How to steep tea.

Previously on LOR...

We talked about mind mapping, Jew's harps, climate change and the Iraq war, but today...Today we are going to talk about making a mug of tea.>>
I Have Measured Out My Life with Coffee Spoons ... And I've Found Tea to be Better [Blog title/after T.S.Eliot]
I am a dedicated drinker of tea: white/no sugar. It is the true love of my life. A life without tea is unimaginable. So this DIY is something I take seriously.

The infuser-- illustrated above --is the best tool I've discovered for tea making.It's a tea strainer which sits on top of the mug. You spoon in your teaspoon of tea leaves and pour over water straight off the boil so that the level of hot water in the mug rises to flood the leaves.

Let it steep.

Result: fresh cuppa, still hot by the time you get your lips to it. At home we have four of these infusers in case we are overwhelmed by guests.

It beats any thing on offer from tea bags, tea pots and tea balls. Other options either:
  • don't flood the leaves adequately because they compact the leaves (eg: balls)
  • take longer to infuse so that the tea cools too much:
    • tea pots because of the volume of water in which the leaves are awash. This is despite any number of tea cosies I have used or preliminary tea pot heating)
    • the wet leaves carried by the infuser on the water surface seems to act as a blanket preventing the tea from cooling too fast. The difference between this method and a tea bag (which 'brews' at some depth in the mug)in way of steeping and cooling is significant.

  • trade taste for convenience (eg: tea bags)
And my preferred tipple? Madura Premium Blend. When using this method go for a deep
mug so that the surface area of the fluid exposed to the air is narrowed at the lip. That prevents the tea from losing too much heat. Pot belly mugs are best. I haunt op' shops looking for them. They hold plenty. Rustically aware hand throwing potters love making them so that's what you should seek out as commercially potted mugs tend to be straight up and down.

Of course, beside me here, half full is....guess?