Friday, 15 August 2008

Making Tea - Tips Given

Tea making seems such a simple thing to do, teabag and hot water and there you have it a cup of tea. But to get a better cup of tea you need to know a bit more than that.

Making a pot of tea is easy, it is not rocket science and yes making tea withe a pot is the best way to create that memorable cup of tea.

As with most food items the fresh the better, so make sure that the tea you choose has not been subjected to light, heat of damp conditions. the tea will deteriorate substantially even if one of these element get to it. To take precautions it is best to buy tea in small quantities, then seal in an opaque air tight container. If buying green tea this can be put in the fridge for storage..

The water you use is also very important as it has a substantial affect on the overall taste of the tea. The last thing you want is a quality tea spoiled with tainted water. Use filtered or bottled water. You need hot or boiling water so while the water is non the heat use a little to warm your teapot and cups. The rule of thumb is to use boiling water for black teas and very hot water say 190°F for oolongs. White and green teas require even less heat and should be made with water at 175°F.

Tea should be measured by weight not volume as it is more accurate more accurate and various types and grades of tea leaves make a difference.
As to qualities the rule is to use 5 grams of tea to 8 oz of water. With practice you'll know roughly what the quantities will be. The measured tea should be put into the warmed pot at this point.

Brewing is an important element, too short and you don't get the full benefits of flavour, too long and you end up drink a swamp. Also the time varies according to tea type; the smaller the leaves, the shorter the brewing time. Green teas should have around 3-5 minutes, black teas 3-4 minutes and oolongs types between 6-7 minutes.

You need to swirl the pot a few times before straining off the tea either directly into the warmed cups or into another warm pot.This is to remove the leaves to stop the tea becoming 'stewed'.


Milk and Sugar
Whether you add milk or sufar with your tea is up to you, I personally don't bother with either, it took a bit of getting used to but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

Less Caffeine
Tea experts recommend steeping the leaves for 30 seconds, hen pour off this first infusion. After rinsing off the majority of the caffeine, add more water and steep for the correct amount of time.

Cold Iced Tea
Just double the amount of tea you would use for hot tea. Steep in the water for around 10 minutes and add sugar if you wish. Keep this strained tea at room temperature and serve being poured over ice. You can store this in a fridge overnight.

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