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1 August, 2020

Fancy a Brew?

The art of tea making is dying, thanks to the instant gratification of a tea bag, hot water and ‘dunk and splash’ slap some milk in and away we go. Making a pot or cup of tea that way is akin to saying that instant coffee is great coffee.

By Peter McCullagh

In Japan tea is a ceremony, in England its tradition. To understand how to make the best cup of tea, consider first why we drink tea?

Why do we pause in our day, taking time to prepare a century-old hot beverage, then sit and with the first sip we utter the infamous line, “Ahhhhhh.”

Does this sound like a ritual that needs to be reduced to the common ‘dunk and splash’?

A good tea needs to be enjoyed. Time taken to brew and develop the flavours, just as time is taken with the conversation or quiet contemplation that accompanies this brew.

There’s only a few steps required to make the ideal cup of tea, it’s certainly is not rocket science.

Firstly draw fresh cold water from your tap into the kettle. Avoid re-boiling your water.

Having the water temperature just right is important. Different teas release their flavours as differing temperature.

Black tea needs the water temperature to be 95C to 98C whereas green or delicate teas require a lower temperature around 80-85C.

The easiest way to ensure your temperature is right, use a temperature control temperature control kettle.  If you do not have one of those fancy kettle, let the kettle boil, take it off the boil, allow 60 seconds to settle before pouring the water for black tea. Allow 4-5 minutes for green or infusion teas. This time letting the water settle and cool will approximate the ideal water temperature you require.  

While waiting for the kettle to cool, heat your cup or pot., Pour a little hot water into them and allow their temperature to rise from room temperature.

Add water to the tea bag or loose tea. Don’t add the tea to the water. Adding the water will open the tea fully allowing the flavours to infuse into the water.

Allow to steep for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the colour is to your preferred consistency. Using a china cup, with a white insides will allow you to see clearly the colour of your brew.

When you tea is to your preferred colour, add a drop or two of milk if you desire white tea. Never add milk first, always last.

Tea is always enjoyed best when drunk from a porcelain tea cup. You do not need a saucer, just a thin china cup or mug is ideal.

Take the time to prepare your brew, this time allows you to reset your day, refocus and enjoy the fragrant and flavoursome qualities of tea. Enjoy a conversation or two, perhaps even switch off from the world and you will have the perfect cup of tea.

So bung the kettle on, it’s time for a brew and time to switch off and indulge.

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