Monday, 10 May 2010

Elements of a Good Cup of Tea

Firstly, brand of tea will have a significant impact on both strength and flavour. The best teabags are aromatic, by which I mean that when you waft a teabag before your nose you should be able to smell it (this is actually one of my all time favourite scents), and without straining for the scent. If you can't smell the teabag at all then chances are that your cup of tea will be tasteless, little more than boiled water with a trickle of milk. If flavour is the key for you, then you can't afford to stint yourself. My favourite brand of tea is Fairtrade, not cheap by any means, but the main everyday luxury I allow myself. The scent meets the requirements above. 

Tea is best made in a teapot, rather than a cup. In my opinion, a teapot must have personality, whether due to the design, pattern, or accessories (i.e. tea cosy). My teapot only has capacity for one cup of tea, but it is duck egg blue (blue is my favourite colour). I also own a bigger, square teapot to match the square teacups Spud and I bought from a car boot sale: definitely unique! A teapot doesn't need to be unique or pretty in order to make a good cup of tea, but it does effect the presentation - likewise, the mugs or teacups. 

When the tea has been made, it should be left for five minutes, with the tea cosy in place. If the tea is still weak when it's ready to be poured, stir the pot with a teaspoon as required. Always add the tea to the milk rather than vice-versa. I don't know why but it always tastes better this way. Don't let it get too cold before drinking, but start the sipping process shortly after pouring. Tea is always good with cake or biscuits. Happy tea drinking! How do you like your tea?


Bethany Mason said...

You've described it almost exactly how my mum taught me to make a pot of tea (though she never mentioned the scent of a teabag). I don't drink normal tea but like a good cup of fruit tea every now and again - my favourite is 'orange burst' but can't remember the brand, sorry. BTW, I loved this post :)

Ashley said...

Wow! So much more thinking than I ever put into tea! We usually just add boiling water to a teabag and let it steep. Bryan drinks his plain, and I usually add honey or sugar and milk. Sometimes we do loose tea in a strainer or a tea ball, but that's pretty rare. I got some cool Thai tea that you can make in the coffee maker, too. But I rarely ever use an actual teapot. We have two, but they're mostly for decoration. And I don't even know what a tea cosy is...

Ashley said...

Oh! And iced tea! I heard that's just an American thing, though, but I could be wrong. But I do love me some iced tea, especially sun tea, which is steeped all day in the sun. I think that's what I'll make today.

Anna said...

Now you really won't believe this.
Bloved ( just recently has got into the whole * proper * tea thing!
He won't buy teabags ( sorry Kess ) anymore,
he only wants loose leaf tea now.
When I was in Covent Garden on Friday we found the most delightful tea room called * Bou tea *
You can follow them on twitter or google them.
I bought him a small tin of Ceylon kenilworth and it cost me a fiver!
I love the whole art of The Japanese tea ceremony.
Which I watched on you tube, just today.
Great post my love.

Kess said...

*Bethany* The scent of a teabag is just a personal preference! Lol. I haven't tried much fruit tea but intend to in the future. I think I will always love traditional breakfast tea best though! Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

*Ashley* I love iced tea! Spud and I first tried it in France, and found it very refreshing. You've got me craving it now! Lol. A tea cosy is simply a cloth pouch you place over a teapot to keep the tea hot.

*Anna* I've never tried leaf tea, to my recollection. That's definitely on my to-do list in the future. I will look up the Japanese tea ceremony on youtube, but they look and sound really beautiful :) Glad you liked the post. AML, Kess xxxx