‘One strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All the tea lovers not only like their tea strong but like it a little stronger with each year that passes’, wrote George Orwell in his famous essay “ A Nice cup of tea”. And went on to state his own eleven golden rules for the ultimate tea experience.
Whether you like your tea strong or not, you definitely need and love a perfectly brewed tea to start the day or whenever you fancy having a cuppa. There are of course hundreds of versions in every continent of ‘ how to make tea’. But the best way to enjoy the real essence of tea would be to brew it in a way so that the flavour shines through and the tea doesn’t turn bitter.
Things needed to brew tea:
- One cooking pot to boil water
- One teapot or tea kettle
- A teacup
- A strainer or infuser
- 2.5 grams of loose tea (1 teaspoon)
- 100 ml of freshwater\filter water (1 cup of water)
First, take a cooking pot, fill in 100 ML / 1 cup of freshly drawn water or filter water and bring it to a boil. Do not over boil it. Turn off the flame soon after the first boil, let the water settle for a few seconds.
Second, add a spoon of loose tea leaves to the tea kettle and pour the hot water on it. Let it steep in for 2 mins or as per tea type (please see below).
If you like your tea stronger, add more amount of tea or just steep it a little longer.
For herbal infusions, follow the instructions given on the label.
Next is to strain the tea with a strainer and serve it hot in a teacup. Now just relax and enjoy the quintessential tea with your favourite snack.
(Most of these teas don’t need milk or sugar to go with them)
Here are some thumb rules for different tea type that you may follow:
White tea / Silver Needdle / Bai Mu Dan / Darjeeling
- Water temperature:75-80 degree C
- Steeping time: 2-4 mins
Green tea / Darjeeling / Longjing / Gunpowder
- Water temperature: 80-85 degree C
- Steeping time: 3-4 mins
Oolong tea / Tie Guan Yin Tea* / Da Hong Pao / Darjeeling / Kangra
- Water temperature: 90-95 degree C
- Steeping time:3-5 mins
* 2-3 spoon is good for half-liter water, but use as per your taste
Black tea / Assam / Darjeeling / Lapsang Souchong / Nilgiri
- Water temperature: 95-98 degree C
- Steeping time: 3-5min
Note: The steeping times mentioned above are to be taken as guidelines and you are most welcome to play with the steeping process based on your tea drinking habits.
Tip1: Never re-boil the same water as it tends to condense the minerals and the oxygen levels. The best is to use fresh water every time.
Tip 2: Microwaving the water results in loss of oxygen content which can make the tea go flat and bland. Loose tea leaves and water should never be boiled\ cooked together. Rather than using tea bags it’s always a best idea to use loose tea straight from tea gardens.
Tip 3: If you are using a teapot, first swirl some hot water around it and drain it out. This is to maintain the warmth of the teapot.
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