Amongst all of my friends here in the USA, myself and my buddy Yigang Tang are the only ones who truly understand the importance of a good cup of tea. Having spent the first part of my life in the UK, I naturally miss some of the things from Britain here in the USA, and the one which is most difficult to find, is a good cup of tea.
And so in order to counteract this, I usually bring teabags back from the UK when I visit, or sometimes I will order them online. Whilst the teabags which you can buy here in the US are actually not bad, there is much to be said about the way in which people make tea here. And so if you are looking for the very best tea experience, here is how to make the perfect cup of English black tea.
I’m sure not many you actually do this but I have seen people boiling water here using the microwave, an absolute no-no in your quest for a beautiful cup of tea. When you heat water in the microwave you really run the risk of burning the water, resulting in a terrible cup of tea. I know that kettles are not too popular here and so if you don’t have one, make suer that you boil the water on the stove.
Next up you place the teabag in your cup of choice, china if possible, and then pour the water straight in. Do not put anything else in the cup before the water, other than the teabag, if you want milk or sugar, add this later. You should leave the teabag and water in the cup to brew, for between three and five minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea. When you take the teabag out at the end of the brewing time, make sure that you give it a final squeeze to get all of the flavor out.
My personal choice is a cup of tea which is milky and sweet, the choice is of course up to you but I would recommend trying out a few variations before deciding on which works best for you. After you have removed the teabag from the cup, is time when you should put your milk and/or sweetener into the cup. There are some people who believe that putting milk into the cup first, rather than after the brewing process is best, I cud not disagree more with these people and I believe that it alters the taste too much. If you don’t want to put sugar into the tea but you would like it sweetened, you could also try something such as Splenda, or alternatively some honey or agave syrup to give it that additional sweetness.
Take your time when you are making tea, do it with love and you will get it just right.