I'm a solid coffee drinker first thing in the morning, but I love a cup of tea (or two) later in the day, particularly on a chilly wet day. I restocked my supply earlier this week, and clarified some of the finer points of tea brewing with the friendly staff at Teacup.
Start with fresh cold water. Fill your kettle, and begin heating the water.
Just before the water comes to a boil, warm your teapot by swirling around a little of the hot water and then pouring it out. This helps maintain the temperature of the tea.
Measure out 1 level teaspoon per 8 ounce cup, and one additional teaspoon for the pot (so, for a four cup teapot I add five teaspoons of tea leaves).
Heat the water just to the boiling point, then remove from the burner. Pour the hot water over the tea leaves. Leaves can be loose in a pot, or contained in an infuser. I love the teapot I have, with a built-in infuser and press-plunger that instantly stops the brewing process when the desired strength has been reached.
Brewing time varies based on tea leaves, and taste. Fine leaves should brew for three minutes, medium leaves for 4-5 minutes, and large leaves 6 minutes.
While the tea is brewing, rinse your teacup with hot water.
If you're brewing the tea leaves loose in a pot, stir before pouring, and then hold a small tea strainer over each individual cup to catch the leaves as the tea is poured.
If you're going to use milk or cream, add this to your cup before the tea. If you'll be adding sugar and lemon, add the sugar before the lemon. Lemon can be added after the tea is poured.
Do you have a favorite tea? I'd love to hear about it.