Confused about how to make tea? The International Organisation for Standardisation are here to help, with 4 pages of instructions!
They specify everything from the material of the teapot (white porcelain or glazed earthenware) to the amount of milk (2.5 ml if using a 200 ml cup) to the brewing time (6 minutes)
This isn’t quite as ludicrous as it sounds - the very specific set of instructions is designed for use in ‘sensory tests’ - if you’re trying to compare the taste of 2 different kinds of tea, it’s reasonable to make sure that both cups were prepared in the same way.
Tea superfan and occasional novelist George Orwell would not have approved, as the instructions dictate that you should put the milk in the cup before the tea
This violates the 10th of his 11 Golden Rules For Making Tea, along with never using sugar and not bothering with Chinese tea (it doesn’t leave you feeling “wiser, braver or more optimistic”, apparently).
If you’re intent on making sure your tea meets ISO standards, you can buy a PDF from them for just £25 - that’s just £6.25 a page!
Worried 4 pages won’t be enough HOT TEA ACTION?
Don’t worry, ISO 3103 is only one of 25 different ISO standards related to tea, including “Instant tea in solid form — Specification” and “Tea — Determination of acid-insoluble ash”.
Hours of extremely precise fun!
Or like us, just put 20p in the machine, press the button for ‘tea’, and attempt to enjoy your cup of warm brown ‘substance’.