Our Scientific Correctness Survey #22 (1998-07-11) asked:

What is the proper way to make a cup of tea?

We received hundreds of responses. One of the more determined came from investigator Richard Farmer, who insists that "the traditional British method of making a good cup a tea" is:
  1. Boil and cool water in a kettle for a minimum of ten years, never draining the water or cleaning the kettle. The kettle must have a nice thick calcium ring inside the kettle, it retains flavour and brings out the true taste of the tea.

  2. Purchase the absolutely cheapest brand of `floor dustings' tea. This is the `finest' brand of tea, as it is very finely chopped and has matured on the floor of a third world tea factory.

  3. Place on counter eight tea cups. In the first cup, place one tea bag. Fill first cup with lukewarm water. Drain tea bag and place in second cup and fill with lukewarm water. Continue until eighth cup.

  4. In eighth cup, pour either cream or milk, to ones desired level of choice and same with sugar.

  5. Accidentally, spill tea into saucer, pour back into cup, repeat until bored.

  6. Let tea sit until cold.

  7. Throw out first seven cups of tea, it was only a filter to remove the goodness of the tea bag.

  8. Nap.

  9. Drink, if needed, the cup of cold, weak tea.