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The Perfect Cup

September 19, 1996|JULIANNE TANTUM

Set a kettle of cold water to boil. As the water nears a boil, pour a little of it into the teapot to warm it; swirl the water around and discard it. For each cup of tea, place a spoonful of loose tea leaves into the empty, warmed teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot and let the tea steep 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the type of tea leaves.

Gently stir the tea before pouring it through strainers into teacups and offer milk, sugar cubes, lemon slices and honey. It is considered proper to pour the milk into the teacup before adding the tea. Doing otherwise would be quite uncouth.

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