The Queen's Tea Purveyor Shares the Secret to the Perfect Cup of Tea

Here's the difference between tea and royal tea.

It turns out you may have more in common with Queen Elizabeth than you think. At least when it comes to how you enjoy a nice cup of tea.

In an interview with Town & Country, Stephen Twining, Twinings Tea's director of corporate relations and a 10th-generation tea merchant, shared the exact recipe for making the Queen's perfect cup of tea. However, there were a few things he wouldn't share — namely, the Queen's favorite flavor.

"The first rule of doing business with the Royal households is of course confidentiality," he said, noting that his family has held the royal warrant for tea since it was bestowed on them in 1837 by Queen Victoria. "As a company, we've had the honor of supplying every successive British King and Queen from that day to the very current day."

But, Twining did share his method to brewing a Queen-ready cup. According to him, it all begins by warming your tea kettle and then discarding the first bit of hot liquid.

Queen Elizabeth II joins Mrs. Susan McCarron, her ten-year-old son, James, and Housing Manager Liz McGinniss for tea in their home in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow in Scotland on July 7, 1999.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Next, fill it with cool water and bring it just to its boiling point. Pour that water over the tea bag into a mug and let it steep. Black tea should steep for a full four minutes, Twining noted.

"In tea, color is not flavor," Twining added. So even if you think your tea looks ready, let it sit for the full four minutes. Then, add in any of your favorite fixings like milk, honey, or sugar. "You must enjoy it the way you like it," he says.

As for which flavor the Queen loves most, it's rumored she enjoys Twining's Earl Grey.

As Taste of Home reported, Queen Elizabeth reportedly loves a hot cup in the morning with a splash of milk and no sugar. She then asks for a second cup of Earl Grey as part of her afternoon tea. Though, the website did note she sometimes switches things up and requests Darjeeling tea, accompanied by a sweet treat, in the afternoons.

All this means you can spend five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon doing the exact same thing as the most famous royal in the world, all for just 12 cents a tea bag.

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