Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

''From my recent visit to Melsna Tea Castle, I learnt how to make the perfect Tea''

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea
  1. Place one teaspoon( 2g) of leaves per cup of water in a Tea Pot (with a infusing device if available )
  2. Warm your empty Tea Cup with boiling water.
  3. Bring fresh, cold water to a boil. (100C : just when white fumes starts to go off, the water is ready)Pour the boiling water over tea. For Green use slightly cooler water ( 77 - 82C)
  4. Steep Tea for 3 minutes. (Do not over steep Tea)
  5. Strain off tea leaves with a strainer and Fresh brewed Tea in to the Tea Cup.
  6. Enjoy!

Popular Tea Types

Black Tea: Black tea is the most "processed" of all teas. This involves four basic steps - withering the leaves, rolling, fermenting and finally drying. This process actually ferments the leaves, which is what gives this type of tea its recognizable scent and flavor. Black tea has the highest level of caffeine.

In Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka the grade names are an indication of the size and/or appearance of the tea but not the quality. 

List of Ceylon tea leaf grades:

  • Orange Pekoe (O.P.) - Long, thin, wiry leaves which sometimes contain the tip. The liquors are light or pale in colour.
  • Broken Orange Pekoe (B.O.P. or BOP) - This grade is one of the most sought after. It is much smaller than any of the other leaf grades and contains the tip. The liquors have good colour and strength.
  • Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (B.O.P.F.) - This grade is much sought after, especially in the UK. It is much smaller than B.O.P. and its main virtues are quick brewing, with good colour in the cup.

O.P is best served as Plain Tea while B.O.P and B.O.P.F can be enjoyed as Milk Tea.

O.P has a rich antioxidant value and health benefits than B.O.P or B.O.P.F

Plain black tea without sweeteners or additives contains negligible quantities of calories, protein, sodium, and fat. Some flavored tea with different herbs added may have less than 1gram of carbohydrates.

Green Tea

Green tea is often called an unfermented tea. Fresh leaves are allowed to dry, then are heated to stop the oxidation/fermentation process. Methods of rolling green tea vary, but generally, in China, many plantations still hand-roll the leaves.

Green Tea gives valuable health benefits and its rich in antioxidants.

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