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mudbug 01-14-2005 09:19 AM

Proper Cup of Tea
I received a very pretty teapot to go with my very pretty sugar and creamer set and I'm ready to show them off. Problem is, I don't know how to make tea for a teapot, being a dunk-the-bag-in-the-cup type of tea drinker. I have a teaball, and my pot holds about a quart of water. Don't have a teakettle, so will be boiling water in a pan.

Need guidance on method, types/amounts of loose tea, etc.

buckytom 01-14-2005 10:07 AM

'bug, it all depends on the type of tea you are making.
no matter what tea you are making, the water should be brought to a rolling boil first, not just warmed. and the cups should be scalded with some of the boiling water.
but then it comes to the tea. some teas are to be put in just off the heat boiling water, others are supposed to be steeped in slightly cooler water. then there's the steeping times.
the best thing i can say is to find out what type of tea you prefer, and we can surely come up with lots of useless and interesting facts about that particular one.
or you could just toss some tea in the water and go with it...

GB 01-14-2005 11:09 AM

I am just learning myself. For me it is taking a lot of trial and error. I just re-watched Alton Brown's show on tea and he had a lot of helpful info. I hope I am giving correct advice here so if anyone nows different then please feel free to correct me.

Alton said that for Black teas the water should be hotter than for green teas. He gave the temp ranges, but basically said that for black teas you should bring the teapot to the kettle and for green teas bring the kettle to the teapot (give the water time to cool).

He also said not to use the tea balls, but to just put the leaves right into the pot. They need room to expand. Then when you pour the tea just pour it into the cup through a strainer.

Another thing he said was about measuring tea. He said that the reason a teaspoon is called that is because it is a good measurement for one cup of tea. He was not talking about a measured teaspoon, but the actual spoon you will put in your cup to stir it if you are using milk or sugar or anything.

Again I am far from an expert on this. I am just regurgitating what I saw on TV. I have tried his methods and have had to tweak them to my liking, but at least it is a starting point.

Oh one other thing he said was to pout the water directly on the leaves. Don't put the leaves in after the water.

mudbug 01-14-2005 11:29 AM

Thanks, guys. Guess it's time to go into the lab!

Haggis 01-14-2005 06:38 PM

For my girlfriends birthday I bought her a tea set with a variety of teas so I did a bit of researching so could tell her how to make them up herself.

For herbal/fruit and black teas the water should be boiling when you add it to the teapot to steep.

However for green teas the water should ideally be around 80'C for steeping. I am not sure what the ideal temperature for white teas are though.

Brewing or steeping times also differ for the different variety of teas. If I remember rightly pure herb/fruit teas should be steeped for about 7 minutes, black teas for about 5 minutes and green teas for around 3 minutes. You might want to look on the net to confirm this because I am not sure if I remembered correctly.

Also the number of different times you can use the same leaves in a pot of tea differs. Green tea you are only meant to use once, black teas you can get 2 maybe 3 pots out of them and for herbal/fruit or white teas I believe you can get numerous pots out of the same leaves. Indeed I think they say that the white tea is the best on the second or third refill.

Hope that helps.

GB 01-14-2005 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by Haggis
I am not sure what the ideal temperature for white teas are though.

I believe it is the same as green tea.

Lifter 01-16-2005 12:26 AM

Congrats on "filling up the set" Mudbug!

I am NOT a tea drinker, on the other hand, my forbears were...sohere are a few thoughts for you...

"Water" cannot get hotter than 212F/100C without it becomes steam, right? (With pressure, you can get steam hotter, but thats not the issue here)

Anyways, if/when you pour your "boiling water" into a "cold teapot", the temp of the water is "significantly reduced" as the heat comes out of the water and goes into the teapot itself, right?

Therefore, the Urban Legend is "validated", that you should swish a couple cups of boiling water thru the teapot just to heat it up, before you put in your teawater and/or tea....

Being, of course, a "barbarian", and never having been to Kansas, most of us up here in the Great White North will use "teabags" to make tea...in order not to have to strain the tea of its leaves or suffer "fortune-telling" leaf patterns in the bottom of the teacup (about the size of this issue!), I have always tossed the teabag(s) into the boiled water and judged when to remove them by the colour of the infusion resulting...stirring them if/when necessary, (and, sigh, alas, "no" I don't have the taste sense to taste the "paper" of the teabag, or the coffee filter, come to that!)...on the other hand, I can produce the "colour" of the tea I am making, and "shut it off" at a predicted point...

Its interesting how the pro chefs have their advice on the matter, but again, doubt that that many of us have the "palate's" to say which is better or worse, or the cash to buy what's all that fresh or aged...if it tastes good to you, go for it, in my own opinion...


Haggis 01-16-2005 02:23 AM

I've read a fair few posts of yours Lifter and it has always puzzled me...what's with all the ""?!

I find it hard to read your posts because I'm constantly putting on a mental accent and those bunny ear finger movements whenever I come across an "enclosed" word.

Its like trying to read a book from Matthew Riley with his constantly use of italics straining and emphasing single words throughout his stories.

Sorry, personal gripe, but it does not detract from the actual intellectual content of your posts.

Lifter 01-16-2005 06:25 PM


Somewhere between my suspect typing skills, my lousy computer skills that prevent me from cutting and pasting, or being sure that if I italicised a key word, that it would come out, and desperately trying to be reasonable polite, therefor not capitalising the keyword for emphasis, which my kids tell me is like shouting...

Just think of me having the sound of Clint Eastwood for a voice, and maybe my sorry efforts at writing will read a bit easier...


buckytom 01-16-2005 11:21 PM

lol, "the outlaw josey lifter". or "pale lifter". or "2 lifters for sister sarah".

now i'm gonna read your posts, with tumbleweeds blowing across the screen, the sound of spurs on wooden walkways, and "ooh ee ooh ee ooooohhh. wah wah waaaahhhhh" in the background.

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