How to. Make a Perfect Cup of Tea

Daily Mail (London), May 18, 2011 | Go to article overview

How to. Make a Perfect Cup of Tea


THAT first relaxing sip of a well-made cup of tea is one of life's pleasures. According to the Guinness Book Of Records, Ireland is the greatest nation of tea drinkers in the world. So it's safe to say we've mastered a good cuppa. And although everyone is an expert when it comes to making their very own tea, says DAVID KIERNAN, there is still an art to it...

WATER FEATURE

Zhang Dafu, a tea master of the Qing-Dynasty, said that the quality of the drink depends 30 per cent on the tea itself and 70 per cent on the water. Use freshly drawn water that has not previously been boiled. Don't use water left in the kettle, as it will have lost some of its dissolved oxygen, which is important to bring out the tea flavour. Oxygenated water gives a fuller, rounder flavour.

POT LUCK

While the kettle is boiling, warm the teapot using water from the hot tap. Warming the teapot means that when adding the boiled water and tea that it retains its high temperature, and this is important for drawing out maximum flavour from the tea leaves.

IN THE BAG

After emptying the water used to warm the teapot, fill with freshly boiled water and add a teabag per person. If you like stronger tea, don't let it brew for longer -- add more teabags.

Mammies everywhere also add 'one for the pot'.

TEA TEASER

There are four main types of tea. Black tea gets its flavour and colour from full fermentation, which lowers the antioxidants, but increases the caffeine and taste. Green tea has a high content of antioxidants, helping to protect body cells from damaging changes. Oolong tea comes from China and Taiwan, and is a cross between green and black -- and it is said to help weight loss. …

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