Five Common Tea Myths
Making tea well is crucial in maintaining a consistent standard for your guests. Investing in training your staff well results in a better experience for your customers and a deeper sense of knowledge and pride for your front of house.
Here are five of the most common tea myths dispelled once and for all.
Milk last, please. Milk is usually added to black tea, which requires a water temperature of above 95-degrees to fully draw out the complexity of the flavour. If milk is added first, it can lower the temperature by up to 30% and leave you with an insipid infusion. Always use boiling water with black teas and add your milk after it has infused.
One for the cup, one for the pot.
One man’s teaspoon is another man’s mountain and being inaccurate with your water to leaf ratio will only yield inconsistent results. It’s important to weigh the leaf in relation to your water to get the best results every time.
Colour means flavour.
Dunking or pressing your teabag for strength and colour doesn’t equal flavour. In fact, you’re only extracting more of the bitter tannins. Use spacious whole leaf teabags that give the leaves room to move around, or go loose leaf. Three minutes is the optimum time for a perfectly infused and balanced cup.
Blends mean taste.
A lot of blended teas are designed to mask poor quality base tea. By sourcing high quality, single origin tea, you can often find the flavour profile you are looking for without the need to add artificial pineapple flavour, for example.
Bigger is better.
Big teapots, big tea cosies, big cups… they can look lovely but aren’t better unfortunately. Making only what you need and fully decanting renders a much tastier, hotter, and fresher cup each time and prevents over-steeping and bitter flavours.
How to make the perfect cup of tea
Are you making tea at its very best for your guests? To be safe, here’s a short guide with the golden rules of tea making.
Use great loose tea.
Buy the best quality whole leaf loose tea you can, from a company that focuses on taste.
Use a small teapot…
Small teapots allow you to control the infusion of the tea.
If you’re making tea for you only, use a teapot which is no larger than 300ml.
…and be generous with the leaf.
Decide on the amount of tea to use by weight and not volume – around 5g for a 300ml teapot.
Use good water at the right temperature.
Get the water temperature right for the tea you are drinking.
Green teas and white teas taste best with 60°C-80°C water.
Black teas and oolong taste best with near boiling water.
Use a Brita filter: you’ll get so much more flavour from your tea and you won’t get the horrible smell of chlorine or white scum floating on the surface of your cup.
Infuse for 3 Minutes.
Pour all of the infusion from your tea pot into your cup. Don’t leave any tea infusing because it will become bitter.
Prefer using teabags?
Loose leaf always tastes better but teabags are completely fuss-free and delicious, too. Be sure to buy good quality tea bags containing whole leaf tea, not dust.
Looking for help with your tea service? Be sure to speak to our Felicity at Felicity.Fowler@jingtea.com
Sally Gurteen is the Master Storyteller for JING Tea (https://jingtea.com/) suppliers of fine tea to over 70-michelin starred restaurants and 5* hotels worldwide. Available also online to customers at home.