The secret to making the perfect cup of tea
It’s no secret that us Brits love a cup of tea. Whether you take your tea with or without milk, one sugar or two, or as a builder’s brew, the great British favourite is a hot beverage that can be enjoyed all year-round.
British people have a long, happy relationship with tea. Tea was first introduced in the early 17th century when the East India Company brought it to England. Back in the day, tea was extremely expensive and quickly became a status symbol for the rich as a result.
In the modern day, tea is enjoyed by the masses in almost every household up and down the country. There are now approximately 1,500 different tea varieties to enjoy in the UK, with a range of styles, tastes, and colours to choose from. Black tea is the nation’s favourite however.
Some 165 million cups of tea are drunk every day in the UK, but for most people the quest to achieve the perfect cuppa is a lifelong ambition. In this blog post, we reveal the secrets to making the perfect cup of tea so you can enjoy great brew for the rest of your days!
Use loose leaf tea
Whilst our busy lifestyles have seen tea bag use explode in recent years, using loose leaf tea instead of shop-bought tea bags is the key to a better tasting brew. Here’s Spruce Eats explains why:
“Loose-leaf tea is a tea that is not brewed in a teabag. When you steep loose-leaf tea, it has (or should have) room for tea leaves to absorb water and expand as they infuse. This allows the water to flow through the leaves and extract a wide range of vitamins, minerals, flavors, and aromas from the leaves. When you steep tea in a teabag, its infusion is limited by the size of the teabag.”
Don’t want the mess that comes with loose leaf tea? You can have the best of both worlds by bagging your own. Empty tea bags can be purchased separately and loose leaf tea added to ensure great convenience, infusion and taste every time.
As a rule of thumb, add two teaspoons of loose leaf tea to the bag, making sure that you choose a bigger tea bag size to guarantee plenty of room for movement. Loose leaf tea needs more room to move around.
Choose filtered water every time
Any old water won’t do when creating the perfect brew. For a great tasting cup of tea every time, be sure to use filtered water in your kettle.
Filtered water offers the purest and most delicious option. Better yet, you can create it in your own home thanks to our water filter systems.
Filtered water is free from the impurities and odours that make tap water difficult to stomach for some. It’s also cheaper, more convenient, and better for the environment than bottled water varieties.
In addition to this, cleaning your kettle will be a breeze when using filtered water instead of tap, with limescale build-ups less likely to occur. To ensure great tasting water, and even better tasting cups of tea, change your water filter on a regular basis.
Get the temperature right
Don’t commit the cardinal sin of using warm water from the tap to make your cup of tea. Great tea relies on boiling hot water. A water temperature of approximately 96°C is required for the vast majority of black teas. Those serious about achieving the perfect cup of tea can use a thermometer to check the temperature.
Alternatively, you can invest in the latest mod con for tea lovers, a kettle that allows you to set the boiling temperature.
Always refill the kettle
Using kettle water that has been boiled before will only lead to a bad tasting brew. Boiling water removes oxygen and the more times it is boiled, the more oxygen is lost. Tea needs oxygen to enhance its taste so always refill the kettle at every tea making session. Re-boiled water will leave your cuppa with a nasty, metallic taste.
Take note of brewing time
Strike the right balance between a tasteless, lightly brewed tea and a bitter, stewed cuppa by getting serious about your brewing times. Optimum brewing times vary depending on the tea type and product. Brewing times will however be detailed on the back of your box of tea.
Leave your tea to brew for the right amount of time and when removing the bag try not to stir or squeeze it as this will release bitter tasting tannins.
To finish, add your desired amount of milk to taste, and simply sit back and enjoy your perfect brew!