Is there a perfect way to brew a cup of tea? Well I believe it’s up to personal preference but there’s a couple of tips I can give you. For this I will be focusing on how to brew the traditional cup of loose English tea or ‘cuppa’ as we call it.
Firstly, use freshly drawn water as boiling water reduces the amount of Oxygen present and tea needs the Oxygen as it is important for the flavor.
The pot you use (I recommend ceramic or porcelain) should be warmed beforehand so the tea can achieve the high temperature it requires for brewing. You can do this by adding boiled water in the teapot and leaving for a couple of minutes
After your teapot has been warmed, pour out the water, add the tea, (about a teaspoon per cup or more if you like your tea strong), add the boiling water and brew for 3 to 4 minutes. However, depending on the type of tea you have it could be less or more, check the recommended time on the package before brewing.
Now comes the age old debate of whether you add the milk before or after you pour the tea into your favorite mug. According to the British Standard BS 6008:1980 (ISO 3103:1980) the milk should be put in first. The reason being because denaturation of milk proteins is liable to occur if milk encounters high temperatures. However the standard also counters that by stating:
“If the milk is added afterwards, experience has shown that the best results are obtained when the temperature of the liquor is in the range 65 to 80°C when the milk is added.”
Not everyone (including me) will agree with putting the milk in first and George Orwell was one of them. In January 12, 1946 he wrote an article for the Evening Standard called ‘A Nice Cup of Tea’. He wrote:
“The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.”
Lastly, you may add sugar to taste and then drink your tea when it reaches optimal temperature, which is recommended to be between 60-65°C (140-149°F).
So there you have it, a perfect cup of tea. If you have any more tips please comment below and I’ll try them out!
Image taken from https://www.sundaypost.com/in10/food/make-perfect-cup-tea/