Making the perfect cup of tea is determined by a number of factors including brewing time, water temperature and even the vessel it is served in.
Follow these eight simple steps to deliver the best serve for your customers...
The first thing to consider when preparing the perfect brew for customers is what to serve it in. Scientists at University College London found that the smooth surface of a china cup or mug keeps the natural tannins in the tea from sticking to the side, helping to give a more complete flavour. Similarly, fruit and herbal teas are best served in a glass cup. A spacious vessel allows the infusion to swell while showing off the colour of the blend in a transparent cup will add aesthetic appeal to the tea.
Tea should be made with boiling water – and only once-boiled water, with a low mineral content if possible. This is because re-boiling reduces oxygen levels and affects the taste, whilst water with a low mineral content allows the tea notes to come through.
3. Brewing Black Tea
If you’re making black tea, stand by the kettle to ensure you pour as soon as it’s boiled. Black tea tastes best when brewed in water as close to boiling point as possible. That’s why your cuppa might taste different on a plane. In the reduced pressure environment, the boiling point is lowered to 90°C.
4. Brewing Green Tea
If you are making green tea, allow the kettle to cool for up to two minutes. This will make sure the tea doesn’t over-infuse and develop a bitter taste. Green teas are more delicate after all.
When using a teabag in a cup, always add the milk after the water, otherwise the milk will cool the water down and hinder the all important infusion process. If using a teapot, try adding the milk to the cup first. This traditional technique was introduced to stop the delicate porcelain cups from cracking.
We advise leaving the bag in for at least two minutes to provide sufficient time to let the flavour of the tea to infuse. This is more of a guide though. The perfect brew is down to personal preference, so be sure to ask your customers how strong they like their tea. Do not poke or prod the bag whilst infusing – be patient and let the process happen naturally!
After removing the bag, advise customers to leave the brew to cool down for around two minutes before drinking. As the temperature reduces the flavours will develop for a better quality taste.
It is imperative to store your tea correctly to ensure it remains fresh and flavoursome for your customers. Essentially, there are five key factors to consider when storing your tea; heat, light, moisture, odour and air. Heat and light exposure degrade tea very quickly, making it become stale and decreasing its flavour. Always ensure that teabags are stored in an airtight container in a cool dark area. This will keep the teabags dry until brewed and avoid absorbing unwanted odours that could affect the flavour.