5 Tips to a Terrific Tea Time
Tea. It’s such a small word, but just so happens to be (besides water) the most widely consumed beverage on the planet. We drink it hot, we drink it cold, we slurp it, sip it, steep it and keep it – from building sites to palaces; kitchens to campsites.
And as much as tea is often about the solitary ritual, it becomes truly special when bringing people together to share good conversation and to make new memories. After all, if we weren’t meant to share it, why were teapots invented?
Life is like a cup of tea – it’s all in how you make it. So here are our five cup-winning tips to brewing a winning cuppa…
1. LEAVE IT BE
News flash – there is such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing’. So if you’re already adding one teaspoon of tea leaves per person, don’t then go and add an extra one ‘for the pot’!
We recommend a level teaspoon of quality tea leaves per person. By adding more tea, you’ll end up with a real ‘storm in a teacup’. And not a moody, romantic, electric kind of storm – rather a storm that tastes too strong and loses all the unique flavour that those poor tea leaves journeyed across the globe to give you.
2. DON’T GO OFF THE BOIL
Using boiling water is one of the most common mistakes when brewing tea. In fact, water that is boiling will only make the tea taste bitter. And the longer you heat it, the more oxygen is released – producing a flat taste.
Because tea is a living plant, its many varieties actually sit on a spectrum. Here’s our temperature guide (you’re welcome).
- White tea: 65–75°C
- Green tea: 75–85°C
- Black tea: 85–95°C
- Infusions: 100°C (okay, so these are the exception)
Remember that in none of these cases should the tea leaves be in the water as it boils – that will scorch the leaves, making the tea taste bitter. And if you don’t have a thermometer, that’s okay – just boil your kettle and allow it to sit for a minute before pouring.
3. CHOOSE GOOD QUALI-TEA
Tea is tea is tea, right? Wrong.
Many people drink tea via teabags – yet these teas are manufactured in bulk batches and can be sold stale and lacking in flavour.
With loose leaf tea, the tea is out of the bag – meaning it’s actually fresher, simple as that. It’s also made with the best ingredients – and not the stems or seeds and other sneaky ‘offcuts’ that many producers hide inside teabags and which make a tea taste bitter. Loose leaf tea also costs you less in the long run – because you can re-steep in multiple times.
All of The Grounds teas have been ethically sourced using the finest loose leaves – from growers who share our passion for quality and innovation. Each cup is made with love – from plantation to your home.
4. KEEP THE LID OFF
Okay, so we’ve got the water, the right amount of tea and we’re using top notch loose leaves. This is where it all comes together. And the top tip here is to take the lid OFF your teapot while it is steeping/brewing.
Why? It’s all about that oxygen again – and letting that breeze in helps more of it flow through the leaves and helping it reach the best flavour. It also helps stop the tea from overcooking.
So not only is tea steeped in tradition, it’s also steeped in oxygen.
5. PICK YOUR CUP
Sure, there will be aesthetic styles that are literally not your cup of tea, but we still recommend following a few rules in choosing the right cup for the job.
The first is the material itself. Porcelain is best because it’s not porous, meaning it won’t interfere or absorb the liquid and derail the taste in any way – you won’t taste any previous flavours.
Next up, the lip of the cup should be thin to allow the liquid to flow seamlessly. It really can make a difference to the purity. Finally, your cup needs a good handle – one that is practical, that you can get your fingers around, that won’t burn you and isn’t so fragile it’s going to be hard to use on a daily basis. This sweet spot of delicate yet hardwearing is where you’ll find the special cup that stops a nation.
Relax. Whether with friends or alone, relaxing is what drinking tea should be about. You’ve brought all the elements together, so now enjoy the leafy fruits of your labour. Tea is as much an experience as it is a drink, so be sure to treat it that way.
And as a bonus, here’s our suggested tea menu to help you get through the day:
- Sip black tea to wake up
- Around midday, go green
- Get your afternoon pick me up with white tea
- Reflect on your day with an evening herbal tea
Rinse and repeat!