National Tea Day: Expert step-by-step guide to brewing the perfect cup of tea
With 100 million cups consumed every day, tea is undoubtedly Britain’s national drink.
But the debate continues to rage over what constitutes the perfect cup of tea. How long should it steep? Milk before or after tea? Do you add boiling or hot water?
Well, to settle the argument once and for all, Dakota Hotels has teamed up with Canton Tea, one of the UK’s leading premium tea suppliers, to definitively explain how you can brew the perfect cup of tea. English breakfast at home.
It is said that the secret to a perfect brew lies in “the three Ts”: the tea, the time and the temperature.
James Thirlwall, Canton’s Tea in-house expert, put the Dakota Hotel team in Manchester through Canton’s bespoke training programme, which he describes as “like a sommelier training course” for experts in herbal tea.
James also revealed to the team his step-by-step guide to brewing the perfect cup and oversaw several trials to make sure they nailed the formula.
Following the training, Tom Husted, Food and Beverage Manager at Dakota Hotels, said, “Start by choosing the best sheets (not all are created equal!), and remember that quantity is everything – for For best results, weigh your leaves or use a spoon to ensure optimal flavor.When drinking an English breakfast, 4g of tea leaves per person is a good general rule to follow.
“The temperature of the water you use is also critical. English Breakfast is a heavily oxidized black tea, so it must be steeped at a high temperature (95 degrees or just after boiling) to extract the full range of flavors. The best way to achieve this is to invest in a temperature controlled kettle, while using filtered water also improves the taste.
“As for steeping time, it depends on your flavor preferences. If you take your tea with milk, steep for four minutes, while if you like your tea black, leave it for half that time. After the time is up, pour out every drop of tea from the leaves. Do not leave any liquid at the bottom of the jar and use it later, as it will be over-extracted and become bitter.
“And when it comes to milk, ALWAYS take the tea first. For the best flavor, pour your steeped tea into the cup, then follow it with milk. Semi-skimmed (or soy/oatmeal) is best option.
There you go, that’s how you can brew the perfect cup of tea!
James Thirlwall, Canton’s Tea’s in-house expert, said: “Brewing the perfect cup of tea is a fine art, and if you want to taste all the brilliant flavor your leaves have to offer, then you have to do it right. That’s why we were so excited to offer our first-class training to the Dakota Manchester team.
“So if you want to enjoy the perfect brew this National Tea Day, then you know where to go!”
National Tea Day falls on April 21.