There are many ways to make a good cup of tea. Wherever tea is
brewed, there are rituals and conventions about how to do it right.
Here is how we do it...
First, add the right amount of good loose-leafed tea, usually
one teaspoonful per cup. We use a standard scoop.
Black tea and pu-erh should always be brewed with water at
boiling point, while almost everything else
(including first-flush Darjeeling) is better brewed with
water closer to 80°C. Green tea is ruined by boiling water. In
the shop we have a tap that produces water at 80°C - you can
also allow water to cool for 5 minutes after it boils, or turn
it off when it is only producing small bubbles.
Most true teas should be infused for about three minutes, while
herbal infusions are best brewed for five. We use timers to
make sure it comes out just right.Once the tea has infused for the
perfect time, pour it immediately or remove the infuser to keep it
from stewing. You are now ready for the most important step of all:
sit down, relax, and savour the tea with all of your senses.
(Writing & photographs by Fergus Ray Murray)