Mike Harding’s A Nice Cup of Tea

In 1946, just a few years before his death, George Orwell wrote a piece for London’s Evening Standard newspaper, “A Nice Cup Of Tea”. You can read the full text below. He makes tea in a very different way to me, but this article is part of the centuries-long debate about how to make a good cuppa…


Here is my recipe…

It is absolutely essential that the water used for making a proper cup of tea is boiling. Do not accept anything less than boiling water poured into a mug (or cup).

1 x Denby white squares mug

Tea – the type of tea depends on what time of day it is that you wish to drink your beverage. I have a cup of Yorkshire Tea first thing, English Beakfast Tea with breakfast, Ceylon Tea late morning and Daarjeeling in the afternoon.

Milk – I always put the milk in first. This is a controversial aspect of tea-making. I use semi-skimmed organic and prefer my tea quite milky. The milk, of course, must also be cold.

Water – the water MUST be boiling hot.

Stir to your desired strength (I personally prefer quite weak tea).

Please remember to recycle your teabag. I put it in the compost bucket for the worms…

[The perennial British argument over the best way to make a cup of tea dates back to at least the 17th century, when a cookbook warned that “the water is to remain upon it no longer than whiles you can say the Miserere Psalm very leisurely”.]