Our hampers include some very special teas. To make sure that you and your lucky recipients make the most of them, here’s how to brew the perfect cup. Think you know everything about making tea already? Read on and see if you’re right…
Don’t boil the water more than once
Water that’s been boiled repeatedly will make your tea taste flat, so fill the kettle with fresh water every time.
Preheat your pot
You don’t want your expensive tea to go cold in a pot, do you? To keep it warm as long as possible, fill the pot with boiling water and let it sit for a few seconds before tipping out and refilling.
Pour water at the right temperature
Most of us simply boil the kettle and pour straight away, but did you know many varieties of tea are best served with cooler water? More oxidised teas, such as black tea, require water at a full rolling boil, whereas less oxidised varieties will have a diminished flavour if the water is too hot. Here’s the ideal temperature and time to pour for each variety:
- Loose Black Tea – 100 C, pour immediately.
- Loose Green Tea – 75 C, wait 60 seconds before pouring.
- Loose White Tea – 85 C, wait 30 seconds before pouring.
- Loose Oolong Tea – 90 C, wait 20 seconds before pouring.
- Tea Bags – 90 C, wait 20 seconds before pouring.
Don’t let your tea brew for too long… or too little time
An over-brewed tea will taste bitter and cause you to add more sugar than otherwise. Stick to these times:
- Black Tea – 3-5 minutes
- Green/White Tea – 2-3 minutes
- Oolong Tea – 4-7 minutes
Add the milk to your cup first
Poms will find this sacrilegious, but there’s a good reason some people pour the milk in first. It stops it from being scalded by boiling hot water because it’s heated more gradually.
Don’t put too much tea in the pot
The ideal amount of loose tea is one teaspoon per cup of water or one teaspoon per person.
Re-use your tea leaves
Green and white tea leaves can be infused up to four times, and they can even yield a different flavour in doing so.
Buy the right teapot
Iron teapots, as you may have seen in stores with eastern-themed homewares, are designed to maintain heat for as long as possible, so they’re ideal for black tea. Porcelain and glass teapots lose heat faster, which makes them better for cooler teas like green and white varieties.