A Proper English
Pot of Tea
This method of making tea is preferred throughout Great Britain and Ireland.
Always use freshly drawn cold water; hot water loses its life in the heater tank. If the public water supply has a high mineral or chlorine content, use spring water. Bring the water just to a boil, then remove from the heat immediately; further boiling causes oxygen loss. Act quickly, for the water will cool as it stands; it needs to be as close to the boiling point as possible for the tea to brew properly.
Pour some of the boiling water into the teapot and swish it around to warm the pot thoroughly. Pour out the water. Put into the pot 1 teaspoon of tea leaves or 1 tea bag per cup, and add one more for the pot. Pour the hot water directly onto the tea leaves, then replace the lid and cover the pot with a tea cozy or a thick dish towel to keep the pot well-insulated. Allow the tea to steep for 3-5 minutes, but no longer, or it will become bitter. When the tea has finished brewing, remove the leaves or tea bags from the pot.
Sugar and milk may be added if desired; do not use cream, as the fat adversely affects the flavor of the tea.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook