Afternoon Tea and the Perfect Cuppa

Last week my good friend’s mother turned 80. Her family had a week of celebrations planned. One of the special events was an afternoon tea with many of the birthday girl’s friends.

When I heard I about the tea I immediately proclaimed, “Fabulous! And I can take the photos for you.” A moment of silence, then a quick recovery on my friends part, “Sure, you can come. Bring your camera.” Oops. Major faux pax. I had just invited myself to the afternoon tea. Big oops. Well, not really as it turned out. They were happy to have the event captured. What a gracious friend I have!

A few of the attendees knew my passion and profession and asked the inevitable etiquette questions. The most common question was how to make a proper cuppa.

A few simple steps to make the perfect cup of tea:

  • Fill the kettle with cold water. You may want to consider bottled water if you have a strong mineral

    Care for a cup?


  • When the water is close to a boil, pour some into the teapot, swirl it around, an empty it through the spout.
  • Add one teaspoon of tea plus “one for the pot” into a tea infuser or infusion basket.
  • When the water reaches a rolling boil, take the teapot to the kettle and fill.
  • Cover the teapot and steep. Black tea requires at least three minutes. Oolong may require seven minutes, green teas usually one minute.

I was also asked if I ever use teabags. Yes. Often.

Teabags, loose tea – the special part is sharing it with a friend.

About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
This entry was posted in Tips and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Afternoon Tea and the Perfect Cuppa

  1. karenhickman says:

    Suzanne, I always use filtered or bottled water and set the timer to avoid over steeping.

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