（Contributed by Karl)
The first record of tea came from an English merchant abroad in 1615, Richard Wickham, who ran an East India Company office in Japan . A typical British tea ritual might run as follows
The kettle is brought to a boil (with fresh water to ensure good oxygenation which is essential for proper diffusion of the tea leaves).
Enough boiling water is swirled around the teapot to warm it and then poured out.
Add loose tea leaves (usually black tea) or tea bags, always added before the boiled water.
Fresh boiling water is poured over the tea in the pot and allowed to brew for 2 to 5 minutes while a tea cosy may be placed on the pot to keep the tea warm.
A tea strainer is placed over the top of the cup and the tea poured in, unless tea bags are used. Tea bags may be removed, if desired, once desired strength is attained.
Fresh milk and white sugar are added, usually by the guest. Most people have milk with their tea, many without sugar.
The pot will normally hold enough tea so as not to be empty after filling the cups of all the guests. If this is the case, the tea cosy is replaced after everyone has been served. Hot water may be provided in a separate pot, and is used only for topping up the pot, never the cup.
A mid-18th century tea pot
Whether to put milk into the cup before or after the tea has been a matter of debate since at least the mid-20th century. British workers have the right in law to a minimum of a 20-minute break in a shift of six hours, government guidelines describe this as “a tea or lunch break”. More informally, this is known as elevenses, i.e. a couple of hours before the mid-day meal, traditionally served at 1pm.
When the British have a “cuppa” (a cup of tea), there is usually a biscuit nearby. Dunking biscuits in tea is a custom that was exported around the globe. McVitie’s biscuits are the most popular biscuits in the UK to “dunk” in tea, with McVitie’s chocolate digestives. Rich tea and Hobnobs ranked the nation’s top three favourite biscuits in 2009.
Builder’s tea in a mug is typical of a quick break in the working day.
Tea with milk.
Not sure if the milk was poured in after or before!! I always pour it in after.