In his famous essay on tea, George Orwell said that one should drink out of a good breakfast cup. By that, he meant a mug, not a teacup. The reason? A mug, with vertical sides, has less exposed surface area for a given volume of tea than a teacup with sloping sides, so it keeps the tea hotter.
Many individuals fail to get it right when it comes to making a perfect cup of tea. So to help you get it right, these are the rules (with thanks to Buzzfeed):
- Don’t let the kettle boil for a long time. Keep an eye on it and remove it from the heat moments after it boils.
- Steep the tea for at least three minutes.
- Don’t leave the teabag in the mug. (Yeah, we’re using teabags. See below of you’re ready to move up to loose tea.)
- Don’t stir with the spoon that you use to take sugar from the sugar bowl. That’s what a teaspoon is for. Got it? (You are using a sugar bowl, right?)
- Use the kind of milk requested. 1% is not an acceptable excuse for 2%. Or for skim. Or for whole.
- Don’t pour milk into the cup first. Tea and water first, milk second. It’s the only way to judge the right amount
- While we’re going on about milk: don’t use milk substitutes.
- Never reheat tea with a microwave.
Finally, why not wash your cup? Your spouse or coworkers will really appreciate it – and by “really appreciate,” we mean they won’t hate you for being selfish and lazy.
Loose vs. Bagged
The dispute of whether loose or bagged tea is better has been going on for some time and will never be resolved, in spite of the fact that loose tea is unquestionably superior. 😉
Actually, the quality of tea in most tea bags is objectively not as high as many loose teas, although many premium brands of bagged tea are really quite good. But loose leaf teas usually have more young leaves, as opposed to the older leaves and dust found in some tea bags. Tea must be picked young for maximum flavor. If it’s reached the stage of drying into dust, there’s not much there.
But convenience is not to be discounted. There’s a lot to be said for doing things the easy way, and with tea bags, there’s no messing around with tea balls or tea pots, and no need to clean them afterward.
To check the freshness of your tea, just smell it. If it smells dusty or smoky, it is not fresh. Fresh tea leaves smell fresh and green.
Now that you know the differences and the rules, why not make yourself a perfect cup?
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Stock your Boston-area business break room with fine teas, coffees, cold beverages and snacks from BostonbeaN Coffee Company. Call for details: 800-448-2739.