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Tea Time

George Orwell's cup of tea

In January, 1946, London's Evening Standard ran a column by George Orwell laying out his 11 points for making the perfect cup of tea. Perhaps the most controversial of these is number 10. To this day, the issue of whether to add the milk first or last has not been fully resolved. Orwell was firmly in the "milk last" camp, his reasoning being that "by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk, whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round." If you have other ideas, let us know at

  1. Always use Indian or Ceylonese tea.
  2. Tea should be made in small quantities in a teapot.
  3. The pot should be warmed beforehand.
  4. The tea should be strong - 6 heaping teaspoons to 1 quart of water.
  5. The leaves should go straight into the pot; do not use strainers or muslin bags.
  6. Bring the teapot to the kettle and not the other way around.
  7. After adding boiling water, stir the pot, or give it a good shake.
  8. Drink tea from a cylindrical cup, not the flat shallow kind.
  9. Use low-fat milk.
  10. Always pour the tea in first, then add the milk.
  11. Never add sugar to your tea.

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