"But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea." - Mansfield Park
A perfect pot of tea does not begin with a mug of hot water and tea bag. The perfect pot takes time and careful planning.
- Start with a preheated pot or cup. This prevents the tea cooling too quickly. To warm it, pour boiling water into the pot, swish it around, and pour it out again.
- Use freshly drawn or bottled, not reboiled water.
- Bring water to a rolling boil for approximately 10 seconds. Remove kettle from heat. Don't boil the water for too long as this will boil away the flavour-releasing oxygen.
- Wait until the water is just off the boil before pouring it onto the tea. This brings out the rich aroma and avoids scorching the tea.
- Use one tea bag per person, or start with 3/4 of a level teaspoon of loose tea per 6 oz. of water.
- Steep for 3-5 minutes, according to taste. If possible, cover the teapot with a towel or tea cosy while steeping to retain heat. Remove the tea bags or leaves.
- If you would like to add milk (milk, not cream) pour it in the cup or mug before adding the hot tea as this will allow the milk to better blend with the tea without curdling.
- Sweeten as preferred or serve with a slice of lemon. Infuse (steep) green tea for two minutes, semi-black tea for seven minutes, unless instructed otherwise based on the tea you have purchased. Both may be infused several times, depending on the tea you have purchased. Though they may be slightly more expensive than black tea by weight measurement, Green and Semi-Black are ultimately less costly due to the number of times the leaf may be infused.
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