) In general, store tea leaves in an airtight container, preferably away from cheese, soap, spices and other items with strong aromas.
2) Also keep the tea off of the ground and away from walls.
3) Always use a good quality tea. You’ll spend a little more money, but you’ll actually get more bang for your pound.
4) Use fresh water. Stale water makes stale tea, which no one needs, especially in wartime.
5) Make sure you warm your teapot before adding hot water and tea leaves.
6) Use the right ratio of tea leaves to water.
7) Steep the tea in water that’s neither under-boiled nor over-boiled.
8) Let the tea infuse for the right amount of time. 3-5 minutes should cover most kinds of tea. Other kinds will need more time.
9) Use tea pots made of china, earthenware, and stainless steel. Avoid ones made of enamel or tin.
10) Don’t add milk to the tea too soon. Wait for the last possible minute.
While I can't really disagree with any of the above, I can't help but think they over complicate the matter a little. Keep it simple and spend more time enjoying the tea - that's my motto!
Here's how I would do it:
1. Boil the (preferably limescale free) kettle and select your favourite mug.
2. Place a quality tea bag in your mug - my vote is for PG tips or Yorkshire tea. Yum!
3. As soon as the kettle boils, pour boiling water over your tea bag. If you are feeling patient leave to steep for a minute or two - but don't forget and let it go cold!
4. Take out the tea bag, and give it a good squeeze against the side of the mug. Let's not waste any of the delicious tea flavour!
5. Add a drop of milk to taste.
6. Open a pack of dark chocolate digestives, sit down, and enjoy your lovely cuppa.
The only possible way this method can be improved is if you can convince a suitably trained person to prepare the tea for you and deliver it to your greedy little hands. Take care to choose a trusted person for this role; there is really nothing worse than a poorly made tea.