You might not be enjoying or getting the benefit out of that cup of tea because you might be doing it the wrong way. This article will guide you on how to make that cup of tea the right way.
Everyone has an opinion on the making of a perfect cup of tea, from the milk-in-first-or-after debate to the length of time the tea needs to mash (steep), and even the type of teapot in which to brew. Here are points of view from professionals – the expert and the scientist to guide you.
From the Expert’s desk:
- Warm the pot. Whether you’re using tea bags or leaf, a quick swirl of hot water means the cold won’t shock the tea.
- Use a china teapot because it is traditional and part of the ritual.
- One per person and one for the pot. This is still, the golden rule when using a loose-leaf tea.
- Freshly boiled water only. Boil the water fresh, (not reboiled) for good oxygen levels.
- Stir because stirring the tea leaves or bags helps the tea to infuse.
- The Time. It takes three to four minutes for optimum infusion.
- What about milk? Originally, milk was added first to avoid cracking delicate china cups with hot tea but adding milk after is a good way to judge the strength of the tea. However, it is each to their own.
From the desk of the Scientist:
Scientists at Northumbria’s School of Life Science have discovered that the key to the best tasting brew is to let the tea leaves (or bag) sit for six minutes before drinking. Allowing the tea to rest this way prevents it from scalding your tongue as it has cooled, allowing the optimum temperatures for the flavours to flow.
They recommend adding boiling water to a tea bag in a mug and leave for two minutes. Remove the bag, add the milk to your taste and leave for a further six minutes or until it reaches 140 F/60 C (the recommended temperature safe for the mouth). If the temperature drop below 113 F/45 C the flavours will be destroyed.
Let’s take a look at serving.
It is recommended that 220 ml of water should be used to brew one tea bag while one teaspoonful of tea leaves should be brewed in the same quantity of water.
Additional information is to use a kettle that is free of limescale or sediment and boil to 100°C. Never reboil water for tea.
If you enjoy sweetened tea, use honey as a natural sweetener. Fresh mint leaves, ginger, lemon, lemongrass are natural enhancements you may wish to add. If you take milk with your tea, dairy milk. White tea, green tea and oolong tea are best enjoyed without milk or sugar.
Here’s a table showing how to brew different kinds of tea.
Now that you know, go ahead and make yourself that perfect cup of tea.
Do you have any questions or comments? Do share with us in the comment section.