If you’ve known me for any length of time you know of my
obsession passion for tea. From that first taste as a 6 month old when my grandmother gave it to me when I was ill, I’ve been a fan. One of my fondest childhood memories is sipping sweet, milky Lipton’s tea from one of grandma’s Melmac cups and saucers. In Grandma’s later years I would go visit her at least once a week and we often drank tea together as we chatted.
I passed along this heritage to my own children. My son likes tea and my daughter is equally as obsessed as I. We both order organic Earl Grey by the case.
I know there are people who say they don’t like hot tea but I always wonder if they’ve never had a “properly made” cuppa. I mean, it just boggles my mind and makes me feel sorry for them. I can’t imagine a more comforting drink and to think there are those missing out on the experience of sipping a steaming hot cup of tea on a chilly morning makes me sad.
So it occurred to me that I might be doing the world a service by explaining how to brew that perfect cup of tea. Or at least, how *I* do it.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Here’s the basic “recipe”:
- freshly drawn water brought to a full boil
- good quality tea (I like Earl Grey)
- sugar (I prefer organic)
- milk or half and half
- Bring water to a full boil.
- Place sugar and loose leaf tea in tea ball or tea bag in cup
- Pour boiling water over tea.
- Let steep 3-5 minutes (use a timer)
- Remove tea ball or tea bag.
- Add milk or half and half.
- Stir and sip slowly.
Now for a few of my special tips:
- First of all, there is no question that a high quality loose leaf tea makes the best cuppa. And I do use loose leaf sometimes. But in the interest of honesty I have to admit that most of the time I use a tea bag. Part of the reason is simply one of convenience, although it really isn’t that much harder to use loose leaf. The other reason has been that I prefer to use organic, Fair Trade tea. I tried a lot of teas and ultimately settled on Choice Organic. I buy it through Amazon by the case and they didn’t use to have a loose leaf version. However, while researching for this post I see they DO have it in loose leaf now. It has now been added to my cart.
- I like my tea very hot but I’m a slow sipper. If I make my tea in a mug, it’s cold by the time I’m a little more than half way through. For awhile I tried placing my mug on a candle warmer in between sips and that helps, although it still wasn’t super hot. Then I discovered insulated Klean Kanteens and a whole new world opened up for me. I now brew my tea in one of these and then pour small amounts at a time into a proper china tea cup and saucer. It stays steaming hot to the last drop and I get to use a pretty tea cup.
- The whole thing has developed into a ritual of sorts. I boil the water in my electric tea kettle:
- While it’s coming to a boil I put the tea and sugar in my Klean Kanteen and select a cup and saucer:
- If it’s not quite boiling yet I do some small kitchen task such as emptying the dishwasher. As soon as it comes to a boil I pour the water into my prepared Klean Kanteen and set the timer for 3 minutes:
- If there’s a pressing chore I’ll tackle that but often I’ll use those three minutes to play the piano:
- When the timer goes off I remove the tea ball or bag, add milk or 1/2 and 1/2, screw on the lid and then take my perfectly brewed tea to the library. I pour some into my cup and then curl up in my chair and enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.
This post is linked up on Throwback Thursday at Tornadough Alli.