There is much more to making the perfect cup of tea than simply dunking a tea bag in some hot water, waiting 30 seconds, sloshing some milk in and then greedily slurping it down! Read on to find out how to perfect your brewing techniques:
- Boiling the water
Oxygen in the water helps to give you more flavourful tea, so run the tap for a short while before filling the kettle, and boil it only once to keep those oxygen levels high.
- Keeping a hot pot
Pouring a little hot water into the teapot and swirling it around for a minute, will help to keep the tea that you pour in, piping hot. You could also do the same to the mugs or teacups that you’ll use; it’s surprising how quickly a cold pot will cool down your tea.
- The right amount of tea and water
A standard teapot will take two teabags, whereas an individual, one cup pot, will take just the one bag. For loose tea, simply add one teaspoon for each person taking tea, and add an extra one for the pot. Pour the hot, but not boiling water, in and stir gently.
- Take your time
Tea needs sufficient time to brew, so leave it for up to 5 minutes to ensure that the maximum flavour is achieved.
- For tea brewed in a mug or teacup…
For a more flavourful brew, give the teabag a gentle squeeze against the side of the mug or cup with a spoon; try to avoid squeezing the bag too hard as it can make the tea taste bitter.
- Adding milk and/or sugar….and when…
There is no right or wrong way to customise your cup of tea, so add milk if you wish, sugar if you wish or even honey for a more naturally sweet brew. Lemon can even be added to sweeten up certain teas.
Some like to pour their milk into the cup or pot after brewing, while some prefer to add it before, but as tea brews to perfection in very hot water, once you add cold milk, the water is cooled, so it makes sense to add the milk after the tea has brewed if you’re making your tea in a mug or teacup. If you’re making tea in a pot, it doesn’t make so much difference, so add the milk as and when you choose.