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The perfect cup of tea around the globe

By: Angela Nelson on Feb. 1, 2017, 7:32 a.m.
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Behind Turkey, Ireland is the second leading consumer of tea per person on the planet. The Irish custom of "taking tea" or having a "cuppa tea" happens multiple times a day: There's the morning one at breakfast, a traditional tea at 11 a.m., afternoon tea between 3 and 5 p.m., and high tea at 6 p.m.

How to make a proper cup: Irish tea is most often Assam tea, also known as Irish breakfast tea, which is a blend of black teas. (Try Barry's and Lyons, recommends Irish Central.)

In Ireland, proper tea is served from a teapot in teacups. Prep the pot by scalding it before adding the leaves or the tea bags, according to the Irish American Mom. Add a small amount of boiling water to the empty pot, swish it around for at least 10 seconds to remove residue from previous brews, then discard the hot water.

Add one teaspoon of fresh loose leaf tea per person plus one to the pot. Top the teapot with boiling water from the kettle, and steep for three to four minutes, says the Farmer's Almanac. Whether the tea is weak or strong depends on the individual, but many Irish folks like their tea strong with plenty of milk and sometimes sugar.

When you drink four to six cups of tea a day, they won't all be in such style. Using a mug with a teabag for breakfast or in the afternoon is no big deal — be sure to add a biscuit or not-too-sweet cookie on the side. High tea is served with all the expected accompaniments: Irish soda bread, tiny sandwiches, scones with jam and cakes.

Oh, and tea is never (ever) served iced, even on the hottest days.