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13th Nov 2019

A thorough dissection of Boris Johnson’s tea making technique

Ciara Knight

Mate, mate, mate, mate, mate

At the request of precisely 0.00 people, Boris Johnson has shared a Q&A video on Twitter.

It features the Prime Minister answering such hot topic questions as “How do you typically start your day?”, “What’s your favourite band?” and “Isn’t it funny that both your first name and surname are synonyms for penis?”

It’s difficult to say what the worst part of this blatant rip off of Vogue’s 73 Questions series is, but the part where Boris Johnson makes a cup of tea certainly lands in the top three somewhere.

In order to understand this heinous act, we much delve deeper than is particularly comfortable. We must attempt to understand the ununderstandable.


Rule number one of making a cup of tea in an office – To signify that you are about to do so, simply slap your hands upon your knees, stand bolt upright and say, “Right, tea anyone?”. The volume at which you say it is entirely up to you, depending on how many cups you’re willing to make. If more than two people oblige, it is at that point you can say “Might need a bit of help carrying them back, haha!”, and you will be assigned a helper.

Boris has neglected to signal that he is making a cup of tea. He casually strolls into the work kitchen without consulting those nearby, nor the person operating the camera. The camera operator was never going to take him up on the offer, that would be a logistical nightmare, but it still would’ve been good PR for Boris to ask. This is a man who once emerged from his own house, dishevelled and sporting a half-zip jumper, offering tea to the media standing around outside, but we are to believe that he has reassessed his tea offering remit when in the confines of an office? I smell a rat.


Try to distract yourself from what appears to be a plastic container of plums and unripe lemons for a second. Look beyond the tiles above the countertop that appear to be modelled on the London skyline and just observe the distance between Boris’ hand and the cup. He has just delicately placed the teabag into the cup like a sociopath. When you’re making tea at work, you’re given a golden opportunity to kill some time. This involves testing your motor skills by seeing how from how far away you can land the teabag into the cup. This is called teabag golf and it is an internationally recognised Olympic sport.

Boris shows a lack of appetite for banter here. Whether the entire scene is constructed or not, this is the act of a media trained man. Gingerly plopping a teabag into a cup is the same as removing a straw from its paper enclosure without propelling it right into someone’s eye. It shows too much self restraint and exposes the PM as an untrustworthy person. Obama would play teabag golf. So would Michael D. Higgins. Nobody is too busy to toss a teabag into a cup from five, ten, even fifteen feet away. This is a setup.


Mumbling on about how “simple” the upcoming election is, Boris peels himself away from the kettle-wielding countertop and makes his way towards a standalone tap beside the sink. For those of us that didn’t grow up as royalty, we are baffled. Is he going to put cold water in the cup? An act so heinous, it still wouldn’t even reach the top fifty worst things Boris has ever done? Oh wait, no. It’s one of those instant hot water taps, the kind you see in home improvement TV shows and rich YouTubers’ vlogs. Boris Johnson – man of the people, user of a £500 tap. He simply cannot wait the 160 seconds a standard kettle takes to boil, he must have that water instantly so that he can free up enough time to not brush his hair.

Making tea in the office is very simple. You fill the kettle to the brim so that you can stay away from the desk for as long as possible, playing teabag golf while you wait and fantasising about a time when you won’t have to sit at the same desk beside the same people every day until you die. Then the kettle switch startles you a little, at which point you make your tea and saunter back to work. That is the process. An instant hot water tap shortens the procedure, presumably to aid productivity by minimising wait time. It is a truly repugnant concept and one I am absolutely certain Boris advocated for.


You must always sniff the communal milk, everyone knows that. We’ve all been in the grimmest situation imaginable, whereby you return to your desk, take a victory sip of tea and immediately vomit upon yourself, laptop, coworkers, office dog and the CEO of the company after ingesting milk that was long past its expiration date. Once that happens, you always sniff the communal milk before use. Even if it’s in date, that doesn’t guarantee that Lucy from accounting has remembered to put it back into the fridge after attempting to drown her granola each morning. Human error must always be factored into your tea making process.

Boris confidently pours the semi-skimmed milk into his tea. This was probably the fourth time they’d filmed the sequence, and there’s absolutely no chance he actually drank the brew afterwards, but it still lacks realism. He neglects to give the milk a quick whiff, or even throw a casual eye over the best before date. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom believes that he is above the law when it comes to using communal milk. “If this milk transpires to be gone off, I will simply charm it into being ripe once more”, he’s thinking as he prepares a cup of tea that will be poured into the sink upon commencement of filming.


Wherever you land on the ‘How much milk is a sociopathic amount to put in your tea?’ debate, we can all agree that the teabag must have left the cup before the milk is added. Anything else goes beyond the limits of nature, science and technology. Nobody should ever have to fish out a teabag carcass exhibiting a marbled hue of teabag colour mixed with snow white milky goodness. That is a hate crime against yourself. The teabag goes in, the water goes in, the teabag comes out, the milk goes in, the concoction goes into your body. End of play.

But Boris Johnson may never have made a cup of tea before in his life. Based on the accumulating evidence detailed above, it’s entirely plausible that he was taught (incorrectly) how to do it mere moments before the camera started filming. The teacher was very clearly a societal deviant, and Boris has learned their disgusting technique, filmed it and shared it with his 1.23 million Twitter followers. Or, very simply, he makes tea wholly incorrectly, of his own volition. Neither of those are good options, not for any man, let alone for the leader of the United Kingdom.


In the closing moments of this essentially very pointless video, Boris’ borderline illegal cup of tea can be see for all to witness. As he gesticulates heavily while using medium-sized words, the PM’s brew comes dangerously close to spilling down the sides of the very boring cup inside which it is contained. Not only has Boris made a meal of the whole process, he continues to provide an eyesore for viewers as we risk witnessing a tea spillage as well as the senseless acts that have gone before us.

Why is the teacup at risk of overflowing? Because the godforsaken teabag is still in there, that’s why. Had Boris simply removed the teabag before the milk was added, the overall volume would be lower and therefore minimise the chances of a spillage. Suppose an overflowing had occurred, would BoJo have had a smidge of carpet cleaner to hand? The know-how to remove the stain without leaving behind any traces of the crime? This is a frankly bizarre and unnecessary video overall, but if we isolate the tea making, it’s an unmitigated shit show. The Prime Minister makes a shit cup of tea. Thank you for your time.

Images via Twitter