One day tea tasting course!
Location: Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall, the First Tea Estate in England.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A CUP OF TEA?
How do you make a perfect cup of tea?
Need to impress your friends? Fed up with drinking stewed cups of tea? So how do you make a cup of tea? The following are suggestions for a wonderful cup of tea...
Storing teaThe first rule is to store your tea carefully. Tea should be stored in a dark, airtight container for freshness. Ideally, it should be stored at room temperature in a dry cupboard.
What is the best water for making a cup of tea?Water is a key ingredient of tea. Always use fresh water since the taste of your cuppa can be negatively affected by stale water. You need to use the best quality water possible. Bottled spring water is perfect (or filtered tap water) due to its purity and lack of additives such as chlorine and fluoride which can adversely affect the taste of your tea. However, most people have to settle for tap water. The good news is that running water picks up oxygen and fully oxygenated water is best for tea. Never use re-boiled water as it contains less oxygen than running tap water.
What sort of teapots are best?The best sorts of teapots for making tea are made of china or earthenware. Metal tea pots such as enamel, copper or silver can make the tea taste metallic. If you are going to use a metal teapot, stainless steel teapots are the best.
Warming a teapotAnother important rule is to always warm your teapot with warm water before you add the tea. Tea brews much better in very hot water and a warmed tea pot will help the water stay hotter longer. Warm your teapot by adding some boiling water from the kettle. Leave the hot water in the pot while it warms up and bring the water in kettle to the boil again.
Measuring the teaThe quality of a cup of tea depends on the strength of the tea and the length of time the tea is left to brew. Use on tea bag or teaspoon of tea leaves per person plus ‘one for the pot’ if you prefer a stronger cup of tea.
Adding water to the tea potAs soon as the kettle begins to boil again, pour it over the tea. Never let the water in the kettle boil for too long as this will release oxygen from the water and the flavour of the tea will be impaired.
Getting the brewing time right is essential for a perfect cup of tea. If you don’t brew it for long enough, the full flavour of the tea won’t be released. If you let the tea brew for too long, it will have an unpleasant, bitter taste. As a rule of them, you should let green tea brew for 1-3 minutes, black tea for 3-5 minutes and herbal tea should brew for 5-10 minutes. About half way through brewing time, give the tea a stir to help the release of flavour. (Brewing tea is sometimes known as steeping.)
How long should you let tea brew for?
Tea cosysA good way of keeping the teapot (and tea) warm is to use a tea cosy. There are warm ‘coats’ designed specifically to fit over the tea pot.
Pouring tea into tea cupsAfter the required brewing time, pour the tea into cups. The choice of tea cups can greatly affect the taste of the tea. The best quality cups are made of fine bone china and will make tea drinking a much pleasanter experience.
When should you add milk to a cup of tea?This is the source of endless debate. If you have milk with your tea, add it to the cup before you pour the tea as it dissolves better in hotter liquid.
The UK Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) says that adding milk to tea after it is poured can cause the proteins in the milk to ‘denature’. Proteins are usually curled up but if they denature, they begin to unfold and stick together in clumps. You can see this effect in UHT [ultra heat-treated] milk, and this is why it doesn't taste as good a fresh milk. It is better to have the chilled milk at the bottom of the cup, and pour on the tea. By doing this, the milk cools the tea rather than the tea raising the temperature of the milk to the extent that it denatures.
Should you add sugar to a cup of tea?The short answer is ‘no’. Sugar masks the flavour of the tea and it’s bad for you. Why spoil the beneficial effects of a cup of tea by adding something as nasty as milk?
Relax and enjoy!!!
So there you have it – the way to make a perfect cup of tea. The only thing left is to relax and enjoy.