Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to do Tea in the USA

You'd think there was nothing we British didn't know about tea but if you're coming this way, I have a few pointers for you in my latest BBC America column.


  1. Just for my own edification - I always thought that 'builder's tea' was simply tea that was exceptionally dark and strong - had been steeped for a long time. I noticed, though, in the comments, that one of the readers said she worked somewhere that sold 'Builder's Tea.' Is my understand wrong/outdated? Is 'Builder's Tea' today just a brand?

  2. The French don't know how to make tea either. I've given up asking for a cup when I'm out. I just go for coffee now instead and even that's a bit hit and miss (mostly miss).

  3. Builder's tea generally means just what you say, MsC, but there is now a brand with the name too. It's good - takes no time to brew and it very dark and strong.

  4. I've found that different people make tea in completely different ways......... and all think their way is best.
    I don't like it when someone dunks the teabag in some hot water for a few seconds & then puts milk in it. That must surely be coloured water and tastes like it too. Cafes often do this.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  5. My biggest gripe in the US is that the "hot" water usually is heated in a microwave and it is not hot and just doesn't taste the same. Kudos to Panera who does a good job with heating the water properly.

  6. I can't stand tea, despite being British, though I like some of the green / fruit / iced sorts.

    But I do know how to make a proper cup of tea! If I'm making it in the mug I even warm the mug, not that my husband notices whether I do so or not, I don't think. He is not allowed to kiss me after drinking tea, unless he cleans his teeth first. Bleurgh.

    Builder's tea is just evil, as is any tea with too much milk in it, or whole milk / cream. Yuck. Yet another sign I should emigrate...

  7. In most US restaurants tea drinkers are second class citizens. Whenever possible I ask for green tea when I'm out since the water is never hot enough to brew a decent cuppa.

  8. do you agree that every cup of tea tastes different, even if you make it with the same brand?


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