Brewing it just right: 10 things that could make or break a good tea

  1.  Quality of water: Tea must never be brewed with hard water or chlorinated water. Chlorine in water might taint the aroma/taste of the tea because of its own strong aroma/taste. One must only use neutral to soft water that is odourless and tasteless...

Brewing it just right: 10 things that could make or break a good tea
  1. Quality of water: Tea must never be brewed with hard water or chlorinated water. Chlorine in water might taint the aroma/taste of the tea because of its own strong aroma/taste. One must only use neutral to soft water that is odourless and tasteless.

  2. Brewing temperature: Every type of tea has its own recommended water temperature for brewing. Tea should not be brewed in water that is too hot or not hot enough. Every tea comes with brewing instructions. Follow them to the‘t’.

  3. Brewing time: Too much love will kill you. So said Freddy Mercury. Well, too much brewing kills a good tea too. Too little and you’re left with blandness. Here again, go by the brewing instructions provided.

  4. Amount of tea used per cup: Like Goldilocks’ three bears and their soups, we need to put in different amounts of each type of tea to brew a single cup. For example, a chai would require a far lesser amount when compared to say a white tea for a single cup.

  5. Drinking temperature: Do not drink tea that’s piping hot. It’s not only a health hazard but you won’t be able to enjoy a beautiful tea’s complexity if not at a fairly tolerable warm temperature. Some teas may even be enjoyed best at room temperature or chilled.

  6. Cross contamination: Storing tea in a tin or jar that had something strong before is a no-no.  Tea tends to take on outside flavours quite readily so you don’t want your expensive oolong smelling like turmeric or nutmeg.

  7. Condiments: Be careful what you add to your tea. Milk in earl grey, lime and milk together or even cream in a white tea are disastrous additions. Even a sweetener can alter the taste of tea, whether it is brown sugar, honey or aspartame. A good tea is best enjoyed virgin and untouched, if not specified otherwise.

  8. Food accompaniments: Pungent, heavy and greasy foods are to be avoided at any cost along with tea. If you’re to have anything at all, choose light, palate cleansing foods. Also, having tea after a meal isn’t the best idea. The proteins from your food are not well absorbed by your body when you drink tea right after you ate, so it is best to wait at least 20-30 minutes.

  9. Leftover aroma in teaware: Before serving good tea, one must rinse the cups and kettle with boiling water so as to get rid of all bacteria, bring the teaware upto temperature and also get rid of any residual smells that might have been present. Do not use soap or detergent as that will taint the flavour of the tea.

  10. Pinky finger: Please do not raise that finger unless you have a point to make. It is in fact considered rude to raise the pinky finger in the royal circles of England while sipping tea. Let’s just hold the cup handle firmly and enjoy our favourite cup without the frills.

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