Saturday, December 31, 2016

How to make the perfect cup.

How to make the perfect cup
WHITE TEA
To make White tea boil water and leave to cool for around 2 minutes or use water at 185F –85C.
Take care not to pour boiling water on to the leaves as this will scald the leaves and prevent them from opening and releasing all their delicate flavours and aromas. It is important to use good fresh filtered water and to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open releasing their fragrance and flavour. Do not let the tea over infuse as this can make the taste too strong and slightly bitter. Do not let the leaves stew in any remaining water, drain off all water and reuse the leaves by pouring new fresh hot water for a second brew, this brew can have different characteristics in taste and flavours. The Chinese have often regarded the second brew as the best!
As a guide infuse 1-2 teaspoons of White Tea per cup for up to 4 minutes depending on the strength you enjoy.
There are two good methods for brewing tea; one is called ‘the two tea pots method’ and the second ‘the warm cup method’
Use the first teapot to brew the tea and when it has brew for the required time pour into a second warmed tea pot using a tea strainer so there will be no tea leaves. This leaves all the leaves in the first pot and ready to make a second brew.
The warm cup method is as follows pour fresh boiled water into a teapot without any tea leaves in this pot and from the teapot pour into the required number of cups, then place the tea in the empty but warmed teapot, finally pour back the water from the cups and let the tea brew, not only do you have the exact amount of water needed but it is at the perfect temperature!
Whilst it is not essential to use porcelain cups for drinking tea it helps! It can be no coincidence that the Chinese produced the earliest, finest and most delicate porcelain and tea of outstanding quality, both are still held in high regard and combining the two does justice to both. So it is recommended to use porcelain cups or mugs to drink these fine white teas from, and brew in a porcelain teapot that way you get the full potential both in flavours and aromas.
GREEN TEA
To make Green tea, boil water and leave to cool for around 1-2 minutes or use water at 166F – 75C. It is important to use good fresh filtered water and to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open releasing their fragrance and flavour. Boil freshly drawn filtered water, if you use water that has already been boiled in a kettle it reduces the oxygen content in the water. The warm cup method is very good for making Green Tea, as you are less likely to find the tea is bitter with this method, as the amino acids that give the tea its flavour dissolve at a lower temperature than the tannin and the tea will taste sweeter. It is really important not to let the tea brew for too long or to leave the leaves in the teapot. It is possible to use the leaves again but you must take out all the water and fill the teapot again with fresh boiled filtered water.
Take care not to pour boiling water on to the leaves as this will scald the leaves and stop the leaves from releasing their flavour and damage the delicate flavour. It is important for the leaves to open and release the delicate aromas and taste, drink immediately and do not let the tea over infuse as it can become strong and slightly bitter if left too long.
As a guide infuse 1-2 teaspoons of Green tea per cup for up to 3 minutes depending on the strength you enjoy. Drinking Green tea without milk is highly recommended, but you can add sugar or honey to taste.
BLACK TEA
To make Black tea boil water and leave to cool for 30 seconds – 1 minute or use water at 203F – 95C. Take care not to pour actual boiling water on to the leaves as this will scald the leaves and damage the flavour. It is important to use good fresh filtered water and to allow time for the leaves to infuse releasing their fragrance and flavour, after pouring (it can be a benefit to use porcelain cups or mugs) drink immediately and do not let the tea over infuse as this can make the taste too strong and slightly bitter. Use either the warm cup or two tea pot methods as described for White Tea, you can use the leaves to brew a second pot but there may be a subtle change in taste and aroma
As a guide infuse 1-2 teaspoons per cup for up to 1-4 minutes depending on the strength you enjoy. It can be drunk with milk and sugar but if you are using a good single estate or first /second flush or a black tea which is flavoured with fruit or flowers then drinking it without milk is highly recommended.
ROOIBOS & HONEYBUSH TEA
To make Rooibos tea boil water and leave to cool for around 2 minutes or use water at 203F – 75C to 85C. Take care not to pour boiling water on to the leaves as this will scald the leaves and damage the delicate taste. It is important to use good fresh filtered water and to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open releasing their fragrance and flavour, after pouring (it can be of benefit to use porcelain cups or mugs) drink immediately and do not let the tea over infuse as this can make the taste too strong and slightly bitter.
As a guide infuse 1-2 teaspoons per cup for up to 2-4mins depending on the strength you enjoy. Rooibos Tea can be drunk with milk but not flavoured Rooibos or Honeybush Tea.
FRUIT & HERBAL TISANES
To make Fruit & Herbal Tisanes boil water and leave to cool for around 3 minutes or use water at 158F – 70C. Take care not to pour boiling water on to the leaves as this will scald the leaves and damage the taste. It is important to use good fresh filtered water and to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open releasing their fragrance and flavour, after pouring (it can be of benefit to use porcelain cups or mugs) drink immediately and do not let the tisane over infuse as this can make the taste too strong and slightly bitter. Please also look at how to make Green Tea for description of the two teapot & warm cup method.
As a guide infuse 1-2 teaspoons per cup for 2-5 minutes depending on the strength enjoy you enjoy. It is difficult to be precise about brewing times, as there are different plants and fruits parts in each tisane and it also depends on your preference and taste. Herbal tisanes tend to be more delicate and subtle in favour than Fruit tisanes which can have more exotic and intense flavours.

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