In order to enjoy a divine cup of tea it is important to pay attention to how the tea is brewed, for how long, etc. Here are the basic tea making tips that would help you get the most out of our teas.
Make sure that you have the best quality water ¹ with a low mineral content: this is usually stated on bottled water as “dry residue at 180° C” and choose a brand of water with a low dry residue amount. Furthermore, the water should not be carbonated, i.e. use “still” water.
The kettle ² should be free from limescale and the tea pot ³ should be clean and free from tea stains.
Always use freshly boiled water to make your tea. When boiling water boil little bit more in order to warm your tea pot.
The amount of tea leaves per cup is subjective: use a teaspoon full of tea per cup, say for 300 ml to begin with.
As for the brewing time you can start tasting the tea at 30 second intervals starting form the first minute. This will showcase you how the tea develops with regard to the liquor, bouquet and colour with respect to the brewing time. A premium quality tea will have subtle changes of taste and bouquet as you brew longer: so do not skip this step and be amazed by the experience!
Finally, if you wish to have sugar with your tea then use only white sugar: brown sugar is too strong for these delicate teas and adding brown sugar would mask the subtle flavours & bouquet of your tea. Likewise, it is recommended that you have your tea without milk so you can fully appreciate the true character of tea.
¹ It is not necessary to buy bottled water if your tap water is good: I remember as a student that Welsh water was excellent with almost no limescale! If you are using tap water then make sure that you leave the water in a bottle without the lid overnight to eliminate chlorine; chlorine ruins your tea.
² If possible, use a stainless steel kettle.
³ Get a quality tea pot such as stainless steel, glass or fine china, not a clay pot: it would be difficult to properly clean a clay pot in the long run.