Tips for Brewing The Perfect Cuppa

There are some simple techniques for brewing tea that will make the difference between making a good cup of tea and a superb one.

Clean Your Equipment before making your tea.
Make sure your teapot and utensils are clean. This helps to remove mineral deposits and old residue that can taint the flavour of your freshly made brew.

Start with Cold, Good-Tasting Water
Since tea is comprised of 99% water, the type of water you use will have an impact on the clarity and taste of your tea. The best type of water to use when brewing tea is filtered or bottled water (not distilled water) that is free of chemicals and chlorine. If that isn’t available and you are using tap water, run the tap for around ten seconds and until the water is cold before filling your tea kettle.

Water and Steeping
The water temperature and length of steeping time varies by the blend of tea you are brewing. Here are some general tea brewing guidelines for water temperature and steeping times. Again, adjust the heat and time based on your individual preferences.
Water Temp: 96-100 C
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

Water Temp: 85-93 C
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

Water Temp: 73-85 C
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

Water Temp: 71-75 C
Steeping Time: 2-3 minutes

Water Temp: 95 - 102 C
Steeping Time: 5-7 minutes

Amount of Tea
To maximize taste, it is preferable to brew tea leaves in loose form rather than using a small tea ball or infuser (although these accessories are popular, convenient, and yield tasty brews). This allows the leaves to fully open and release all their flavour.  The unfurling of the leaves is referred to as "the agony of the leaves".

Use 1 teaspoon of whole leaf tea for each cup you are brewing. This is the standard for compact blends. If you are brewing tea that has a lot of volume, consider using up to two tablespoons per serving.

When your tea is finished steeping, immediately remove the tea from the strainer . Then serve while fresh and hot. If your tea gets too cool, it is best to enjoy it over ice rather than re-heating the tea.
Depending on your preference, you can enjoy drinking your beverage plain or with a bit of milk, lemon, honey or sugar. In Asia, people typically drink tea without accompaniments.
In England and Australia a  small amount of milk is often added to black tea for extra body and smoothness. In Russia, brewing tea and adding lemon is common. Raspberry jam is sometimes added for sweetness. Brewing tea is all about the experience and how you take your tea is a matter of individual taste and enjoyment. Experiment until you find a combination that suits your palate "to a tea."


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