The best way to make tea is to use an electric kettle to boil the water. The advantage is the water is actually boiling when you pour it over the tea, either in a cup or in a teapot. This helps to extract the most flavor from the tea, and it reduces the length of time you need to brew the tea. The longer you brew, the more bitter tasting tannin will be dissolved. An electric kettle is found in almost every home in Europe for this reason. Heating water in the microwave is slower, more dangerous and produces inferior tea. This is why we sell hundreds of electric kettles every month.
You will also get better results using loose tea in a teapot, rather than teabags. Loose tea is not ground as fine as the tea in tea bags, as it has more room to circulate in the pot. The finer tea is ground the more bitter tannin is released. Use a tea strainer to avoid getting tea leaves in your cup.
Of course you also need to use good quality tea. We suggest our own EnglishTeaStore.com brand, which offers gourmet taste and a 50% larger teabag, at supermarket prices!
By Kevin Hickey
- The British style 3.1 gram teabags have 50% more tea than the US style string and tag 2.1 gram teabags. The teabags are larger and so the tea has more room to brew.
- Loose leaf tea brewed in a teapot makes the best tasting tea.
- We recommend one teaspoon of loose tea per person, plus one for the pot.
- Use freshly drawn water. When water is re-boiled, or stands for a while, it loses oxygen which prevents the full flavor of the tea being released.
- Warming the pot first. This helps the brewing process by maintaining the brewing temperature for longer, to extract more flavor from the tea.
- Be sure to use boiling water to make the tea. Water which is "off the boil" does not allow the tea to brew properly.
- Brewing for 3-5 minutes, shorter times will not reveal the full flavor and the quality of the tea. Longer brewing will result in a bitter tasting tea as Tannin will start to be extracted from the tea leaves.
- Stir the tea in the pot once or twice while it is brewing.
- Tea bags – the same directions apply as for loose tea. You will get best results brewing in a pot. If you brew in a cup brew for a much shorter time, 1 - 2 minutes.
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