This Assam G.F.O.P is an Indian black tea from the Assam province, it’s Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe offers beautiful young whole leaves, rich in golden tips and has the characteristic malty aroma.
How to make the perfect cup of Tea;
Pop the kettle on. Then choose your beloved teapot, best Bone China Teacup or everyday mug. Warming the pot keeps the tea hotter for longer but won’t alter the tea flavour or quality of the tea. Using an infuser teapot; One heaped teaspoon is all that is needed in a tea pot for one, two teaspoons for a larger pot. The best loose leaf teas will expand immensely and fill the infuser after a few minutes. This uncurling can not be faked and if you couldn’t tell by the aroma and taste, then this is your evidence of the finest loose leaf tea. Adding boiling water to tea directly can sometimes burn the tea, this releases tannins. Tannin makes tea taste bitter. A lot of economical teas are full of tannins and adding boiling hot water makes this bitter taste quite extreme leading to the use of more and more sugar to soften the flavour. Less or no sugar is best with Lucy’s Loose Leaf Tea Collection. Sugar is simply not needed to enjoy the experience.
Infuse with near boiling water for up to 3 minutes if you want your tea stimulating and energizing; 3-5 minutes if you want it to have a soothing and relaxing effect.
Now the not too difficult bit, just below or near boiling is best. But why controversy to this, it is well known that boiled water is best? And how do you get near boiling water?. Boiling water was always used in the century’s past as they knew boiling water would not be harmful, it would kill off any bad bacteria that may have been around and caused sickness. It is also easy to tell when the water was at temperature due to the boil. A little harder for them to guess at 90oC. To achieve near boiling water; the efficient yet pricy method is to buy a modern kettle that allows you to select the temperature of the water, or, simply add a little cool water to the pot just before adding the boiling water.
Milk before or after?
When using delicate Fine Bone China Teacups, in order to protect the teacup from the dramatic temperature change (Adding boiling water to a china teacup), they would add the milk first so the overall temperature would be more suitable for the China. Adding very hot water to cold china could cause the cup to crack, so the tradition started, adding milk first to protect the fine china. Lucy finds adding milk after leads to a creamer fuller flavour as some of the milk sits on the top and first engages the taste buds, but this is a preference, test it for yourself, make two cups one with milk in first, the other after, do not stir the tea and try.
One teaspoon per person?
Have you ever made a large pot of tea and had 4 or 5 guests around to have tea. Inexperienced tea makers remember the old phrase ‘One teaspoon of loose tea per person and one teaspoon for the pot’ however, this is completely inaccurate for today’s method and you wont like the tea if you use this, it is far, far too strong. Let me explain; in the past at the grand properties, which many are now cared for by the National Trust and English Heritage, they would have a Fine Bone China teapot, not easily replaced like today and would ruin the set if broken. But adding boiling hot water could crack or damage the delicate China. So what did they do? They made tea with cold water (previously boiled for safe drinking), a cordial of tea as it were, one teaspoon per guest and one for the pot. This would make the tea cordial very strong. Then they would have other vessels for the boiling hot water to be added to the cold tea cordial in the china teacup. This was also a way of protecting the china teacup and not needing to add milk.