Everything you need to know about tea!
How much do you already know about the beloved hot drink – tea? Put the kettle on, prepare a fresh pot of hot tea and prepare to be amazed!
Making tea again and again
Did you know that you can use loose green tea leaves several times? The same is also true for black tea. Try it for yourself and taste the differences in flavour.
What is a tea flush?
This is the name given to the first harvest of the tea-plant’s earliest shoots, which consist of a bud and two leaves. If you find the words ‘First Flush’ on packets of either Darjeeling or Assam, then this tells you that the aroma of these teas is particularly mild and after brewing you will have a particulary light and refreshing cup of tea.
All varieties of tea should be stored in the same way, regardless of whether it’s herbal, fruity, black, green or white (link to article about tea varieties from 27.09). Store your tea in a dry, dark place and make sure that it is kept well-sealed. A storage box with a lid is best, especially if you store your tea next to your spices – otherwise you might find that your cup of tea tastes suspiciously like caraway or cinnamon.
Getting the temperature right
The water doesn’t necessarily have to boil for the tea to give off its best flavour. Green and white tea, for example, taste best when brewed in water that is 80 degrees. Black tea, on the other hand, tastes best when the boiling water is left to cool briefly and then brewed when it is at about 95 degrees. Now you know, the temperature plays a big role in making your tea taste… just right!
Another important thing to consider when making tea is the quality of the water. If the water is too hard, the aroma of the tea may not develop properly. Therefore, if you have particularly chalky drinking water, use bottled water or pour the water from your tap into a water filter and use this when making tea.
Optimal brewing times
Herbal and fruit teas can brew for five to ten minutes and release their essential oils in the process. One notable exception is sage, which becomes bitter very quickly. For optimal results take the leaves out of the water after two minutes. Black and white tea only need one to three minutes to brew. This is the time needed for the tea leaves to unleash their wonderful aroma and brew to perfection, brewing for longer, makes the tea much stronger in taste. Japanese green teas taste best when allowed to infuse into water that is 60-degrees.