The Great British Bake Off judge shares her tips on how to make the perfect pot of Earl Grey

Mary Berry at the London Book Fair 2015

Mary Berry only drinks one cup of tea each day © REX Shutterstock

 

Mary Berry has proved to be a perfectionist a number of times in her position as a judge on The Great British Bake Off.

But the food writer and TV presenter’s quest to achieve brilliance doesn’t only apply to creating show-stopping cakes and bakes on the show and at home – she’s rather particular about making tea too.

‘I like the idea of being quintessentially British and only drink tea in the afternoon,’ she says.

‘I have a cup of hot water when I wake up. Then I have coffee. In the afternoon I like weak Earl Grey with milk but no sugar – perfect.’

Although most of us enjoy a couple of brews over the course of a day, Mary limits herself to ensures that she really enjoys every sip.

‘It’s how I was brought up – nothing in excess, everything should be treated as something special.’

The 80-year-old also insists on serving her tea in a bone china cup sat on a saucer and never takes sugar because she loves to have it with a biscuit or slice of cake.

Paint a teapot

Having seen how methodical Mary is when it comes to weighing sugar, sieving lumps out of her flour and combining flavours in the kitchen, we’re hardly surprised to learn that she’s devised a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfecting cup.

After filling up her kettle with fresh water and warming her teapot, Mary adds one teaspoon of leaves per person and an extra one for the pot.

‘Put the lid on the teapot and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Give it a stir, let the leaves drop and pour,’ Mary tells The Guardian.

‘If using teabags, let them infuse for a few minutes. Do not squeeze as this forces the flavour.’

And finally when it comes to pouring, Mary is a firm believer that milk should always follow the tea.

That way she avoids the problem of adding too much or to little at the start.