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How To Make The Perfect Pot Of Tea

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When steeping tea there are many little steps that make a big difference in the quality of the final product. Use these simple steps to help you get the most out of your tea experience.
What you'll need: 
tea leaves of your choice
boiling water
tea strainer
Warm your teapot (use an appropriate size for the number of people being served), by swirling hot water inside. Drain the hot water. This will prevent the boiling water you will pour in later from being cooled by the teapot.
Place tea leaves in the pot. A properly stored fresh tea (see tips) should require no more than 1/2 a teaspoon per cup of water, or as directed on the package.
Bring water (enough to fill the pot) to a full, rolling boil. If you are using black or herbal tea, immediately pour the boiling water into the pot. This will allow more flavour to be released from the tea. If you are using green or oolong tea, allow the water to cool for one minute before pouring over the tea leaves. This will preserve the anti-oxidant and nutrient qualities of the tea and prevent it from becoming bitter.
Allow your tea to steep: 5-7 minutes for black tea, 1-3 minutes for green tea, or 7-10 minutes for herbal tea.
Place a tea strainer over your cup and pour the tea through, and voila! You have made the perfect cup of delicious tea! Enjoy.
Loose tea leaves are the best option for a good cuppa. Bagged tea is usually made up of the dust leftover when loose tea is manufactured, and due to the exposed surface area it looses its flavour long before it can ever reach your teapot.
Store your tea in an airtight, opaque container (metal or ceramic) to keep its flavour. It can be stored this way for years, but will lose potency after about 6-10 months. In this case you can simply use a bit more to achieve the strength you want.
Tea leaves can be steeped a second time so long as they are not allowed to dry out between uses. The second brewing will be slightly weaker, but will still taste great.
Caffeine is released by tea leaves only after a minute of steeping. If you prefer a less caffeinated tea, use more leaves and steep for less than a minute.
Tea balls, though commonly sold at tea shops and kitchen shops, aren't the best option for brewing, as they don't allow the tea leaves to fully open and release their flavour. A better alternative is to use disposable, fillable teabags, which are widely available.
Be careful of over-steeping. More is not always better, and you may end up with bitter tea.


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