I’ve been trying to drink less coffee and more tea lately. I love both so much, but I’m trying to stay away from caffeine and it’s side effects and want to get the best out of some great herbal teas. If you’re keen, like me, to learn the best way to make a proper “cuppa,” it’s generally best to seek out tips from the British, who are known for their love of the beverage. Indeed, the United Kingdom is one of the biggest tea drinking regions in the world, and citizens consume around 165 million cups on a daily basis.
This year the London-based British Standards Institution (BSI) released their official best practice guidelines for tea. The BSI, the business standards company formed in 1901, is known for its BSI Kitemark, a symbol of excellent recognized around the world and found on every type of product from airplanes to manholes.
To create the new standards, the BSI collaborated with the British Tea Producers’ Association, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Tea Trade Committee. The resulting guide, titled “Preparation of a liquor of tea for use in sensory tests” is said to be the scientific formula for the perfect cup of tea.
Whether you love nothing better than a morning cup of black tea, or can’t get enough of organic herbal tea varieties like damiana, chamomile, or peppermint, it’s nice to know how to get the best from your ingredients. If you’re keen to learn just how to make the perfect cup of tea, read on for some top tips from the BSI guidelines.
1. The Right Glassware
For the best cup of tea, the BSI report says that a pot made of porcelain or glazed earthenware should be used. The perfect size for a large pot of tea is said to be between 74mm (2.91 inches) and 78mm (3.07 inches) wide, and 83mm (3.27 inches) and 87mm (3.42 inches) tall.
The pot should not exceed 318ml (10.75 fl oz), and should also have a lid. If you want to seek out just the right mugs to drink from, the BSI advises that a large cup should roughly be between 57mm (2.24 inches) and 63mm (2.48 inches) tall by 109mm (4.29 inches).
2. Amount of Tea to Use
When it comes to knowing how much tea to use each time, the report suggests that there should be at least two grams of tea to every 100ml (3.38 fl oz) of water. With the average tea bag containing around 1.5 grams of tea leaves, for the large sized pot mentioned above you will require at least four tea bags.
3. Order of Milk and Tea
One of the more contentious things that people frequently argue over when it comes to making tea is whether the milk (if required) should be added first or last. According to the new standards, the issue is finally settled. When drinking your tea with some milk, the tea should be added to milk that you have already poured into a cup. This is apparently because the milk will mix more evenly through the beverage when tea is added to the mug second.
4. Optimum Temperature
Temperature is also a factor in making the perfect pot of tea. The right number on this scale varies according to the type of tea being made. For normal black tea, freshly boiled water that has a temperature of around 203°F is best.
When making white or green tea, the water should be left sitting for a minimum of 30 seconds so that it can cool down a touch before being poured over the tea leaves. (The recommended temperature is from 160°F to 203°F.) Herbal tea should be steeped in water that has a temperature of around 203°F.
5. Length of Brew Time
Another important element to consider is the length of time that tea is left to steep. Steeping — the all-important process of soaking solid tea leaves in order to extract flavors from them — is a process in which drinkers need to have patience.
Since tea is made up of thousands of different particles, all of the molecules involved take time to emerge and have an influence on each other effectively. As a result, tea leaves need to be infused for approximately six minutes to produce the best taste.
Guest article provided to Jen is on a Journey.