How to make the best cup of tea

Photo by Miniaturebottle

Believe it or not there have been scientific tests conducted to find the perfect cup of tea!

One study performed by the University of Northumbria found some interesting results. The results showed that the perfect cup of tea came after letting it sit for 6 minutes. This was found to be the perfect time to let the flavors come out. A bad cup of tea came after it was left out for more than 17 minutes.

The study conducted on a panel of volunteers and 285 cups of tea (wow!) found that it was best to leave a tea bag in the mug for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes let the cup of tea sit for 6 minutes. Leaving a cup of tea sitting around for 6 minutes may not be something that many people do, but it could be worth a try!

Most people don’t want to get this scientific when making their tea. So how can you make the best cup of tea at home?

Your water is more important than you think
Many tea drinkers prefer to start with filtered tap water. Always start with cold water, which retains more oxygen. Do not re-boil water because it reduces oxygen content. Water should be below boiling for a good cup of tea. Let water heat up and stop it before it comes to a rolling boil.

There are some different methods you can try to brew a good cup of tea

Two teapot method – Brew your tea in first teapot. Once the tea has reached it’s full flavor potential, strain the tea into a second warmed teapot.

Warm cup method – Pour freshly boiled water into the teacups. After this, return the water into the pot. This helps measure the amount of water you will need for the desired amounts of cups.

Hand filled bags – Put leaf teas into large, unbleached paper bags. This will allow the leaves to swell as they infuse.

Steeping times
Different teas are best at different steeping times

White tea is more pure and delicate and as a result needs a longer steeping time. It is best to steep white tea 3-6 minutes.

Green tea should be brewed up to 3 minutes. If you want to drink the tea with sugar it is better to steep it a bit longer to release more flavor.

Black tea can be steeped in a variety of ways depending whether or not you like your tea light or strong. For a lighter infusion, steep the tea 1-2 minutes. For strong tea, steep for 3-4 minutes.

Should I use milk and sugar in my tea?
Many white teas are naturally sweet and can be enjoyed without sugar or milk. Green teas are better with honey rather than sugar. Black teas are great in any way you prefer. Drink it on its own, or drink with milk and sugar. It’s all a matter of personal preference!

Some people like to add other things to make their tea more interesting. Stir your tea with a cinnamon stick, or twist a bit of lemon into your cup.

It may be a good idea to skip the milk all together if you’re hoping to get health benefits from your tea. Adding milk can negate the benefits of the antioxidants.

Happy tea drinking!