Hello folks. It’s another week, and any good week must be started with tea :). We’ve been on this for 2 weeks now and it’s only right that after talking about the various uses and benefits it tea, I also tell you how to make a nice cup of tea. Just like cooking, tea brewing has dos and don’t s; it has to be done properly before it can be enjoyed. It is essentially a ritual (okay, maybe not). Let’s get started.
1. Use only fresh tea. You won’t eat stale bread or drink expired juice. So don’t brew stale tea either. Tea has a 3-month shelf life, so when you buy your tea,put it in a jar and label the jar so you know when to throw it out. ( Personally, I feel that if you haven’t finished a pack of tea in 3 months, you need help from the tea gods.)
2. Use loose tea. The essence of this is to give your tea room to unfurl. Use tea leaves or a well-rounded tea bag, PG tips or Twinings are good brands. Also brew your tea in a pot or a wide tea cup, so that it’s not all concentrated at the bottom. Continuous dunking of the tea bag is also encouraged.
3. Know which tea you’re using. Why exactly are you drinking tea? Whatever you’re thinking is the right answer though. If you have health specific reasons, then you need to make sure you know what the tea you’re drinking contains; if it’s the right herb or not. There are many to choose from; noni, tianshi, ginseng and all the lot.
4. Use filtered water. Make sure you’re using clean pure water, it enables you get the best out of your tea. Using unfiltered water inhibits the action of the flavonoids and anti-oxidants, cancelling out the healthy benefits of the tea.
5. Use water at the right temperature. Now, this is one thing I can’t really talk about. I always use boiling water for my tea; my Dad always has, so I just went along with it. However, boiling water leaves the tea with a very strong taste. The optimum temperature for brewing tea is about 79°C, but this varies with tea type; green tea needing a higher temperature and black tea, a lower temperature.
6. Water-to Tea Ratio. This also affects the taste of the tea. The ideal ratio is about 1 tea bag (or 1 tsp of tea leaves) to 8 ounces of water (that’s about 1 cup or 250ml). The more water you use, the weaker the tea.
7. Brewing time. Don’t leave your tea to brew for more than 2 minutes. Brewing is basically leaving the tea to stand in the water for a while to bring out its taste. Brewing the tea for a longer time releases more polyphenols into the tea, so maybe that;s an upside.
8. Don’t be scared to re-use the tea bag. You eat left over rice, you can also make weak tea for a late-night drink for a used tea bag. That way, the tea doesn’t stop you from going to bed.
So people, we have come to the end of our tea journey (at least until I discover new goodies). Have a good week, and stay healthy.