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How To Make A Proper Cup Of Tea

There's much more to tea-making than a simple bag and a kettle

Published on October 1st 2014.

How To Make A Proper Cup Of Tea


KALPA Gosrani is responsible for the tea menu at Proper Tea, the delightful tea rooms adjacent to Manchester Cathedral. This 54 seat café is co-owned by Yvette Cooper and her business partner Gary McClarnan, who also owns the Northern Quarter’s successful Teacup restaurant and Bonbon Chocolate boutique. Kalpa's tea obsession began when she visited a tea plantation in Sri Lanka which encouraged her to go on and explore different types of tea in countries such as China and Taiwan.

Kalpa has just introduced a series of Proper Tea workshops for people who want to learn more about what makes a great cup of tea

As the name 'Proper Tea' suggests, they haven't just settled for offering their guests a common or garden builder's brew from a teabag. Kalpa's tea menu consists of over 30 high quality loose leaf tea blends, sourced from smaller tea gardens and plantations all over the world who are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP).

Tea WorkshopTea Workshops

Single estate pure leaf teas are divided into groups on the menu; white tea leaves are raw and delicate , green teas are grassy and fresh, Wu-long teas are medium bodied with a natural perfume and black teas are more full bodied and work well with milk. Kalpa's Proper Tea menu also lists no less than five Earl Grey teas as well as herbal infusions and flowering blends.

Kalpa's work as a 'tea specialist' doesn't end with choosing the blends; she also trains Proper Tea staff so they can recommend the right tea for each customer. Each blend comes with Kalpa's detailed brewing guide which lists the optimum steeping time and ideal water temperature for each tea.

This might seem like a lot of fuss for a simple brew, but for thousands of years in the Orient, tea making was always performed as part of a ceremony.

Tea_06Kalpa’s tea tutorials

“The beneficial effects of proper tea are often overlooked,” says Kalpa. “It's more relaxing to take time out to enjoy a well made, higher quality, loose leaf tea.”

Kalpa has just introduced a series of two hour Proper Tea workshops (£30pp) for groups of eight to come along on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings and learn more about what makes a great cup of tea. They recommend people start with 'Proper Tea Developer Part 1' which covers the different types of tea in more detail, plus health benefits, food matching and how to get the best flavour out of each one.

It's always good to take a moment to appreciate something simple that often gets taken for granted, like a really good cuppa. Pop into Proper Tea next time you're passing and see how you can really tell the difference.

Proper Tea serves a classic Afternoon Tea with bubbly for two for £40 (£20pp) and a great value High Tea (toasted sandwich, scone with jam and organic clotted cream, loose leaf tea) for four for £40 (£10pp). Both are available as gift vouchers.

Find out more about Proper Tea.

Afternoon TeaAfternoon Tea

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