We all know a perfect cup of tea when we experience it – The challenge is how to recreate it!
You are holding your favourite tea cup, your hands are being gently warmed as you encounter the gorgeous aroma of freshly brewed tea. Imagine that first warming, flavoursome sip, and the connection of sharing in the ceremony of making the tea. Taking time for tea is such a delight!
Top Tips on Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea
Good Quality Tea that is Stored well
You may be thinking this is a very obvious statement, but how often do you think of purchasing a quality tea rather than the cheapest? Do you always buy tea bags? While there are some very good brands of tea in bags, the fact is that tea in bags is designed to brew more quickly, missing out on that slow ceremony. You could perhaps be forgiven for using a tea bag for brewing your morning cup of tea as you are rushing out of the door.
However, I would maintain though that you can never quite achieve the all-encompassing intimacy of the perfect tea experience without taking time to brew proper tea, necessitating an investment in leaf tea. Tea leaves allow you to connect with the ceremony of tea, the steeping of leaves allows for the full brewing alchemy to take place, and consistently delivers a rich, gorgeous flavoursome cup of tea. All important though once you have purchased and invested in your tea leaves is that you store them well, in an air tight container, to keep the tea as fresh as possible, and avoid the tea taking on other odours.
A few of my current tea favourites:
Tippy Assam from James Pogsons Northern Tea merchants – A full bodied and malty tea, liquid biscuit in a cup, gorgeous first thing in the morning!
Rose Tea from Pembrokeshire Tea company – A beautifully aromatic, flavoursome tea, and wonderful as an accompaniment to afternoon tea.
Battle of Britain tea from Henrietta Lovells Rare Tea company – An old fashioned blend that takes you back to yesteryear.
Just the right Quantity of Tea
At this point, you may be right in thinking that making a cup of tea is turning out to be far from as simple as you has imagined. What we are exploring here though is not just any old cup of tea, it is the experience of sipping a calming, connecting, warming, flavoursome mouthful of gorgeous tea. Tea with Mary Kate can promise you it is well worth the investment!
The size of the tea pot is all important, as this dictates the volume of liquid (water) added. Measure out one teaspoon of tea leaves for every cup (here is where you may need to experiment with how many cups your tea pot can hold), and one teaspoon of leaves for the pot. It is rather a lovely fact that the teapot has a teaspoon of tea too.
Freshly boiled Water
Air in the water is critical, so avoid reboiling as this drives out that all important air. Just off the boil is fine, but too cool, and the tea will simply not infuse properly.
The Right Tea Brewing Equipment at the right temperature
Heaven forbid, you may be actually be thinking of dunking a tea bag in a tea cup but quite honestly, the only way of properly brewing tea is in a tea pot. Do remember to warm the tea pot too, as this avoids the water cooling too much.
The patience to leave it to brew
But just for the right amount of time! Not too short, as the infusion will result in insufficient flavour being imparted to the water, too long, and well, we all know what over stewed tea tastes like! This is alchemy at its perfect best, and it needs care and attention. You could even think about employing a timer. I love this old fashioned timer tha James Pogson of Northern Tea Merchants employs. Leave your tea for 4 – 5 minutes for black, slightly less for green.
A Beautiful Vintage China Tea cup to drink your tea from
I confess, I am unable to provide any definitive proof for the reason why, but trust me, you will not fail to be impressed by how wonderful tea is sipped from a china cup. You may have your own favourite drinking receptacle but I will confess my bias is for beautiful Vintage china cups. The tea just tastes better! I match my cups to the blend of tea for that perfect cup of tea.