Billions of cups of tea are consumed every day around the world; however there is little agreement on how to make the perfect cup of tea. I’m a huge tea drinker myself – even before I started my own tea business, Zen Green Tea. I have done a little research for you into how you can make every cup perfect.
1. The cup: The best type of cup to use is a china cup which is nicely rounded. Why? Disposable cups may react with the tea, whereas china cups are impervious and the smooth surface means that the tannins in the tea do not stick to the surface and instead remain in the brew!
2. The water: Use fresh water that has been boiled only once. Repeated boiling reduces the oxygen content in the tea and can cause a “chalky” effect
3. Temperature: For black teas, using boiling water (100 degrees Celsius) is fine, but it’s best to wait a few seconds before pouring it straight into the cup. The reason is that the hotter the water, the more chemical reactions occur. Black teas do not have a very active antioxidant content because traditionally they have been processed for longer. When you drink white or green teas, it’s important to use water that is cooler (around 80 degrees Celsius). This is especially important for Matcha green tea powder as this tea contains the highest quantities of active antioxidants; so using boiling hot water will reduce its health benefits!
4. Brewing time: About three minutes is the best option- it allows for the full flavour of the tea to develop without bitterness. With Matcha tea, you can drink straight away as you are consuming the whole leaf
5. Milk? If pouring from a tea pot it’s best to add the milk to your cup first then pour the tea into it. The reason, is that the proteins in the milk will bind better with the tannins in the tea to take away that bitterness and contribute to a smoother cup!
6. Drinking temperature: Leave your cup for six minutes so that it cools to 60 degrees- the perfect sipping temperature!