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Lipton expert reveals how you’ve been making tea wrong

Despite being a tea loving nation, with one in two Australians drinking more than one cup a day, researchers from Lipton have revealed a number of shocking missteps that regular tea drinkers are making.
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If you are partial to a cup of tea, chances are you may be drinking it wrong.

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Despite being a tea loving nation, with one in two Australians drinking more than one cup a day, researchers from Lipton have revealed a number of shocking missteps that regular tea drinkers are making.

Scroll on as Lipton’s go-to expert Cheryle Teo ‘spills the tea’ on the faux pas you may be making when it comes to brewing and drinking the perfect cup of tea.

Tea Tip #1 – Steeping time 

According to Cheryl, the Lipton research suggests that more than 1 in 2 Australians are leaving the teabag in while drinking their tea (57%), while 1 in 5 are taking it out too soon (22%). 

“Ideally a black tea should only be steeped for three to five minutes. Any longer and this can lead to a bitter tasting tea. If you’re someone who enjoys a stronger brew, try adding an extra teabag instead of over-steeping. This will add body without bitterness,” she said.

Cheryl also provides a friendly reminder, “For those who like to squeeze the tea bag before removing it, this will not add any extra flavour, but rather increases the extraction which can also leave a bitter taste.” 

Tea Tip #2 – The teamaking order

According to Cheryl, milk should always follow water, not the other way around. “The 10% of Aussies who put their milk in first are not getting a read on the strength of their tea before diluting it with the preferred portion of milk. Adding milk last is the easiest way to ensure the strength of the tea is exactly what you’re looking for,” she explains.

Tea Tip #3 – Too sweet? 

With more than 1 in 3 Australians adding some sort of sweetener to their tea – be that sugar (25%) or honey (10%), Cheryl believes our thirst for a sweetener is a sign that we’ve got some work to do when it comes to making a balanced brew. 

“In my experience, most people are adding sweeteners to disguise the bitter taste of tea – usually a result of brewing the tea for too long. A good cup of tea is all about balance, so instead of reaching for the sugar, tweak your brewing parameters for a tastier tea,” she said.   

Tea Tip #4 – Nursing the cup

When it comes to good tea drinking practice, many of us admit we’ll leave the teaspoon in the mug (57%) and nurse the cup over using the handle (45%) to sip – or for 40% of us, slurp – our tea.

“From an etiquette point of view, you should definitely be using the handle of your teacup or mug,” says Cheryl, noting that while the way we hold our teacup won’t influence the flavour of our tea, the teacup we drink from certainly can. “The teacup you choose can enhance your tea drinking experience by a mile. A tall ceramic cup in winter will help to keep your tea warmer for longer, and for the summer tea drinkers, opt for a wide, shallow porcelain teacup. Meanwhile, sipping tea from a polystyrene or plastic cup is neither great for our health or the general experience of tea drinking. It’s best to stick to glass or ceramic,” Cheryl notes.  

For bonus points, Cheryl notes that sticking your pinkie up while drinking tea to look posh, is not, in fact, a thing, according to traditional tea etiquette. “If it makes your tea drinking experience more fun though, go for it!” she says.

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