Timing is Everything

By Suzi van Middelkoop
Certified Tea Master and owner of Tea by The Sea

Ever had a disappointing cup of tea? Has a green tea left a bitter taste in your mouth? Or perhaps you’ve experienced a black tea that was so strong in tannins it was almost undrinkable? It’s most likely your tea has been overbrewed.

Even though all tea comes from the same plant, it has been plucked and processed differently. To bring out the best flavours and nuances, each type of tea should be brewed at the optimal temperatures and for the right length of time.

Here is a fail safe way to maximise the enjoyment of your cuppa:

  • Heat your pot – this way when the water is poured in, the focus is bringing out the flavours of the tea, not heating the pot.
  • Boil water to the perfect temperature  (this will vary per tea variety).
  • Measure a generous teaspoon per cup.
  • Allow to brew for approximately 2 – 5 minutes (this will also depend on the tea variety and personal taste).
  • Remove the leaves (leaving them in will result in a bitter/stewed brew).
  • Pop a tea cosy on to retain the optimal temperature (not to be used while brewing).
  • Add milk, sugar, honey or lemon, if you desire.

It is important to note, for those of you who love a strong cup of tea, do not steep the leaves for longer but increase the amount of tea used.

Hint: When brewed correctly, tea offers so many unique flavours. Surprise yourself – try your next cup before adding milk and sugar next time.

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