Wartime Tea Making Tips, c.1941

Drinking a cup of tea in London during the Blitz

In 1941 wartime England, the country was going through some of its darkest days. Believe or not, the simple cup of tea was extremely important to everyone, not only as a comforting solace, but as a means of reviving the spirit as well.

But even in time of war, not just any cup of tea would do – it had to be a proper cup of tea. In order to help those working in mobile canteens learn the rules of making the best cup of tea possible for troops and bombing victims alike, a short training film was created. Fortunately, this tea video survives in the BFI National Archive, and I thought you would like to see it.



As you watch the video, look for the poster on the wall behind the mad scientist tea instructor that says Tea Revives the World. The print became a rallying cry during the war, reminding people that tea would help them Keep Calm and Carry On. I’ll be talking more about the Tea Revives the World poster in the future.

Five years after this film was produced, George Orwell shared his personal tea-making tips in an essay about how to make a nice cup of tea. Those, and the ones in this video (below), are generally recognised as the golden rules for making tea.

6 tips for making proper tea

1. Always use a good quality tea

2. Always use freshly drawn water

3. Remember to warm the teapot or urn

4. Measure the right quantity of tea for the amount of water in the pot

5. The water must reach boiling point; pot-to-the-kettle, not kettle-to-the-pot

6. Let the tea brew for 5-10 minutes before serving


I hope you enjoy this nostaligic, atmospheric video on tea making tips circa 1941. Leave me a comment and let me know.


“Make every cup you make, be a cup that cheers.”


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