This morning was one of those mornings where throwing a bag of tea into my mug and pouring hot water over it wasn’t going to cut it. The flip side is then I have a pot of caffeine staring at me all day – so it’s hard to say which is the lesser of the evils.
Making tea “the right way” as I call it is really easy and tastes about a million times better. It’s very easy to brew loose leaf tea. The flavors are so much richer and fuller. It’s because you actually get tea leaves as opposed to just crumbs of leaves. It’s a much better flavor.
Trust me, get yourself some loose leaf tea. You can find it easily in most grocery stores, the most recognizable in the US is probably Twinings. I like to buy the Earl Grey Market Spice tea found here in Seattle. If you have a local tea shop in your area, or if your market sells loose tea, try some, it’s so much better!
Start with a clean tea pot. If it’s porcelain you will want to prewarm it with warm water, otherwise, when you pour the boiling water into it, you risk cracking it. I have a number of English tea pots, but I generally make my tea in my bodum pot, that has a built in press. It makes straining my tea much easier after it’s done brewing.
For every person having a cup of tea, put one teaspoon of tea in your pot. (A real teaspoon, not one you eat off of) plus one for the pot.
With black tea leaves, you will want to have your water at a full boil to help get the full flavor out of the leaves (don’t do that with green or white tea, or you will scald the leaves)
Pour the water over the tea leaves in the pot and let steep for 4-5 minutes. Gently stir the leaves a little to help them steep, but don’t go too crazy or you’ll end up with bitter tea. Yuck!
Now, I like my tea with milk, and just like prewarming the pot, I put my milk in my mug before I add my tea. You may have heard of the term “Milk in first” again, that’s to keep your delicate china cup from cracking under the shock of the hot water. I also like a bit of sugar in my tea. I also tend to drink more tea than the average china tea cup, as evidenced by my 20 ounce Starbucks mug I bought in England.
After the tea has steeped, pour it in your cup (over the milk if you so desire) being sure to use a fine mesh strainer. If you don’t use a strainer, well, you will get lots of tea leaves in your cup along with your tea.
You can refresh your pot with more hot water after you’ve poured your cups of tea – bonus – more tea to drink!
The point is, good tea is no harder to make than a pot of coffee (also another post entirely) and should be enjoyed often.