How to make a perfect cup of Black Tea:
1. Use fresh water. Why? Because there is more oxygen in fresh water. If you use water previously boiled a dozen or so times the tea will taste flat.
2. Black tea needs boiling water. (100 degrees C; 212 degrees F) When the water comes to the boil pour it straight over the tea leaves. My grandmother used to say the water should be ‘at a rolling boil’. Violently boiling water is dangerous.
3. Use good quality tea. It tastes nicer.
4. As a general rule the tea / water ratio is 1 tsp of tea per person and one for the pot. This is just a general rule. Really it is best to experiment so that you end up with a cup of tea you like.
5. The brewing time for black tea is usually 3-4 minutes. However brewing time also depends on the size of the leaf. The bigger the leaf the longer the brewing time. You may adjust the strength of your tea by brewing for less or more time. The tea will taste bitter and overpowering if you brew too long.
6. Warm the pot. Thoroughly. Do you like jumping into a freezing cold bed? No you do not. This is why we have electric blankets. So how do you warm the pot? Just before my water comes to the boil I pour half a cup into the teapot – there are no leaves in the teapot yet. I let the water sit for a few seconds, or swish it around, then throw it out. Quickly into pot go the tea leaves and by then the remaining water will have come to the boil.
7. That’s it! Enjoy.