Everything you need to know about how the Queen takes her tea


Four in 10 Britons drink tea like the Queen, pictured in 1977. (Getty Images)

A royal insider has revealed the “proper” way the Queen takes her tea and it turns out the method is quite popular.

Cup or mug? Milk first or last? Earl Gray or English breakfast? How to make the perfect cup of tea is a debate that has raged for years.

So who better to fix the problem than the queen herself, who has undoubtedly tasted more cups of tea than most?

Before the monarch Platinum Jubilee celebrations next week, a royal insider has revealed exactly how the Queen likes to drink her tea, other than from a porcelain cup of course.

Grant Harrold is the Queen’s former butler, so knows exactly how she likes her brew.

Speaking of the royal family’s favorite brands, Grant Revealed“I’m sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or Earl Gray in the traditional way, brewed with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine china teacup. She will also use a strainer.”

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Grant went on to note that the Queen always adds milk to the cup after tea because it’s the “right” way to do things.

“Since the 18th century, the ‘proper’ way to prepare tea has been to serve the tea before the milk, and that’s something the British royal family adheres to,” he said.

The British etiquette expert also explained how families at home can have their tea the same way as the Queen, giving a precise step-by-step guide.

a“Pour the tea into the cup from a teapot, add milk to the cup after the tea and never before, stir back and forth – never use a circular motion and never touch the sides.

“Finally, you should always sip from the cup and never sip.”

The Queen's former butler has revealed exactly how the Queen drinks her tea, pictured in 1998. (Getty Images)

The Queen’s former butler has revealed exactly how the Queen drinks her tea, pictured in 1998. (Getty Images)

It turns out that the queen’s favorite type and method of brewing the perfect cup of tea is a popular choice.

A new report from tea experts at British Tea and Infusions Association (UKTIA) found that four in ten people enjoyed a regular cup of Earl Gray – apparently the Queen’s favorite tea – while 20% drank Assam – another favorite brew of the palace.

The first-ever Tea Census Report also revealed that six in 10 (57%) add milk, as does the Queen, but unlike the Royal, 27% of Brits also add sugar.

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How to brew the perfect cup of tea

UKTIA manager Dr Sharon Hall also shared her tips for making the perfect cup of tea.

She suggests filling your kettle with fresh water, but only use what you need – to help take care of the environment.

“Using your cup, measure out the water you need for the number of cups you’re making and boil it,” she explains. “This will help save on energy costs and ensure a good flavored tea that develops best when brewed with freshly boiled water.”

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Dr Hall says it’s the lack of oxygen bubbles in boiled water that can cause tea to taste flat.

After boiling the water, Dr. Hall recommends adding one tea bag or heaped teaspoon of tea leaves per person to a porcelain or glass teapot.

“Never use a metal teapot as it can affect the flavor,” she adds.

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The Queen is an expert tea drinker, pictured in 1982. (Getty Images)

The Queen is an expert tea drinker, pictured in 1982. (Getty Images)

The next step is to add the boiled water and steep for at least three minutes. “This develops the flavor and maximizes the beneficial polyphenol compounds in the tea,” says Dr. Hall.

“Most black teas should be steeped for three to four minutes, while Lapsang Souchong black tea tastes best after four to five minutes.”

As for green tea, it should be steeped for three to four minutes, according to Dr. Hall, while oolong tea should be steeped for three to five minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea to be.

Finally, Dr. Hall suggests taking the queen’s approach to tea making and adding milk after the tea.

“Pour the steeped tea into a cup or mug and add a little milk if desired,” she says. “Or if you’re using a tea bag straight into your cup, remove the bag after steeping, before adding the milk. Sit back, relax and enjoy!”