England is a nation of tea lovers and we're famous for it! We can drink it all day, everyday. Summer is the perfect time to throw a tea party in the garden and invite some friends and experiment with some new blends.
But are you brewing it right?
We talked to Tregothnan Estate - Cornwall's biggest tea exporter, grown right here in the South West - for advice on the perfect brew.
"A good cup of tea is mostly dependant on how it’s made at home, the right water helps and being patient is one of the biggest things. Combined with this, tea made with really good quality tea plants and that’s also been prepared correctly is hard to beat."
1. Water temperature
Although your kettle will boil your water to 100c this is actually far too hot for any type of tea and the temperature varies depending on the blend.
|Herbal tea (manuka, lemon verbena, peppermint)||
low temp 80c - 85c
|Green tea||medium temp 85c - 90c|
|Black Tea||higher temp 90c -95c|
The advice is to boil the kettle and let it cool to the ideal temperature so you don't burn the tea leaves.
2. Be patient with brewing
The key to a fantastic cuppa has a lot to do with how long the tea bag is left to brew in the cup or teapot. The tea bag should be stirred and left in hot water for approximately 2 minutes
3. Milk last
This may seem obvious to some people but there are some who believe it doesn't matter which way around you add the milk. However, our expert says it really does! if you add the milk before the teabag has had chance to brew, it will affect the taste of the tea dramatically. So to avoid a bland milky tea always add at the end.
Additional tea making tips:
- Use a china cup or mug: Tea can actually taste different depending on what you drink it from, bone china is the best type of cup to drink your tea and other hot drinks from the smooth surface of the china means that the tea doesn't stick to the cup itself so the tea you're drinking is always full of flavour.
- Use loose leaf tea: If you have the time and facilities tea always tastes better when its made with loose leaf tea in a strainer, you get the most even diffusion and even balanced saturation of flavour.