Before we begin, let's put some arguments to rest:
Firstly, I am British, ergo, I know how to make tea. Secondly, coffee can suck my ass because tea is better. This guide is about the ULTIMATE tea but sadly that requires the use of leaves and teapots which is largely unsuitable for the individual cuppa. I will shortly be creating a different guide about making 'the loner cuppa'. Finally, this guide is definitive so, while you may disagree with my methods, doing so simply makes you wrong. Ok, let's begin.
Cravendale full-fat or semi-skimmed (but never skimmed) milk
Mugs ('cups' are for gays)
Hob nobs (may be omitted but NOT replaced)
Fill the kettle with sufficient water to then fill the teapot. Boil the kettle.
Spoon the tea leaves into the tea pot using the formula (1 x T) + 1 where T is the number of people for whom who you are making tea.
Pour the boiled water into the teapot and stir it for 20-30 seconds. Place the teapot lid on and cover with the tea cosy.
Allow it to brew for 6 minutes. More than that and it will be stewed, less and it will be weasel piss. Have a stopwatch handy if needed.
The best way to utilise this time is to prepare the mugs. Add 45ml of milk (3 tbsp) to each mug and the required sweetening agent. I recommend one teaspoon of sugar or one sweetener.
Remove the teacosy and pour the tea. Hold the teapot with your dominant hand and the tea strainer with the other. Rest the strainer on the mug but keep hold of it and pour the tea slowly.
Reduce the pouring angle as you reach the full level which is just before the level reaches the tea strainer, then lift the strainer off the mug and move to the next. Proceed quickly but without excessive haste.
If any of the poured teas appear to have a broken 'skin' to them, this is becasue you caused too much turbulence or the water was not sufficiently hot. Throw away this tea, I will not accept failure!
If there appear to be tea leaves floating in the mug, remove them carefully with the teaspoon if possible. If there are more than one or two, dispose of the tea and repour that one.
Immediately stir the teas. A quick twice round each in turn followed by a more comprehensive stirring of 10-15 rotations, alternating direction half way through.
Taste your own tea if you have made yourself one. If it is not perfect, throw them all down the sink and start again, perfection is the only goal worth aiming for.
Place the mugs on a tray with a plate of hob nobs and serve to your fellow drinkers.
If you choose to dunk your hobnobs, hold them in for no more than 2 seconds to avoid impairing their texture. Dunk no more than 3 hob nobs per cuppa or you will be left with excessive biscuit crumbs, and no one wants to have to chew their tea!
If you live outside the UK I strongly suggest importing some 'real' tea. Yorkshire is the home of good british tea and I through years of tea drinking I have found nothing to compare to the quality of Yorkshire Gold. Hob nobs are the greatest biscuits of all time and their strength even when sodden makes them perfect for tea.
Finally, this is a tongue in cheek article, please don't email me telling me i'm homophobic or that Oolong is proper tea and british stuff is a bastardisation of the Chinese origins of tea. If you want to use other biscuits, skimmed milk, or a delicate china cup, go ahead, I'm not the boss of you!