Most of you should know, that we love tea here. Hot tea, iced tea… especially sweet tea. We have much in common with our neighbors across the pond when it comes to Southerners with Britons. We both love our tea.
Loose-leaf, bag form, caffeinated, instant, flavored, herbal — we love it all. So, today, for our Food, er, um, Drink Friday, let’s talk about tea!
Hot tea first…
- Always use china, glass, or ceramic. Metal can affect the flavor.
- After you’ve boiled your water for a cup of tea, let it sit for a few minutes and then steep the tea.
- Use bottled water, if your tap has a distinct flavor. This will let the true flavors of the natural tea come out and shine.
- If you’re using an infuser with loose tea, instead of tea bags, count on 1 heaping teaspoon per cup, plus 1 teaspoon. Add these to the teapot and stir. Let steep for about 5 minutes and then serve.
- As an extra cozy treat, warm the tea cups before you serve the tea with warm water. This can be done while you’re waiting for your water to boil or your tea to steep.
- Always stir before serving, to make sure the tea is evenly flavored after steeping.
- You should use whole milk if possible for tea. Skim is a bit too thin; cream, a bit too heavy.
- Add a little maple syrup for a change of pace, to sweeten instead of honey or sugar.
Now, our favorite, iced tea…
- Use twice as much tea when making iced as you would for hot.
- To combine tea leaves or bags with cold water, you’ll need to let it sit, covered, for about 24 hours in the refrigerator. You might wish to strain it before you pour the tea into glasses.
- We love sun tea! Combine tea and water in a clear pitcher or jar. Cover to keep the dust and buggies out, the let stand in the sun for about 4 hours.
- Does your tea sometimes get a little cloudy? Mine too! Keep this from happening by letting it come down to room temperature before refrigerating. Don’t cool it while hot. Already got cloudy? Just stir in a little boiling water. There you go!
Now, for the pesky cleaning bit.
- Keep your pot from staining by pouring the tea out of the pot just as soon as your through. Wash pots with hot, soapy water.
- Store tea in a tightly sealed, dark, cool place. You can add vanilla, cinnamon sticks, or other spices to where you store your tea, if you’d like to add a little hint of extra, personalized flavors.
- Every so often, fill your teapot with a mixture of boiling water and baking soda (about 2 teaspoons) to keep it fresh. Let the mixture cool and then wash as usual with soapy water.
- You can also remove tea stains with a little paste of baking soda and water, then wash with soap and hot water.
- If you live in an area where lime deposits are a problem, fill it with white vinegar and water. Boil this mixture, and let it stand overnight. Wash it out and it’s bright and shiny clean!
- And just one more, for fun for us tea lovers out there — a cute gift made from a teapot. Drill a hole in the bottom of an antique teapot and turn it into a planter. Fill it with gravel and soil, then give to a friend complete with your favorite flower all ready to grow on their kitchen window sill.