Kid-friendly Black Tea Cuppa Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Black Tea Cuppa

Recipe: Black Tea Cuppa

Black Tea Cuppa

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Axel Bueckert/
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
6-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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Black Tea Cuppa

When your British pal asks if you, “fancy a cuppa?” they’re asking if you’d like a cuppa (cup of) tea. Depending on when and how you’re drinking it, there’s a different name for the experience! Elevenses is the name for late-morning tea served with a simple snack. An informal, late afternoon tea served with heartier foods like meat and cheese – is known as high tea. The formal version – the sit-down affair with finger sandwiches and pastries that Americans think of as “going to tea” – that’s called afternoon tea. And last, but not least, is the fly-cup – a quick cuppa that’s taken “on the fly” between meals!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • steep :

    to soak a food, like tea, in water or other liquid so as to bring out its flavor.

Equipment Checklist



Black Tea Cuppa

  • 3 decaf black tea bags
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 4 C water
  • 2 to 3 C ice (optional)


Black Tea Cuppa

steep + simmer

Combine 4 cups of water with 3 decaf black tea bags in a medium-large pot and turn the heat to medium. This is steeping; the water will slowly transform into tea.

add + dissolve + serve

Once the tea begins to simmer, add 1/4 cup of sugar (or more to taste) and stir to dissolve. Remove the tea from the heat. Serve either hot right away or cool and serve over ice.

Surprise Ingredient: Tea!

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Photo by Sun Shock/

Hi, I'm Tea!

"I'm a drink made from plant parts, like leaves and flowers. I like to think I'm sweet enough, but some tea drinkers like to add honey or sugar to me, and some add milk to black tea to cool it down. You can drink tea hot or iced!"


  • The history of tea began in China as far back as 5,000 years ago. 
  • An old Chinese legend says a man was out walking one day when he accidentally tasted the juices from a tea plant leaf. He thought it tasted great and felt the tea had unique medicinal properties.
  • Another legend suggests it was a mythical emperor called Shennong who discovered tea when a tea blossom fell into a cup of hot water he was drinking.
  • At that time, tea was drunk fresh with the new leaves being mixed with hot water. In those days, the tea leaves were not allowed to oxidize (to combine with oxygen, causing darker leaves), so the leaves remained green. It was only later that oolong and black or red teas were developed. Black tea is fully oxidized, and oolong is semi-oxidized. 
  • Tea drinking grew in popularity and became a pastime for the rich. Fine teas were only available to those who could afford them, and green teas were even used as currency. 
  • Elaborate tea ceremonies developed involving large sets of tea-making equipment. Tea houses sprung up, and tea connoisseurs prided themselves on the quality of their leaves and their tea-making skills.
  • In the 1600s, merchants brought tea to Europe and the United States. Since then, tea drinking has blossomed. 
  • Tea is the most-consumed beverage on the planet, other than water. It is even more popular than coffee and cola! 
  • China is the largest producer of tea, followed by India and Kenya. 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Tea comes from the cured or fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, an evergreen growing mainly in warmer and humid climates. 
  • Although the plants can grow up to 52 feet, they are usually kept no higher than waist level to make picking the tender leaves at the top easier.
  • Tea should be kept dry and stored in an airtight container, away from light and heat if possible. Black teas last longer than green teas. Teas made from flowers have an even shorter shelf life. 
  • The word "tea" comes from the mid-17th century Malay "teh" or the Chinese (Min) "te." 

How to Buy & Use

  • Tea can be purchased in various forms. Tea bags are often used today; however, you can still buy loose tea. Cans and bottles of brewed tea, sweetened or unsweetened, are also available, with fruit flavors sometimes added to the tea. 
  • Crushed tea leaves and brewed tea can be used in savory and sweet recipes. 
  • Herbal teas are made from the various parts of edible plants, including fresh or dried flowers, fruit, roots, or seeds.  


  • Teas from the Camellia sinensis plant (white, green, oolong, and black) have high levels of antioxidants which help prevent cancer. Flavonoids in tea help heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Another health benefit of tea is improving gut health by promoting good bacteria and inhibiting harmful bacteria. 
  • Teas from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant contain varying amounts of caffeine. Black tea has the most, followed by oolong, green, and white.  
  • Most herbal teas do not contain caffeine; however, they are not necessarily more healthy than black tea. Always check for plant allergies and herb and drug interactions before ingesting herbal teas.

History of High Tea!

Photo by CA Eccles/
  • Tea in Great Britain is a way of life. Even though afternoon tea has been a quintessential daily ritual for the British since the mid-1800s, drinking tea this way was not the norm for every household. High tea, in particular, was not a delicate affair like the early afternoon tea of the upper social classes.
  • People who worked manual labor jobs couldn’t take time out to be served a cup of afternoon tea and biscuits. Their tea break was later and included hearty, substantial food. It came at the end of a long workday and was more like supper.
  • They called it “high,” probably because they sat at higher kitchen tables rather than the low tables and comfortable chairs of the upper class.

Let's Learn About the United Kingdom!

Photo by Irina Wilhauk/
  • The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a country in western Europe. Its constituent countries* include England, Scotland, and Wales on the island of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the northeastern part of the island of Ireland. (*A constituent country is part of a larger country.)
  • The total area of the United Kingdom is 93,628 square miles with over 67 million people. That is almost the size of the state of Oregon; however Oregon's population is only six percent of the UK's population.
  • The UK government is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The official and national language is English, and several regional languages are recognized, too, such as Scots, Cornish, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic.

THYME for a Laugh

"Knock, knock!"

"Who’s there?"


"Chai who?" 

"Don’t be Chai (shy). Open the door and have some tea with me!"

Lettuce Joke Around

Why must you be careful of tea at night? 

Because it might mug you.

The Yolk's On You

What do teapots wear to a tea party? 


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