How to make the cheapest cup of tea

It may come as a bit of a surprise to a nation built on cups of tea, but the humble kettle nestled happily at the heart of every kitchen is one of the most energy expensive appliances we use.

Getting water up to boiling temperature is no simple feat - the way a standard electric kettle turns electricity to heat using an element is rather energy expensive.

In short, the longer the time between you clicking it on and the kettle clicking itself off, the more electricity you use and the bigger your electricity bill is.

We’re not talking huge amounts of money (2p-4p per kettle boil cycle), but over a year, this all adds up. So here are a few ways of making your daily cuppa cheaper.

Just the right amount

Measuring out the exact amount of water using your tea cups will mean that you only ever boil the correct amount of water and avoid paying to boil water you won't be using.

Descale your kettle

Limescale builds up on the heating element of a kettle and can make it harder to boil. If your kettle is covered in fur, simply fill with water to just above the affected area and bring to the boil. Add ¼ of a bottle of white vinegar, leave for an hour, empty and then rinse until you can no longer smell vinegar. It will look shiny, new and will boil in no time!

Note: Limescale build up will happen faster in areas of hard water. Check out this water type map if you don’t know your type of water.

Use a teapot

If you make tea by the cup, you will usually use one teabag per cup. However, if you are using a teapot, you can brew enough for five cups using only three teabags. This is a teabag saving of 40%!

The size of your teapot and your tolerance for weaker tea are obviously important factors in this!

Filtered water

Use filtered water. Tap water contains more dissolved minerals than water that has been through a filter (such as a Brita filter) and because of that boils at a slightly higher temperature. This means that tap water often boils just above 100°C so will take slightly longer and cost slightly more.

Note: The taste of your tea can also be affected by the type of water you use.

Learn more about your home's biggest power-guzzlers