I grew up drinking tea with my family and it’s one thing we still regularly do as a family. In fact, any time we’re together is a good time for tea. It’s sort of a default setting. I like the taste of tea, but I think perhaps even more than that, I like the act of preparing and drinking tea. Drinking tea is a warm, comforting habit that helps me feel almost normal no matter where I am or whose company I find myself in. (Wow, saying it like that makes me sound like an addict).
Anyway, most people I know agree that brewing tea in a pot is really the best way to make good tea but usually I can’t be arsed, so I use (Dilmah) tea bags most of the time. I’m talking regular black tea, not green or herbal. And as the person most often responsible for making the tea, I’ve put some thought into the practice. I take pride in remembering how certain people take their tea and, for a time at our old house, I had a cheat-sheet in the pantry so I never had to ask anyone twice.
Recently I changed my method slightly and I’m pretty darned happy with the results. So feel free to try it out and let me know what you think.
- Use fresh water in the kettle; don’t re-boil water that’s already in there.*
- Keep an ear out for when the sound of the water boiling changes. You want to stop it just before the water actually starts boiling. This is when the water is at its hottest without releasing any of the oxygen.
- Fill 1/3 of the mug with the hot, oxygen-rich water and let the tea bag infuse for a couple of minutes.
- Heat the water again – it’s okay to let it boil properly this time if you like – and fill the mug as normal.
This way you get a hot, strong, hot, strong, good, strong, hot, warming but not hotting, good, fresh, fresh, good tea.
*But for the love of all that’s good and right in this world, please don’t tip it down the sink. Give it to your plants, top up your cat or dog’s water bowl or make ice cubes with it.