RDP: Teapot

How to make tea

I remember when we made several pots of tea every day. Being a British family, we couldn’t get by without our “cuppa”. The teapot had to be large enough to accommodate everyone having at least two cups of tea.

There are various arguments about how tea should be made. I was taught that you take the pot to the kettle not the kettle to the pot. I thought it was to avoid the danger of carrying a heavy kettle of boiling water which you were more likely to spill than the lighter teapot. However, apparently it is because tea requires the water to be as hot as possible and it could cool in the time it takes to carry the kettle to the pot. With coffee they say you should do the opposite. You learn something new every day.

Mum also taught me that three level spoonsful of tea into the pot was plenty. We had a special flat, round spoon that was kept in the tea caddy for this. She didn’t believe that one spoonful per person per cup was necessary. It would have been pretty strong tea if we’d done that. Once you came to pour your tea you had to put the milk in first, or cream if you were being posh. We never did that.

If we were having a long session at the breakfast table or afternoon tea then more boiling water might be added to the pot after the first round of cups had been poured. Of course, you should not forget to stir it.

Here are some of Naomi’s vintage tea cups. Anyone for High Tea? Photo by Naomi

Mum also claimed that the second cup poured from the pot was the best one. The first was too weak for her liking. We always used a tea strainer but occasionally if there were a lot of tea leaves left in the cup mum would read our tea leaves.

It was many years before I switched from “real tea” to teabags. David did not like tea but he did develop a taste for coffee so that was what we drank. Naomi does not like coffee so now I am a tea drinker again. These days I drink tea in a mug and generally only have one at a time. I put the milk in last because I don’t like the way it looks poured into water with a tea bag in it. I have to jiggle my tea bag a lot before removing it to make a strong enough cuppa; then I add the milk. I tried making it in a pot one day but it tasted different. I think I’ll have to learn to make it properly all over again. And use a cup.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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