A Nice Cupa Tea...

There is an art to brewing the perfect pot of tea.
Americans tend to just pop a year-old teabag into a mug of water and nuke it.  Pah!

A truly flavorful cup of splendid tea is easy to make with just a few careful considerations. It helps to have lovely friends from "across the pond" who bring precious gifts of tea when they come to visit.  The Bedlam House Collection is growing, but not faster than I'm consuming.  And that's just as well; you don't want tea to sit too long in the cabinet.  The natural oils and flavors fade.
  • Experiments:
    • On a whim, I snipped open packaged tea bags to see how many bags it took to fill my tea bob.  The answer: 3.  Which only confirms the portions I was taught in Ireland: 1 per person and one for the pot (the assumption being that you are making tea for another goodbody.)
    • In the back of my tea cupboard,  I found a box of cheap tea that has been hanging around my house, unused for a few years.  Being a frugal frau, I thought to use it up rather than pitch it, so I put 3 bags in the pot and brewed for the standard 3 minutes.  I might as well have drunk hot water with milk and sugar.  No flavor at all!  The contents of the pot and the remaining stale tea ~ pitched!.

First, fill your kettle with fresh cold water and bring it to a full rolling boil. I don't know why this makes a difference. Just trust me on this -- it does.

Just as the kettle is about to boil, pour a little of the hot water into your ceramic, china or glass tea pot and swirl it around.  Pre-warming the pot in this manner keeps the boiled water at maximum heat when it is added to the tea pot, quickly drawing more of the tasty oils from the tea leaves.  A sturdy ceramic tea pot will hold its heat best.  Never, never brew tea in a tea kettle! The tea will taste like an old tin can!

Fill a tea ball with a tablespoon of your favorite fresh tea leaves.

When the water is really boiling in the kettle, toss out the pre-warming water in the tea pot and refill with boiling water.  Add your tea ball or tea bags (see Experiments), and steep for five minutes -- no more! Any longer, and the tea will begin to take on a nasty, metallic taste from the tannins. Add sugar and cream as you prefer. A teaspoon of real cream will put you off that chalky, non-dairy whitener for good.

If you cover your teapot with a thick towel or tea cozy (quilted covering), it will retain heat an amazingly long time. Now, sit back and enjoy a cupa or three.

Favorite Teas:


Blithely...  is the creation of
Brenda Sinclair Sutton

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