Making the Perfect Cup of Tea with Stephen Twining
To launch the new flavours released by Twinings, Stephen Twining (7th generation Twining) came out to Melbourne on a whirlwind 24 hour trip. I was lucky enough to enjoy a day off, sipping tea, trying new blends, even making my own blend; as well as enjoying nibbles and meeting fellow lovers of tea at a high tea event recently.
Our table was lucky enough to be joined by Stephen himself, where we talked about what our favourites teas were, and tea etiquette. For a man that has no less than 9 cups of tea a day, he had quite a few tips on brewing the perfect tea. Being a lover of tea, I learnt a few things and had to share:
Tea with Milk
Historically is it correct to put your milk in the cup first then pour in the tea when the tea is made in a pot.
If you were serving tea to someone you haven’t served tea to before, you would put the milk in after, as you don’t know how much milk they like.
If you are making tea made with a teabag in a cup, you always put it in after you take the tea bag out.
Whichever way you add the milk, it doesn’t affect the taste.
Tea with Sugar
You should never put sugar in your tea!
Tea Bag vs Loose Leaf
Whilst some people say they much prefer loose leaf tea than tea bags as it gives more flavour, are preparing their tea bag tea the wrong way.
Stephen explained when you are preparing loose leaf tea you follow the instructions, where as with a tea bag you just pour the water in and jiggle the bag… which will give off the colour but not the flavour. Pour the water over the tea bag and let it brew as you would the loose leaf tea.
Always use fresh water
As tea reacts with the oxygen in the water, it is important when boiling the kettle to pour out any existing water, fill the kettle with how much water you require and boil. When preparing green tea, the water needs to be 95ºC instead of the normal 100ºC for other teas. Whilst you can buy one of those fancy kettles, or you can just wait 3-5 minutes after the kettle boils to fill up your cup/teapot.
New teas from Twinings in case you are interest are:
Assam Bold – the strongest tea in the Twinings range
Blueberry, Apple & Rosehip
Blackcurrant, Ginseng & Vanilla