How to make the perfect cup of tea

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Yesterday we had a customer in store who had never had a cup of tea! It always astonishes me when, on the odd occasion, this happens. I immediately get terribly excited and start chatting away about all sorts of teas, how to brew the tea, teapots, mugs, infusers and $100 later as she left the shop Bridgette said to her “you’re one of us now!”

Having drunk tea since I was a teenager and growing up in a family where my parents always drunk tea out of a teapot (no teabags in my house!) I take it for granted on how to make a pot of tea. But for those who have never drunk tea, don’t drink it often, or use teabags, it can be a little daunting making tea the good old fashioned way, in a teapot.

Don’t be scared, the process is quite simple. There are a few basic ground rules but largely how you make a cup of tea boils down to personal preference (pardon the pun!)

The basic steps:

  1. Always use fresh, cold water from the tap. Tea loves oxygen so if you reboil the jug or use hot water from the tap your tea will taste flat.
  2. Always warm the pot. Swish some of the boiling water around your teapot before making the tea. The reason for this is quite important. Imagine it’s winter and you get into your bed at night and the sheets are all cold. So you curl up and gradually spread yourself out when the bed starts to warm up. Tea acts the same way. If you put tea and water into a cold teapot your tea leaves will go into shock and take a while to start to unfurl and brew.
  3. The amount of tea leaves you add and for how long you brew it will come down to what tea you are using and personal preference. We have brewing instructions on all our loose leaf tea. Roughly one teaspoon per cup (or person) and brew for 3-5 minutes, this will allow for the antioxidants and flavour to be released. A good investment is to spend $9.95 and buy “one perfect scoop”, that way you will have a special spoon just for tea and you’ll make a perfect cup every time whether making black, herbal, fruit or green tea.
  4. If you don’t have an infuser in your teapot you can use a strainer when pouring your tea so you don’t get leaves in your cup.

Other things to note:

  1. The sort of tea ware (teapot and cups) comes down to personal preference. A lot of our customers prefer a fine bone china mug with a very fine lip, others like the biggest cup possible so they can have a big cuppa! When it comes to teapots we sell cast iron, fine bone china, new bone china, porcelain, glass, stoneware and stainless steel teapots. It really comes down to what you like the look of and your budget. But my advice is, if you drink tea at least once or twice a day then invest in a good teapot. You’ll use your teapot many, many times and if you have a teapot you love, it will add to the enjoyment of the tea drinking ritual.
  2. Adding honey, sugar or other sweeteners, lemon or milk is up to your taste. There is an ongoing argument whether to add milk to the cup before you pour your tea or after. My Mum always adds milk before she pours whereas I add it after. Again, up to you!
  3. It’s important to remember when making green tea to only add water at 80 degrees. If you don’t have an automatic kettle or thermometer, just boil your jug and leave a minute or so before making your pot of tea. Adding boiling water to green tea will make the delicate leaves taste bitter and destroy some of the health benefits.

I could go on but these are the basic steps you’ll need to know to make a perfect pot of tea. If you have any questions be sure to leave a comment, send us a message or pop into the store for a chat!


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