The Perfect Cup of Tea
There is nothing better than a cup of tea on a hard day of work - take two minutes and have a quiet think over a hot cup of tea. It's such a simple recipe - chuck a tea bag in a cup full of boiling water, leave to stand and then add milk/sugar/sweeteners depending on what you like - and yet, it always tastes different depending on who has made it.
I cannot explain this phenomenon - trained scientists might be able to find an answer but I doubt any have tackled the issue yet. Some people make the best tea ever, yet others make the weirdest, blandest or dullest cuppas ever.
I've been told that I make a fantastic cuppa (especially when I worked in a coffee shop) so I thought I'd share with you my recipe for a perfect cup of tea. This is regular tea I'm talking about; we'll cover green/white/fruit teas afterwards.
New/De-scaled Kettle (boil a mixture of 1/3 water and 2/3 vinegar to remove lime scale build-up from element)
Water filter/purifier (purified water doesn't leave a layer on top of the tea and leaves a cleaner taste)
PG Tips (my personal favourite)
Teabag (Loose leaf if you're feeling ambitious, but I often prefer the simplicity of a bag)
Milk (semi-skimmed works best: skimmed is too watery and whole is too overpowering)
Empty kettle of any old water and replace with as much purified water for the amount of cups you are making (overfilling will take longer and use more electricity). Put teabag in favourite mug - that always makes it taste better psychologically, and pour over teabag about 7/8 full. Let teabag brew for about 1 minute until water is rich brown, push teabag against side, remove and dispose. Add milk until it becomes a copper brown colour. Add 1 sweetener/tsp of sugar and stir slowly. You're done! Now let it cool, but don't forget about it - cold tea isn't too pleasant.
Something as simple as a cup of tea can have a perfect way of creation; as pretentious as it may sound, it is good to develop a habit of following these guidelines. These can also have health benefits and help to keep the cups in a good condition. I had previously been working at an office in Manchester, where it was everyone's responsibility to make their own tea and my mug was always the cleanest of the bunch.
If you're not a fan of regular tea, you could always consider trying out one of these variants:
SPECIALITY TEAS: Green and white teas are a great example of delicious and healthy teas. Rich in anti-oxidants and ever so simple to create (just add water!), these are an excellent choice to help you unwind and enjoy a healthy hot drink.
HERBAL TEAS: Teas such as peppermint or nettle have significant health benefits as well a unique and interesting taste. Valerian tea can actually help you to maintain a regular sleep pattern.
FRUIT TEAS: Often available in powder form, these teas can be equally enjoyed hot or cold and have a variety of delicious flavours. They can be more expensive than other variants; however the versatility of enjoying a refreshing cold drink on a hot day or a comforting hot beverage at night is fantastic.
Tea is pretty much a national institution and the perfect cuppa can brighten anyone's day. It is up to you how to make your own tea, but I hope that you enjoy my suggested recipe as much as I and my friends do.
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