The International Standard Cup Of Tea

We can all agree that standards vary depending upon where you are located in this world. There is an American way for drinking tea, a British way of drinking tea, a Japanese way of drinking tea and so forth and so on. However, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) section ISO 3103 concludes upon an international way of drinking tea. The ISO even created a standard on how to run a standard organization. Their goal for this standard, no matter where you are in the world, is to have one way to play it safe in terms of making tea. To maintain consistent results, the following are recommendations given by the standard:

  • The pot should be white porcelain or glazed earthenware and have a partly serrated edge. It should have a lid that fits loosely inside the pot.
  • If a large pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 310 ml (±8 ml) and must weigh 200 g (±10 g).
  • If a small pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 150 ml (±4 ml) and must weigh 118 g (±10 g).
  • 2 grams of tea (measured to ±2% accuracy) per 100 ml boiling water is placed into the pot.
  • Freshly boiling water is poured into the pot to within 4-6 mm of the brim.
  • The water should be similar to the drinking water where the tea will be consumed
  • Brewing time is six minutes.
  • The brewed tea is then poured into a white porcelain or glazed earthenware bowl.
  • If a large bowl is used, it must have a capacity of 380 ml and weigh 200 g (±20 g)
  • If a small bowl is used, it must have a capacity of 200 ml and weigh 105 g (±20 g)
  • If the test involves milk, then it can be added before or after pouring the infused tea.
  • Milk added after the pouring of tea is best tasted when the liquid is between 65 - 80 °C.
  • 5 ml of milk for the large bowl, or 2.5 ml for the small bowl, is used.

If you travel out of the country and are not informed on the countries traditions and practices for drinking tea, according to the ISO, you can’t go wrong by using the above standards. Their standards does not make your way of making tea wrong. It just sets a default and reproducible cup for everyone to make.

Luckily, section 3103 did not include a specific type of loose leaf tea to use. They left that up to you! To explore our wide selection of exotic loose leaf tea, visit our website at