Although we think that a cup of tea is very personal, which means that you should enjoy it just the way you like it, our tea expert shows how we would make you a brew.

 Tea: how to make the perfect brew

 

To make your own perfect cup of tea, you will need:

  • quality tea
  • a teapot
  • a thermometer
  • a tea cosy
  • a porcelain cup

 

Help flavour with oxygen in water

Tea needs oxygen, so run the tap a little as long as the water is nicely aerated.

Don’t re-boil water as this takes a lot of the oxygen out and will leave your tea tasting a bit metallic.

Get the right water temperature

The temperature of the water is really important, depending on which tea you’ll be drinking. Most black teas need around 96°C, and green teas around 70°C. You can buy some kettles that let you set the boiling temperature but if you don’t have one, it’s easy enough to measure with a thermometer.

Heat the teapot

Tea likes hot water. So once your kettle has boiled, swirl a little boiling water around the empty pot first. For bonus points, use that water to warm the cups too.

Pour the water

Pour the water into your teapot allowing air in it. Then add your thermometer to check when the water has cooled to the appropriate temperature. 

Get your tea ready

If you are using loose leaf tea, put it in a tea bag (you can buy bags from most loose leaf tea shops) or in the teapot filter. Loose leaf tea needs a lot of room to move about, so the bigger the space, the better. This also makes cleaning the teapot a lot easier, as you just lift the bag or the filter out with the tea when done and put it in the bin.

The quantity of tea may change according to the type of tea and of course the personal taste. Commonly, the rule is to add two tea bags to a regular teapot. If you’re using loose tea, add one teaspoon for you and one for the pot!

Pop the bag in when the water has reached the right temperature and put your tea cosy over the pot to keep the water as close to the optimum temperature as possible. 

Check the brewing time

The time you leave the tea in the pot depends on the type of tea, so make sure you look for steeping instructions. Usually, steeping times may vary from 2-3 minutes for green tea to 2-5 minutes for black tea.

Remove the teabag

This step is really important. Before you serve the tea, remove the teabag from the pot. If you leave it in too long, it will over-steep and will taste really bitter. Don’t stir it and definitely don’t squeeze it. That will release the tannins (a bitter compound of tea), which will again make it taste too bitter.

Use porcelain

Getting the right cup is really important. Don’t use plastic, as the tannins will stick to the side of the cup. Don’t use metal either, unless you want your tea to taste metallic. Lots of people think you should use ceramic but even that’s not perfect as it’s porous, so it will make your tea cool down too quickly. The best cup is porcelain. A porcelain cup will keep your tea super-tasty and was actually how tea used to be served when it first came over from China.

Add your milk (if you like!)

Adding milk is all about personal preference. It’s only usually black teas that you add milk to.

 

Relax and enjoy!