Gardening Articles: Health :: Cooking

Health Benefits of Drinking Tea (page 3 of 3)

by Dolores Snyder

Brewing the Perfect Cuppa

For the best taste, follow these brewing guidelines regardless of the type of tea.

1. Select a teapot made of porcelain, silver, glass, stainless steel, pewter, or earthenware, but never aluminum, which produces a black, foul-tasting cup.

2. Use cold tap water to rinse the kettle, and fill with fresh water or use bottled spring water. Fill your teapot with hot tap water to warm it. Bring the water in the kettle to a boil.

3. Empty the teapot and add 1 teaspoon of loose tea per cup, plus one for the pot, using an infuser or a special filter paper. Bring the teapot to the kettle and pour on the boiling (212 degrees F) water for black tea. Place the lid on the teapot and steep for three to five minutes, depending on the type of tea for the infusion. Green tea brews at a lower temperature (175 to 185 degrees F) for a minimum of three minutes. Oolong tea takes up to seven minutes to brew, as it is a large-leaf tea. White tea is brewed at 150 degrees F for 15 minutes.

4. Stir the tea before pouring or covering with a tea cozy. If using a tea bag, reduce the brewing time because the tea in the bag is the smallest grade of tea leaf. However, there are now tea sachets available containing full-leaf tea, and these make a better-tasting cuppa.

5. If you have a problem with caffeine in tea, you can decaffeinate your tea by pouring on boiling water to cover the leaves and leaving it to brew for 30 seconds. Then pour off the first water, which will contain 95 percent of the caffeine. Pour fresh water over the leaves and let the tea steep for the required amount of time. A cup of tea contains roughly half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

6. For brewing a perfect pitcher of iced tea, make it double strength with six tea bags, add 4 cups of freshly boiled water, steep for five minutes, strain into a quart pitcher, and add cold water. For a crystal clear liquid, try brewing with loose Ceylon or Darjeeling tea. If your tea becomes cloudy with refrigeration, restore its color by adding a small amount of boiling water.

Today, with such a choice of teas available, you'll likely find more than one that you will enjoy drinking on a regular basis for pleasure as well as health.

Learn more about Dolores Snyder's book Tea Time Entertaining at http://www.doloreswsnyder.com.
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