11 JUNE 1988, Page 42

Nigella Lawson

GEORGE Orwell had 11 rules for the preparation of the perfect cup of tea, every one of which he regarded as 'golden'. But a rigid adherence to the Orwellian system of tea-making would be ill-suited to post-1948 — or indeed past-1984 — life. His recipe included detailed instructions down to the precise material of the teapot and the diameter of the cup. I have a simpler if less elegant approach.


water (hottish)

teabag (choice, in order of preference, Nisa, Marks and Spencer Extra Strong, Tetley) milk (to be poured straight from carton) Place teabag in mug. Keep one mug especially for this purpose, to save on washing up. Pick up kettle to check whether enough water left in it. After shaking, allow scale to settle. Boil and pour in mug. Press teabag against side of mug to allow for maximum infustion. Pour in milk. Give teabag one last squish; wrist should turn at an angle of 80°. Place teabag in yoghurt carton (choice, in order of preference, Bonjour, Ski, Waitrose).

Leave tea till almost cold. It should be drunk like schnapps — with one backward tilt of the head.