Post by Rgemini
<thnip thtuff about tea and milk firtht or latht>
I've been making and drinking tea for well over 40 years and my
1) tea bags spoil the taste
2) loose black tea, in a teapot that has been scalded first, made with
freshly boiling water, gives the best result - about 2 heaped UKian
teaspoons per average pot
3) milk in first-how much? I don't know, I just put the right amount in
4) big cups or mugs are better than small ones
5) if you keep topping the pot up with freshly boiled water you can get
lots of cups of good tea
6) don't forget to use a teastrainer
A former flatmate of mine studied the brewing of tea for his chemistry
PhD. Another former flat mate is, the last I heard, the most senior woman
anywhere in the tea industry. I work on the basis that they probably know
a little bit about how to make a decent cuppa. My taste buds agree.
You are pretty much spot on in every respect, apart from number 5 which is
just plain wrong.
What happens is that the flavours come out of the tea leaf first, the
tanning starts dissolving into the liquor after three minutes or so. So
the longer you leave the tea infusing the more bitter it will taste, and
from around five minutes all that will happen is there will be more
tannin. So what you get after the first run at the pot will taste
significantly different, and unless you like lots of tannin it will taste
a lot worse. You can ameliorate it a little by adding some more tea leaves
as well as more hot water, but by and large the only reason to attempt to
get more than a single round from a pot is lack of tea.
Tea bags aren't as good as leaf tea in a decent pot. However the pyramid
or round bags really do make a better cup of tea than traditional tea
bags. The reason for this is that you need to get the maximum amount of
flavour infused in the first few minutes before the tannin kicks in. So
the more surface area of the leaves that can be exposed to the water the
better. The best shape container to brew tea in is a sphere since it
allows the tea leaves the maximum chance to move around without being
against the surface of the container or trapped by other yea leaves. For
the purpose of brewing tea a traditional tea pot is close enough to
spherical. Spherical tea bags would be a pain to manufacture and pack.
The darker the tea pot the better, and it's best if it's made of something
that insulates well. So the classic brown china tea pot is still probably
the best thing to use.
There is a measurable chemical difference depending on whether the milk
goes in the cup before or after the tea. However it's purely a matter of
taste which you prefer. Some deviants will always prefer tea with the milk
put in after the tea. No amount of persuasion will get the poor deluded
unfortunates to accept the error of their ways, they just prefer the yea
to taste wrong. People who claim there is no difference simply can't taste
well enough to tell. I have no problem with this so long as they ate
willing to accept that they are just plain wrong and should put the milk
in the cup first even though they can't taste the difference.
eric - afprelationships in headers
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"