Go ahead. Put on a pot of coffee.

The bride is American, after all, and Brits are drinking more coffee than ever before, according to a recent survey conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and sponsored by the British Coffee Association.

Still…it wouldn’t be a royal wedding viewing party without proper tea.

Andrew Morton claims in his new book, “Meghan: A Hollywood Princess,” that Meghan Markle took lessons on how to take tea with the Queen a few months before she met the monarch. No one expects you to go to those lengths for royal wedding viewing parties, but there are a couple of simple things you can do to make the experience more authentic. “The most important thing about making tea in a pot is you have to warm the pot first,” says Jon Meek, a Londoner who now lives in Portland.

Pour hot water into the teapot and swirl it. Pour that water out and proceed to make your tea with tea leaves and fresh hot water. Why do this?

“I could tell you if you’re English, but I’m not allowed to tell you because you’re not,” Meek said. “We have to keep some of our British secrets secret, you know.”

Very funny. A little research turned up two explanations. The most plausible is that this method simply keeps your tea warm for longer since the warmed pot is no longer sucking heat out of the hot water. Then there’s the theory that gently warming the pot keeps a cold pot from cracking.

Next, choose your tea. Meek and his wife suggest a builders’ brew, a colloquial term for a very strong cup of tea. Meek prefers Yorkshire Gold, a blend of black teas from India and Africa that can be found in the international aisle at Shaw’s, or at Bridgham & Cook in Freeport.

“Everybody thinks English tea is Earl Grey,” Meek said. “It’s not got enough oomph. Yorkshire Gold is the nectar of the gods.”

Other suggestions for your teapot:

Ray Marcotte, co-owner of Dobra Tea in Portland, suggests “Qi Hong Mao Feng.” The English call it “Keemun,” for the Chinese county where the tea is produced. Keemun is indispensable to superior English breakfast blends, usually along with Indian Assam teas and Ceylon (Sri Lankan) teas, Marcotte wrote in an email from Thailand, where he is on a buying trip. “There is no such thing as English breakfast tea,” he said. “It is merely a blend of black teas from different countries. Keemun drunk on its own is far superior to any breakfast blend, so it would be absolutely appropriate for a royal wedding.”

Jacqueline Soley, owner of Jacqueline’s Tea Room in Freeport, sells an English breakfast blend, as well as a tea called “Duchess of Cambridge,” which she blended herself and named after Kate Middleton when she married Prince William. “It is similar to Lady Grey. It’s an Earl Grey with a little more citrus, and it’s a little lighter than the Earl Grey.”

She also suggests Bridal Bouquet, a flavored white tea with a hint of floral and citrus undertones, and Love Potion, a black tea flavored with roses, red fruits and vanilla.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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