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The easy way to perfect tea

How does tea develop its full aroma? For a perfect cup of tea it is not only important to choose the right amount of tea and the right infusion time; the choice of teapot, water quality and storage also play a role. For a medium-strength cup of tea (150 ml) we usually take a rounded teaspoon of tea, or a heaped one for a strong cup. A teabag contains the correct portion (1.5 to 2 g tea) for one cup of tea. The infusion time is less than for loose tea because the small particles allow the active ingredients to be absorbed into the water more quickly.

The infusion time influences the effect
of the tea

Tea drinkers can influence the effect of the drink through the infusion time. A short infusion time (2 to 3 minutes) results primarily in the release of caffeine which has a stimulating effect. A longer infusion time (4 to 5 minutes) will mean that the tea contains more tannins. They have a calming effect on the digestive tract and make the tea more astringent.

 

To make black tea you should pour boiling water onto the tea leaves. The preparation of green tea is different: water is brought to the boil and then cooled down to 70‒80 °C, otherwise the tea will have a bitter taste. The best tea is made with soft water. Robust teas like Ceylon tea will tolerate hard water better than fine teas like, for example, First Flush Darjeeling.

Important points when selecting a teapot
and storing tea

A glass, porcelain or earthenware teapot is a good choice. It is best to warm the pot with hot water before making the tea, so that the tea does not cool down so quickly. To allow the full aroma to develop the leaves must be able to swim freely in the water while infusing. The best way is to use the two-pot method: pour the water onto the tea in one pot and then pour through a sieve into a second pot. It is less trouble, however, to use a tea filter made of metal, net or paper.

 

Last but not least, the tea should be correctly stored: dry and cool. Airtight metal, glass or porcelain containers will protect the tea from foreign aromas such as spices or coffee. Black or green tea can be stored for at least 18 months.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de