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How to make the perfect cup of tea

Taste is subjective and when it comes to making a cup of tea, everyone likes it their own way. We are not telling anyone they are wrong but we are going to explain how we think you can get the best flavour out of your tea leaves.

Loose leaf is the best way to make tea, there are 3 core steps to consider when making the perfect loose leaf tea.

1) How much tea

To determine how much tea you need you need to answer two questions: How big is your cup/teapot Size of the tea leaves Technically speaking you need 1g of tea per 100ml of water, but we known life is not that precise so that generally breaks down to: Small cup = 1 teaspoon Large mug = 2 teaspoons These is on the assumption you are using a broken leaf tea which most are. However if you are drinking full leaf teas which means you will pick up less with every spoonful. Therefore for full leaf teas you need to use a table spoon but the measurements stay the same: Small cup = 1 tablespoon Large mug = 2 tablespoons If you like your teas stronger than you can always add an extra half a spoonful in to add in the flavour. Dont brew the tea for longer as this will bring out more bitter compounds rather more flavour. Remember: More tea = more flavour

2) Water temperature

Getting the correct temperature for the particular kind of tea is incredibly important for making a good cuppa. Black teas are easy because they generally require freshly boiled water to get the optimal flavours out, but greens, oolongs and white teas all need cooler water to bring out their best qualities. I often hear people say they dont like the taste of green tea, but in most cases i would say that it is because they have been making it wrong. If boiling water is used when brewing green tea it will “burn" the leaves and cause an over extraction bringing out the bitter compounds. Good green tea should be light and delicate, but if made wrong, will taste strong and bitter.

The general rule for brewing temperature is: Black tea - 95-100 degrees Oolong tea - 85-90 degrees Green tea - 80-85 degrees White tea - 75-80 degrees The simple way to make a green tea quickly at home is to boil the kettle, fill up your cup and them add a splash of cold water to bring down the temperature before you add your tea leaves to the cup. If you hated green tea before you should try making it this way and see if it changes your opinion.

3) Brew Time

The final factor in making the perfect cuppa is the brew time. What determines the brew is: Type of tea Leaf size Green teas generally brew quickly and only take 2-3 minutes as you are pulling out light delicate flavours. Larger leaf black teas take a bit longer at 3-4 minutes because there is usually a bit more body and strength in a black tea. The size of the leaf will play a large factor in how quickly it will brew. The larger the leaf, the bigger the surface area, and the slower the extraction can happen. Conversely smaller leaf sizes brew faster because they have a large surface area in contact with the water, which is why the dust particles inside most teabags can brew in usually 1-2 minutes. So when you are brewing the tea look at the leaf size,if it is small then brew towards the 3 minute mark but if its larger then let it steep longer towards 4 minutes.

Make your perfect cuppa

What you soon realise as you try different teas is that they are all subtly different and need to be treated according to their characteristics. Green teas are light and delicate,so brew them gently. Black teas are hardy, but if your not careful they can overpower your cuppa so play close attention to the different leaf sizes. Dont be afraid to experiment with the amount of tea you use each time, so you can get it just the way you like it. Why not experiment with a few different teas, explore our te trio packs:

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