Tips for Making a Perfect Cup of Tea
- The freshness of the leaves - The tea leaf's quality is an essential part of the quality of the drink. The tea leaves' biggest enemies are light, heat, strong smells, and humidity. In order to ensure the freshness of the tea leaves, it is recommended to frequently purchase small quantities and to store the leaves sealed in a container which keeps out light, odors and oxygen.
- The water quality - It is important to use flowing water which has not been previously boiled. It is recommended to use filtered water or mineral water, without the aftertaste and chlorine of tap water.
- Water temperature - Boiling water should be used to brew black tea leaves.
For a brew of more delicate leaves, it is recommended to let the water cool off a bit to a temperature of about 90 degrees Celsius and only then to pour it onto the leaves.
- The amount of leaves - It is easy to measure the amount with a spoon, but it is more accurate to do so by weighing the leaves. Certain leaves come in different sizes and a full spoonful of small leaves may contain a larger amount of leaves than a full spoonful of large leaves. In order to prepare tea in a teapot, 2 grams or one spoonful of tea leaves should be used for every cup as well as an additional spoon "for the teapot". Thus, for instance, a teapot which makes four cups of tea should be filled with a total of five spoonfuls, or 10 grams, of tea leaves.
- Brewing duration- The brewing duration changes according to the types of tea leaves, but in general, the smaller the leaves, the shorter the brewing duration.
The leaves should be brewed between three to five minutes.
- Additives- Various things may be added to brewed tea in order to suit it to the preferred personal taste. It is well known that adding sugar enhances many flavors in food and drinks. Other common additives are lemon, vanilla pods, herbs, milk and alcohol.