We British love our tea. Sure, these days there are plenty of coffee drinkers but tea remains the traditional, English, hot liquid refreshment. There are many guides to ensuring that your tea tastes good. Advice on the best tea to buy and the ideal way to brew your tea is everywhere.

A perfect cup of tea or cuppa

However, if you are following all of this advice and your tea tastes terrible what are you doing wrong?

It is easy to forget one or two basic issues

First, the quality of your drinking water

Whether you live in area with hard or soft water this could be the problem. If either is in the extreme, it can affect the taste of your cuppa. However, it is usually hard water that is the worst culprit.

Hard water can lead to a build up of lime scale in your kettle and ruin the flavour of any hot drinks. Water filtering jugs are much more affordable these days. Buy a reasonable brand and to save some cash use the non-brand universal filters. Ensure that you change this filter at least once a month.

Wash the jug thoroughly, in a dishwasher, if this is recommended. When you insert a new filter, take care to follow the guide on the filter's packaging. You must discard the water as recommended.

In order not to waste water, use this waste to water the garden or clean a path outside.

The state of your kettle

Using a water filter should help decrease the amount of lime-scale deposits inside your kettle. However, there may still be some. These can make a hot cuppa have a greasy looking film on the top and taste slimy.

Make sure that you de-scale your kettle regularly. Choose the correct descaler for your kettle. There are different ones for metal and plastic kettles. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Teapots also have a habit of becoming filthy. In no time at all a thick black or brown scale can build up inside. This tanning is often hard to remove. Buy denture cleaning tablets to do the job for you. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Most of these tablets are simply dropped into a teapot full of very hot water. Leave for at least 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly. You must rinse the teapot quite a few times or the denture cleaner will affect the taste of drinks.

Again, you can use this discarded water to clean drains or toilets, rather than simply wasting it.


  • If the quality of your water is very poor consider contacting your local authorities.

  • It may be beneficial to have a piece of scale control equipment added to your pipes or boiler. Lime scale does not only affect taste but it also damages appliances, such as boilers and washing machines.

  • Whether you penchant is for tea, coffee, hot chocolate or more, the quality of the water used, is a vital ingredient in achieving a good taste.

  • If you want your hot drinks to pass the taste test, make sure that you keep your water and boiling utensils in pristine condition.

Finally, remember that to make good tea the water should be piping hot, that is boiling.