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Thursday, March 18, 2010 05:33 pm

A proper cup of tea

Use good tea. As with all food and drink, the end product can only be as good as the ingredients that go into it. There are good quality teas sold in bags, and they’re certainly convenient, but serious tea drinkers know that the best tea can only be made with loose tea. Use one teaspoon per cup.

Use good water. If your tap water is hard (has many minerals) or has chemical flavors such as chlorine, use bottled spring water or distilled water.

Bring the water to a full boil.

While the water heats, warm the teapot with hot tap water or hot water from the kettle. Pour the water out of the teapot and put the tea in it.

As soon as the water comes to a full boil, pour it into the pot. Tea connoisseurs usually insist on bringing the teapot to the kettle: releasing the full flavor of the tea depends on the water hitting the leaves at exactly the boiling point.

Let the tea steep at least 3 minutes. Five minutes is considered ideal. After that point it may begin to get bitter.

Strain the spent tea leaves from the brewed tea and serve immediately.
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