Posted by Louise on 5th March 2015
We want everyone to drink real tea and enjoy drinking real tea. So, we’ve come up with a list of 7 basic rules for making the perfect cup of tea, every time.
Only ever use freshly drawn water
It might be a while since you’ve drawn any water from a well, if ever, but when we say ‘freshly drawn water’ what we mean is water straight from the tap. Leaving water in the kettle and boiling it over and over again will make the tea taste ‘flat’.
Heat the water to the correct temperature
Too hot? Too cold? Ah, just right! If Goldilocks liked tasting tea, she’d surely have something to say about the temperature of the water you use to brew tea. And we do too, and it depends on what tea you’re drinking.
Black tea needs boiling water and that means 100°C/212°F.
Only ever use quality tea
This is a biggie (particularly for us). A nice cuppa comes from brewing nice tea leaves. Don’t scrimp when it comes to the quality of the tea. Your taste buds will thank you for it.
Use just the right amount of water
In technical terms, this is the ‘tea to water ratio’ – it’s easy to go wrong on this one. Obviously, a gallon of water and one tea leaf won’t make a great brew. So use one tea temple (or tea bag or 1 teaspoon of leaf tea) per person. When we’re making tea temples, we weight out just enough tea to work with 300ml (10fl oz) of water. If you were to put a tea temple into a pot for two then of course it will taste weak. An average-sized mug filled with water with one tea temple is the ideal ratio.
Brew for 3 minutes
Quality tea has big leaves (rather than dusty sweepings off the floor!) and so they need a good brew time. Don’t dunk and run. It takes time – 3 minutes, on average – for the tea leaves to infuse and release their flavour into the water.
Warm the pot
This really does make a difference if you are making black tea. There is simply no point in putting boiling water into a freezing-cold teapot, it just lowers the temperature of the water straightaway – think of it like putting hot food on a cold plate – plus, the taste won’t be half as good. Whether or not you want to go and keep your teapot all cosy with a knitted cover is another thing; though, there’s no harm in that.
Enjoy the yummy tea
Allow the brew to cool – once the tea has been separated from the water it is good to let it cool a little. Not only will piping hot water burn your mouth, but it will also stop you from tasting the yummy tea flavours you have just been brewing. If you are brewing in a pot and are pouring into a cup – put the milk in first then add the brewed tea.
If you are brewing in a mug – pour the milk in second after the tea leaves or tea bag has been removed.