Iron Chef Shellie

Making the Perfect Cup of Tea with Stephen Twining

Stephen Twining explains how to make the perfect cup of tea.


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Making the Perfect Cup of Tea with Stephen Twining
August 4, 2012

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Making the Perfect Cup of Tea with Stephen Twining

To launch the new flavours released by Twinings, Stephen Twining (7th generation Twining) came out to Melbourne on a whirlwind 24 hour trip. I was lucky enough to enjoy a day off, sipping tea, trying new blends, even making my own blend; as well as enjoying nibbles and meeting fellow lovers of tea at a high tea event recently.

Our table was lucky enough to be joined by Stephen himself, where we talked about what our favourites teas were, and tea etiquette. For a man that has no less than 9 cups of tea a day, he had quite a few tips on brewing the perfect tea. Being a lover of tea, I learnt a few things and had to share:

Tea with Milk

Historically is it correct to put your milk in the cup first then pour in the tea when the tea is made in a pot.

If you were serving tea to someone you haven’t served tea to before, you would put the milk in after, as you don’t know how much milk they like.

If you are making tea made with a teabag in a cup, you always put it in after you take the tea bag out.

Whichever way you add the milk, it doesn’t affect the taste.

Tea with Sugar

You should never put sugar in your tea!

Tea Bag vs Loose Leaf 

Whilst some people say they much prefer loose leaf tea than tea bags as it gives more flavour, are preparing their tea bag tea the wrong way.

Stephen explained when you are preparing loose leaf tea you follow the instructions, where as with a tea bag you just pour the water in and jiggle the bag… which will give off the colour but not the flavour. Pour the water over the tea bag and let it brew as you would the loose leaf tea.

Always use fresh water

As tea reacts with the oxygen in the water, it is important when boiling the kettle to pour out any existing water, fill the kettle with how much water you require  and boil. When preparing green tea, the water needs to be 95ΒΊC instead of the normal 100ΒΊC for other teas. Whilst you can buy one of those fancy kettles, or you can just wait 3-5 minutes after the kettle boils to fill up your cup/teapot.

New teas from Twinings in case you are interest are:

Assam Bold – the strongest tea in the Twinings range
Blueberry, Apple & Rosehip
Blackcurrant, Ginseng & Vanilla


16 comments on “Making the Perfect Cup of Tea with Stephen Twining
  1. Jennifer

    Oooh love Twinings tea. These new flavours sound fantastic, I will have to try them out!

    August 4, 2012 at 9:57 am
  2. leaf (the indolent cook)

    Thanks for sharing all those tips! Hmmm, no sugar in tea, ever, though? I don’t often have it with sugar, but sometimes I do…

    August 4, 2012 at 10:25 am
  3. Libby

    I learnt heaps about tea just by reading this post! Haha I’m one of those chumps who add milk afterwards, but I don’t take sugar with my tea (unless I’m drinking Indonesian jasmine tea) πŸ™‚

    August 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm
  4. Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?

    I’m a sweet tooth but I totally agree – never put sugar into your tea.

    August 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm
  5. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake

    Aww I missed out on this event, would have been nice to see you again! I did get sent some of that new blend which I have yet to try. Sounded like a good day. πŸ™‚

    August 4, 2012 at 10:25 pm
  6. Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef

    Never put sugar in tea? I’ll take that under advisement. πŸ™‚

    I don’t jiggle the bag but I never knew why it was a bad thing. Good post.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:44 am
  7. Food is our religion

    Hot milk tea and cake is a match made in heaven πŸ™‚ and I so agree, sugar in tea spoils it!

    August 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm
  8. msihua

    Why o why did this event have to be on a working day? *sniff*

    August 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm
  9. Agnes

    I so want a fancy kettle!

    I didn’t realise there was a family named Twining.. but that does make sense now that you mention it. :p

    August 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm
  10. Winston

    Oh waaahhh I had no idea Twinings was a family business and it’s in its SEVENTH generation. What an honour to meet Mr. Stephen! I’m sorry, I don’t think I’m able to just call him by his first name. I’d love to have tea with Mr Stephen too, you’re so lucky. Will def keep an eye out for the new flavours to try ;p

    August 6, 2012 at 2:17 am
  11. CheezyK

    Oh what fun! I definitely need to give their Assam Bold a try, if it really is nice and strong then maybe I won’t need to keep using two bags at a time! πŸ˜€

    August 6, 2012 at 10:01 am
  12. Thanh

    Some great tips there. I didn’t know you should let the tea bag steep just like loose leaves. I shall try that next time.

    I like tea but 9 cups sounds like an awful lot. How many do you drink? I usually have 1, or 2 at most a day.

    August 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm
  13. Daisy@Nevertoosweet

    Wahhhhhhh how exciting Shellie you got to meet up with the 7th generation Twining πŸ™‚ I get really confused with tea bags and leaves…but i seriously think it’s because I don’t do it properly HAHAHA thanks for the tips ~

    August 7, 2012 at 11:00 pm
  14. Susanne

    where can we can the new tea Assam Bold – have not seen it in store (Coles) as yet?

    August 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      I bought mine from Woolworths, but they sold out pretty quickly as well.

      August 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm
  15. Michelle aka The Bakeanista

    I drink my green tea without sugar… But oh dear, don’t think I can give up that 1 tsp of sugar I put in my English breakfast every morning. Love the tips you shared with us Shellie! And this sounds like a really fun event, if only it was held on a weekend.

    August 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm
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