As an adult, tea parties tend to go away like nap times, an infrequent luxury, if they happen at all. Having tea turns into swiping a teabag through some hot water in a mug. Thankfully, shows like Downton Abbey came along and reminded us that a daily ritual is good for the soul and perhaps we should have some tea in a china cup. Making the perfect tea is easy thanks to the tips below.
Grocery stores offer a large selection of tea bags that will produce a lovely cup of tea, but don’t be intimidated by loose tea leaves. They are easy to use by purchasing a tea strainer or infuser. The extra flavor will be worth it.
Loose tea can be found in markets and specialty stores.
Tea time doesn’t have to be a big formal affair or party. Let’s not forget the simple luxury of a private party, cupping our hands around a warm cup of tea, a blanket across our legs, our favorite book at hand and new package of pepperidge farm cookies. In the end, is all about enjoying the rituals of tea time and letting go of daily stress.
Here is a break down for the art of making the perfect cup of tea.
Making tea is a simple process. Since tea is 99% water, regardless of your method, the perfect cup of tea is only as good as the water you use. Always empty your kettle and start with fresh cool water. Water you have already boiled or distilled water will produce a dull tasting tea. If you aren’t happy with the way your tap water tastes you probably won’t be happy with your tea so consider using bottle watered if necessary.
Pots & Kettles
Tea pots and tea kettles are different. The tea kettle is for heating the water on the stove. The tea pot is for brewing the tea. For the absolute best tea, different types of tea are most flavorable when brewed at specific temperatures. You can buy an electric tea kettles that allows you to get exact water temperatures for different types of tea.
While your water is coming to a boil, preheat your tea cup or pot with hot tap water. This will prevent the temperature of the water from dropping too quickly during the brewing process.
Place a rounded teaspoon of tea leaves in your strainer or infuser (or one tea bag) for each six ounces of water. Adjust the amount of tea depending on the type of tea and your taste. Do not pack leaves down, but keep them loose so that the water flows through easily.
For a stronger tea, use more tea rather than a longer steeping time. Leaving the tea in too long will produce bitter tea. Never squeeze your tea bag or tea leaves to remove liquid.
Pour boiling water over the leaves into your tea pot. Most teas need to steep for 3-5 minutes. Pay attention to taste rather than color. Remove the leaves or tea bag from the tea, sweeten to taste and enjoy.
Milk & Lemon
Milk is prefered over cream in tea. The fat content in cream overpowers the flavor of the tea. Lemon may be added, but never with milk because the acid in the lemon will curdle the milk.