“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.” Bernard-Paul Heroux.
The perfect cup of tea is one of life’s simple pleasures. All it takes to make that perfect cup of tea, is just a bit of extra time. There really isn’t anything better. First, it needs to be brewed in a pot or at least a mug that you can cover while it brews. The water needs to be brought to the right temperature. For most teas that is 200°F. Don’t forget to warm the pot before adding the tea. It doesn’t do much good to get the water hot enough, just to have it cool in a cold teapot. And, of course, use good quality tea! Keep your tea in an air tight tin or container. Loose tea is best but I confess I use tea in bags for my morning cuppa. These extra steps are part of my morning routine. They are so worth the extra few minutes. Let’s face it, a good start can make all the difference in how the rest of the day goes. So be good to yourself and take those extra few minutes.
I swear by good quality British tea. Sorry Lipton, you just won’t do. My current favorite morning blend is Barry’s Irish Breakfast Tea. I also can recommend Yorkshire Gold or PG Tips. The breakfast teas tend to be a bit more robust, which I need first thing. My current afternoon favorite is a blend of Taylors Darjeeling loose tea mixed with some Rooibos Tea.
No matter which tea you choose, heat it to the right temperature. It really makes a difference in how your tea will taste. I have a Breville Electric Kettle that has temperature selections right on the stand. It heats the water far quicker than heating it on the stove. It is one of my favorite small appliances. It was a bit pricey but worth every penny. If you heat your water on the stove, make sure it comes to a rolling boil for most teas. A whistling tea kettle is best. It will heat the water faster and let you know when your water has reached a boil. I find heating water in the microwave never results in good tasting tea. I can’t tell you why but that is my experience.
Once your water has come to temperature, pour a bit into the tea pot and swirl it around. This heats the pot itself so that when you brew your tea it’s still at the optimal temperature. Pour that water out and add your tea, either the bag or loose. Now pour the hot water over the tea. Let it steep covered. Give it a few minutes. For most teas, that’s about 3 to 4 minutes.
Now your tea is ready. I like to add some whole milk and a bit of raw sugar to my morning tea. I like my afternoon blend with a bit of honey.
You can do this even if you work early. Pour your perfect cup into a nice spill proof thermal cup and sip it on your drive. I did this for years when I had to be at work on the other side of town at 4:45 in the morning. Otherwise, pick out your favorite cup and saucer or mug and sit down to enjoy one of life’s simplest and best pleasures.
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