Hubert Burda Media

Stephen Twining: The Perfect Cup of Tea

The 10th generation descendant of the Twinings tea clan shares with us seven steps to brew the perfect cup of tea. 

As a man who drinks at least nine cups of tea a day, Stephen Twining realised that he wanted to join the family business since he was eight. Twinings is a premium brand renowned for their perfect brew of teas and has been bestowed the honour of being an official Royal Warrant holder since 1837, supplying teas to members of the British Monarchy.

As the 10th generation descendant of the Twinings name, Stephen has garnered experience outside his ancestral heritage, including working for a small London brokerage in the financial service sector before joining a tea brokerage to hone his basic tea-tasting skills. In 1985, he joined the family business and is currently serving as the director of corporate relations for Twinings, travelling to various locations around the world to share his passion for tea with others. On a recent trip to Malaysia, Stephen shares with us a few of his favourite tricks on how to brew the perfect cup of tea.


Quality of water

Good tap water helps to bring out the tea’s best quality. Using distilled water will result in a dull pot of tea.


The right measurement

Stephen recommends one teaspoon of loose tea leaves for each person and an extra teaspoon for the pot.


Colour and flavour

The colour and flavour of the tea are two separate components and not linked. Stephen strongly advises against jiggling the teabag in hot water to hasten the process as it will not yield a good cup of flavoured tea.


Brewing time

Allow four to five minutes for the loose tea leaves to brew and three minutes for the teabag. This will ensure that you will be able to fully savour a well-brewed cup of tea.


Additional touches

Stephen’s personal preference when it comes to enjoying a cup of tea is with a dash of low-fat milk or a slice of lemon.



Always store your tea in an airtight container to retain its natural flavour.


Teapot maintenance

Heavy black tea is bound to leave unwanted stains inside your teapot, hence disrupting the natural taste of your tea. Stephen recommends performing a heavy-duty cleanse on your teapots at least once a year by adding some baking soda to remove the stains completely.