Tea Bagging is a Terrible Way to Make a Cup of Tea

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If you were wondering how to make a cup of tea fit for British royalty, it doesn’t involve a tea bag. In fact, tea bagging is a terrible way to make a cup of tea.  I sat down with Lawrence Charles, the founder and CEO of Charles & Company, which is an organic luxury tea brand that celebrates the romanticized, aristocratic notion of British tea.  As a luxury brand, they have loose leaf tea. Loose tea is portions of the whole leaf. The true essence and full flavor comes out in loose leaf tea. Each piece is a tightly dried leaf that unfurls during steeping, allowing its aroma and full flavor to escape into the healing brew. So each leaf needs its own room to expand. The result is a beautiful moment of solitude, conversation, or shared time with friends.

In the world of Charles & Company, everyone is a dignitary entitled to take back moments for themselves and relax with a cup of tea. Charles & Company does a British tea service with a slightly modern, American twist. While Lawrence Charles doesn’t believe a tea service can be done in a wrong way, there is a right way and a wrong way to do a British tea. A British tea service is a feast for the eyes, a beautiful display of tea that will relax you as soon as you gaze upon it. Taking as little as 5 minutes to relax with tea and pull back from daily stress with a cup of tea can have immeasurable emotional benefits.

Popularized by Lipton, bag tea is a denigrated quality tea. Tea bags are filled with fannings and broken tea pieces. Tea bags are loaded by machines which move rapidly, while sweeping in the dust and debris from the machines. This works well for manufactures, but not consumers. These machines are unable to handle high quality loose tea.

Now that we know how to avoid a bad cup of tea (I’m looking at you tea bags), how to make the perfect cup of tea is finally in hand.

Lawrence provided me, and now I’m providing you, with all the steps you need for the perfect cup. The first thing to consider is your tools and of course your tea.

For the perfect cup of tea fit for royals, or a Monday afternoon, you will need the following:

1. Charles & Company Loose Leaf Tea (My favorite is the creamy earl grey, or the white blueberry pomegranate, or…who am I kidding, I love all the ones I tasted)

2. Teapot which includes an infuser (Basket made of screen or has filtration holes. This sits inside the teapot)

3. Water

4. Teacup

– Heat water to approximately 180 degrees

– Add 1-2 teaspoons of CNCTEA to the infuser basket.

As a rule of thumb, the steeping time should vary based on the type of tea. For our white tea, steeping 2-3 minutes gives the perfect brew. Our green tea is a little more delicate. You only need to let the tea steep for 1-2 minutes. 5-6 minutes for our oolong which is a little hardier and can steep longer. Finally, black tea can steep for about 6 minutes and can stretch to 7 minutes. Our herbal teas can steep for up to 6-8 minutes.

Have you ever had bitter tasting tea, or your tea became bitter as you sipped it? It’s because you’re doing it wrong. Tea steeping times are important for flavor, but also to keep the tannins in the tea leaves from breaking free and leaving a bitter taste. Removing the teabag or infuser basket of tea allows the tea to stop steeping. Otherwise it will become bitter as you have a cup and conversation with a friend.

Bottom line: Life is too short to drink bad tea.

 

 

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One Response to Tea Bagging is a Terrible Way to Make a Cup of Tea

  1. Pingback: Have You Ever Cooked Tea? | 30 adjacent

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