Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How To Make Perfect Tea

As a tea drinker of some 30 years experience here is my contribution as to what makes the perfect cup of tea. The best way to make tea has been a subject of great debate for centuries.
Good quality water is essential for the perfect cup of tea. If you use tap water then run the tap until the water is cold and fresh. Spring water is best due to its purity and lack of additives such as chlorine and fluoride which can affect the taste. Always use fresh water if possible.

2. Preferably use a teapot made of china or earthenware.
Pots made of certain types of metal such as enamel silver
or copper can impart flavor to the water. Stainless steel
is okay.
Warm the pot beforehand with a little hot water. 3.
4. Add at least one level teaspoon for each cup of water
that you are going to add. Adding loose tea to the pot is
the best way for the tea to infuse properly but many people
prefer to use a tea strainer or infusing basket for
convenience sake.
Pour boiling water directly onto the leaves and then stir the water before placing lid back on the teapot. 5.
6. Let the tea steep for between four and five minutes. If
using green tea three minutes is best.
Remove or strain the leaves to avoid overbrewing. 7.
8. The cup that you drink out of can greatly affect the
taste of the tea so choose wisely. A good quality cup made
of china will definitely enhance the whole tea drinking
experience. Avoid wide shallow cups which cause the tea to
cool in next to no time.
9. Pour milk into the cup first. Ah, yes this is the step
that causes most controversy. Many an argument has been
had concerning whether or not it is best to add the milk to
the tea or vice versa. I have always preferred milk first
then tea but my husband argues that it is easier to
regulate the right amount of milk by adding milk
Now scientists have waded into the debate and the verdict
is clear. The UK Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)has warned
against the practice of adding milk to tea after it is
poured. It seems that dribbling a stream of milk into hot
water makes "denaturation of milk proteins" more likely.
And who would want that?! At high temperatures, milk
proteins - which are normally all curled up foetus-like,
begin to unfold and link together in clumps. This is what
happens in UHT [ultra heat-treated] milk, and is why it
doesn't taste as good a fresh milk," says Dr Andrew
Stapley, a chemical engineer at Loughborough University.
It is better to have the chilled milk massed at the bottom
of the cup, awaiting the stream of hot tea. This allows the
milk to cool the tea, rather than the tea ruinously raise
the temperature of the milk.
Umm, somehow I don't think so!! The milk or tea first debate is now over! So it is now settled.
10. Lastly, drink tea without any sugar. I must admit to
being a reformed sugary tea drinker and you know what that
means. Yes, I am now passionately against putting sugar in
tea. As one who has sat on both sides of the fence I can
say that tea is so much better without sweetening. Sugar
only serves to mask the taste of the tea. Not only that too
much sugar is not good for you and why spoil what is now
being recognized as one of the world's great health drinks
by adding sugar. When I stopped taking my two spoonfuls of
sugar in my tea it took me about three or four weeks to get
used to the new taste. However once I got used to it there
was no going back.
So there you have it - the perfect cup of tea!
Lorraine Bevere is the webmaster and operator of FOG
For questions or comments about this article, please visit: which is a premier source of information about tea.


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