Monday, September 12, 2011

Tea and Little Miss Mama...

Tonight, Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama all the way from Vancouver is guest posting about tea! Meanwhile, I am over at her blog also guest posting about tea. Tairalyn and I stumbled upon each other in the blogosphere a few months back and have been sharing the blog-love ever since.  Head over and say Hi to this wonderful Mama-to-be and be sure to leave her some love here also!


" I thought I would take today to share some information about Tea, and just how to brew the perfect cup. We all know that in order to live the life like a Queen, this simple task is absolutely mandatory, well this.... and of course mastering the English accent. But today let's just focus on steeping the perfect cup, the accent will come over time, after many many cups of your morning English Breakfast.

Choose the best water available. Never use warm or hot water from the Tap to speed up the boiling process your only setting yourself up for failure. You can wait an extra 60 seconds for better Tea can't you? And always, always....ALWAYS have the Tea Bag IN the cup prior to pouring, never put in the bag in after the cup has been filled with Water.

Use the best Tea available. Grocery stores generally only carry tea bags filled with low quality Tea Leaves.  Although they might seem like a bargain,  these "name brands" are not worthy of being considered Tea. With this day an age it so easy to buy online {including affordable}, if you don't have a Tea Shop locally.

Indie Tea -
Boston Tea Company -

How Much:
Based on an 8oz Cup, a rule is normally 1 to 2 teaspoons of Tea Leaves. In my case, I like a deep, dark, bold Tea and I'll almost always use closer to 3 teaspoons.... shhht don't tell the Queen, I'm sure she would loose sleep over it. 

Water Temperature:
Regardless of how you boil your water, is must come to a rolling boil {212 degrees}. Once it has come to a boil it must sit for a minute or two to cool before pouring ontop of your Tea Leaves.

Green Tea | 180 degrees
Oolong Tea | 190 degrees
Black Tea | 200 degrees

Water that's too hot can burn the leaves which in turn will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Another way to get the taste of bitter in your cup is to over steep or brew your leaves. Insure you read the package and go by their suggestions. You an always put it back in and steep it for longer if its not to your desired taste.

Steeping Time:
Your Tea Leaves should be given time to sit-still during this steeping process. Extra motion can cause the release of more tannins, which in turn lead to a bitter tasting Tea. Do not steep Tea for to long, start with 2-3 minutes and gradually increase the time to your preferred likeness. If your like me - Ill leave a Black Tea in for 5 minutes... but I have a very acquired taste for a Malty, Strong and Bold Black Tea as mentioned above.

If you ask me, I'd say Cream, Sugar {White, Brown or Amber Crystals} or Honey are all great options to flavor your cup. But not everyone will agree with me on this.

The Brits would have my head after hearing that I put Cream in my Tea. They are only about low-fat milks, not because they watch there waist -lines, but because they find Cream can leave a murky taste in their mouths. They would also dis-agree very much with my other options of sweetening besides a white sugar. They would ignore the request of a Brown or Amber Sugar and they would laugh me right out of the Tea Shop if I asked for Honey. But I would do it anyways... cuz I like to live on the edge like that. 

Personal Tips:

* My Mama always taught me, warm your Tea Cup up first. So while boiling your water either run hot water into your cup or else put the cup filled with cold water into your microwave and run for 2 minutes. This will just keep your Tea warmer longer. My mama is brilliant... and I must say the apple doesn't fall from the tree.

* My bestfriend Katy, taught me to put Milk and Sugar in first, as this is what her grandma used to do - however I find that I can sometimes add too much milk this way when I am brewing a new Tea.  As I am not sure how dark it will steep.

* Never rush a cup of Tea. Tea is meant to be sipped not gulped, to me its almost like a sin to brew a perfect cup and complete it in 2 gulps. Savor it, enjoy it and indulge in sweets between each sip."

Keep Calm and Sip on!

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