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Like your cuppa…?
Posted on Feb 05, 2015
If, like me, you enjoy a cup of loose leaf tea, then preparing it correctly will make all the difference! Let's start with the water, as it makes up over 90% of the end product.! Strange as it may seem, you should never use boiling water, but water just off the boil at a temperature of 85 degrees. Using water that is too hot can result in a bitter tasting tea, and is probably the most common error people make when preparing tea. And you need good water. The chances are, that if your water tastes good out of the tap, then you will make a good fresh tasting cup of tea. And you should always use fresh water each time you prepare a pot of tea. Water that has boiled previously has lost oxygen which can make your tea taste flat.
Use the best quality leaf tea for the best results. Whichever tea you are using, whether, green, white, oolong or black, make sure there is room for the tea leaves to absorb water and expand as they infuse. This allows water to flow through the leaves and extract a wide range of vitamins, minerals, flavours and aromas. In general terms, measure a cup of water and a teaspoon of tea for each person, allowing an extra teaspoon for the pot, if you like your tea stronger. Pour water from a freshly boiled kettle into a cup and then onto the tea in the teapot to get the proportions right. This will also allow the water to cool to the right temperature. Once the tea is brewed, serve the tea liquid into the cup. Pouring all the liquid out of the pot will ensure the leaves don't stew and can be used again for 2 or 3 more infusions. A tea leaf has so much more to offer than the paltry flavour of a teabag!
Generally, white and green teas don't work with milk, but with black tea, anything goes. It's all a matter of taste.
So go ahead, put your feet up and enjoy the exquisite taste and aroma of a perfectly made cup of tea.