I’ve had so many people ask me what the secret is to a great cup of tea. There are so many things that make a great cup of tea: quality of the tea, temperature of the water, quality of the water, tea steeper you have selected, tea cup you are using, and more. I thought I would explain how I make the perfect cup of tea.
Step 1 – Decide on the type of tea
There are so many different kinds of teas out there. The first thing you will want to do is select between Black, Pu-erh, Oolong, Rooibos, Mate, White Tea, Yellow Tea, Herbal Tea, or Green Tea. Depending on what you select, the preparation will vary greatly.
Step 2 – Pick the best brand for the type of tea
I’ve found that different companies and brands actually produce different types of teas better. The trick here is to figure out which one is best for the type of tea you are going to select. I’ve come up with a little formula and cheat sheet for myself to help with the selection process. I might be sharing it in a later blog post if I can find the time to write it into the computer.
Step 3 – Decide on the variant
Now that you have selected the type of tea, and the brand you want to go with, you will want to decide on the variant of tea. For example my husband loves Chai tea, but finds that when you add a hint of chocolate, the tea tastes a little more fun and adds another dimension to the flavour of the tea. So figure out if you are just looking for a plain black tea, or if you want some added flavours.
Step 4 – Read preparation instructions
Make sure you take the time to read the preparation instructions. You will typically be given the steeping time and water temperature. If you are new to the tea, make sure you taste the tea the way it was intended, before modifying the steeping times or quantity of tea you want to use in the steeper. Oh yes and whatever you do make sure you never use a tea ball.
Step 5 – Get supplies ready
I like to lay out all of the things I’m going to need before I even boil my water. Otherwise I find I get flustered while the water is boiling, which can ruin the experience of that perfect cup of tea. Imagine the kettle going, and you can’t find that teacup you wanted to use! Find the steeper, make sure it’s clean and doesn’t have any flavours from your last cup of tea. Wash it well and put it on the counter. Get the tea your going to use ready, find a spoon, and get that tea cup ready! If you are going to use a tea thermometer, which I do recommend, make sure you have it ready to test the water temperature.
Step 6 – Boil Water
Make sure you use a kettle if you can over the stove. Ensure the kettle doesn’t have any rust or anything like that or you might just be adding some nasty stuff into the water. If you are using an electric kettle, make sure it’s not plastic. Once the water is boiled, I recommend you test the temperature of the water and let it cool if need be, depending on the type of tea you are using. You don’t want to burn the expensive tea leaves you just bought and ruin your tea!
Step 7 – Prepare Tea
While the water is boiling, I recommend you get the steeper ready (or other steeping device) with the correct amount of tea you are going to use. Make sure you use the correct measurements and amount of tea as instructed. Don’t get creative yet. You want to make sure you taste the tea how it was intended first.
Step 8 – Steep Tea
You are almost there! Double-check your water with the thermometer, and now add the water to the steeper. Make sure the tea leaves are covered by the water, and that you are using the right amount of water for the tea. Let the tea steep for the recommended period of time. Patience is the name of the game here. Make sure that you cover your mug or tea leaves while steeping to ensure maximum infusion.
Step 9 – Pour Tea and WAIT
Once you are ready, pour the tea into your favorite teacup. Make sure you use a teacup and not a coffee cup, as they are designed to get the best flavour out of the tea you have made. You want to make sure all the best parts of the tea remain in the water, and a coffee cup is simply not made to sustain the correct balance of flavours in the teacup. This is why tea that is had in a china tea cup will always taste better than tea in a coffee cup. True story.
Step 10 – Enjoy your tea
This is the best part. Grab your favorite book, or whatever you want to do, and take a sip of that perfect cup of tea. It should taste just right, and take you to a whole new world.
I love tea, and I want to share my love of tea with you.
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