Making the perfect cup of tea is not easy. It comes down to a lot of little things, such as the quality of the tea leaves you are using, the masala (how much is too much?) and of course, the temperature you brew your tea at. Boil the leaves for too long, and you run the risk of ruining their delicate flavour; don’t heat it enough and you will be sipping on an insipid excuse for tea. Considering that current weather conditions call for a cup of perfectly brewed tea, we got in touch with an expert, Dr Rupali Ambegaonkar, CEO of Tea Culture of the World to learn how to brew tea perfectly.
Teas of the Season
“There is nothing like a warm cup of tea on a rainy day,” says Dr Ambegaonkar and adds that while holy basil (also known as tulsi) tea and masala chai are seasonal favourites while teas such as Kashmiri Kahwa, lemongrass ginger, spicy mandarin or maharaja oolong are also great options.
Do’s and Don’ts of Brewing
“The biggest mistake people make is with water. Do not use water that is too hot or not hot enough. It is sure to ruin your experience,” says Dr Ambegaonkar. According to her, each category of tea needs a perfectly timed water temperature to enhance its flavour. Green and white tea should be steeped for three minutes in water just off the boil. Black tea needs boiling hot water, with a steep time of about three minutes. Oolong, herbal and signature blended teas require boiling water with a steeping time of 5 minutes.
A Perfect Cup
Everyone has their own idea of what a perfect cup of tea is. For Dr Ambegaonkar, it is Tieguanyin, the straight oolong tea from China and Matcha, the green tea from Japan. “I prefer not to add anything to the tea, other than warm water.”
How to Make Tieguanyin Tea
Put two tsp tea leaves into the teapot, add boiling hot water (90-95ºC) into the teapot and steep for five minutes. Pour the tea into teacups and enjoy.
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