Hygge is a trend that centres around the idea of cosiness and warmth. In our series of articles on the Great British Hygge, we’re exploring what a British version of the traditionally Danish practice would look. And of course, no British hygge would be complete without the perfect cup of tea…
To celebrate the country’s favourite drink, we asked a range of experts to share their tips for the perfect hygge cup of tea:
Ami Roberts: My Mummy Spam
As a mum to a two year old and a mummy blogger with more than 3,000 Twitter followers, Ami knows the value of a good cup of tea at the end of the day! She shared her tips with us:
“For me, the perfect cup of tea is created by 2 things…
“Firstly, your ingredients. We are tea bag people in our house as I find that tea leaves can get too messy and can leave a residue that we aren’t huge fans of.
“Secondly, time! A good cup of tea cannot be rushed so you need to let the tea bag stew for a little while. You need to give it a stir and then let it sit for a few seconds and then stir again. Then squeeze that tea bag out as good as you can and add your milk.
“Time is of the essence though. Too long and you’ll end up with a over powering tea… too little and you’ll end up with a cup of warm milk with a hint of tea.”
James: Fork Deli
With 680 Facebook likes, this independent deli in Bloomsbury is well known for it’s great cups of tea. Their manager James took some time to share his tips for the perfect cup of tea:
“I love tea, as it is extremely versatile, with different flavours and origins, and ways to make it. Recently, I have become more interested in the origins of tea, and I have found that other people are more interested in the origins of tea, than they are coffee. And I am finding that I am breaking away from the traditional supermarket brands, exploring new types of boutique teas.
“My favourite is loose-leaf tea, as it is often better quality and there is more taste, I also enjoy the process of making it. Green teas are becoming more and more popular, with new flavours infused into the leaves. My favourite is green tea and pomegranate.
“But when I don’t get time to make loose leaf, it’s important to choose a high quality tea bag. I always prefer single teabags so they don’t rip when you tear them apart – it’s the quickest way to get through a box of teabags.
“The best way to make a cup of tea is using loose-leaf tea. You will need loose-leaf tea, a tea infuser and a teapot. The temperature is important, for black teas, the water must be hotter than green tea.
“Never re boil a kettle; always use fresh water as tea needs oxygen. Place a good amount of loose-leaf tea into the infuser, and place the infuser over the top of the teapot and pour the water through the leaves. This will release the flavours of the tea.
“I wouldn’t recommend adding milk to loose leaf tea, but if you want to, a splash won’t hurt. For teabags, don’t let the teabag steep for more than two minutes, as this will burn the tea.”
Izabela Serwin: Cardamon Tea Lounge
Izabela runs the Cardamon Tea Lounge, an independent tea shop in Colchester. She told us about her tips for making tea:
“Why do we love tea? The rich antioxidants help our bodies stay healthy and you just can’t beat a great cuppa. There are a few things to remember when making the perfect cup. The right amount of tea, filtered water at the right temperature and the correct steeping time. Tea making is an art and at Cardamom Tea Lounge we can teach you to master making your favourite brew!”
Steve Honest: Friendship Shoes
Steve told us tea plays an important role in his daily life. He told us:
“I just retired from 40 years in the music industry (clients included Eurtymics, Culture Club, Dolly Parton, Rumer, Dizzie Rascal and many many more) and whether in the studio or on tour playing the largest stages, we would have a dead stop for tea. Tea brings calm to any situation it brings quiet and a moment or 2 of reflection, comfort and strength to return and complete a difficult task or ease away the stress of a long day.”
Here are Steve’s tips for the perfect cup:
- “Keep your kettle clean at all times, when its not boiling water empty it of water, so scale does not build up.
- Only use fresh drawn water or filtered water at all times, Water that has stood will not taste good.
- Keep your tea or tea bags in a air tight container, not a glass one and not in direct light nor anywhere too hot or too cold.
- Boil your water and then let it stand after for a full minute before pouring.
- If using a tea pot place boiling water int he pot to heat it for 2 mins and then empty add tea leaves and the boiled fresh water.
- If your using tea bags warm the cups with boiled water before you put the tea bag in, empty it and place the tea bag in and pour the fresh boiled water in next.
- NEVER EVER squeeze a tea bag against the side of a cup, this makes the tea taste bitter, instead always gently chase the tea bag around your cup with the spoon, let it steep for as long as you feel gives you the strength of tea you like (I normally go for about 3 mins) but keep the tea bag moving in the cup, add sugar and finally add milk.
- With a tea pot, once the pot has been warmed add the tea leaves – I add a spoon for each cup and then a large spoon for the pot, and the fresh boiled water, and wrap the pot, let it sit, lift the lid every 1 minute to stir gently as the tea tastes better agitated, and then into warmed cups, add milk and sugar to taste and then finally the tea.”
The Fuze (Musician)
The Fuze is a British musician who takes pride in his ability to make a cracking cuppa. He shared his tips with us:
“Before making tea the most important thing is to make sure your tea/ tea bags are not stale. Most people don’t realise that tea goes off. I tend to buy a smaller box that gets used and re stock regularly with fresh tea.
“To make ordinary black tea or if you like Earl Grey (my preference), when using a tea bag, place the bag in the cup (usually a largish mug) and fill the kettle (preferably with filtered water) and turn on the kettle. When the kettle boils and switches itself off, immediately, while it is bubbling away, pour the water onto the tea bag. Pour from a reasonable height to oxygenate the tea.
“Fill, but leave space for 1/4 inch, 1/2 cm of milk – but wait for the tea to brew- (very important!) for 3 and a half minutes or so and give it some agitation by stirring a little. Add milk to taste, I use Organic Soya Alpro – this gives a lovely cuppa.
“If using fresh tea leaves and a tea pot, be sure to warm the pot by rinsing with hot water before adding the tea and boiling water. Use one teaspoon per person and one for the pot. Stir before serving. Cover with a tea cosy and top up occasionally with boiling water as required…
“Additionally, I have a kettle that has different heat settings. For ordinary black tea/ earl grey etc it is vital to use 100°. For fresh coffee it is important to use 90° water so that the grounds are not scalded, so do not become bitter therefore making a much smoother cup. For herbal teas, I find a gentle 80° makes a nice infusion without damaging the delicate herbs/ flowers etc.”
As a British manufacturer, we’re very proud of our roots and of what we achieve in this country. We’ve spent decades honing our skills and perfecting our water softener product, and we’ve grown our brand through a combination of home sales and exports to partners overseas.
We recognise that there is so much value in learning from other countries as well as our own, and hygge offered us the perfect opportunity to combine a foreign concept with home based values. That’s why we’ve put together this series of guides to creating the Great British Hygge.
If you’d like to learn more about Harveys as a brand, take a look at our about us page, where you’ll learn about our founder Harvey Bowden, our history and our future plans. You can find out more about our water softeners too, or book a demonstration to find out how soft water can contribute to an even more cosy British hygge.