Today I’m doing something different for the Recipe Exchange with Little House on the Prairie Living. I’m going to share how to make a pot of tea. I’ve been asked this question so many times after I’ve served friends some yummy tea.
I was NOT a tea lover until I moved to Ireland. The people are so very hospitable, that when you say no to tea, a meal, they serve it to you anyway. It’s such a part of their Irish charm. So…eventually…I grew to tolerate and then enjoy tea. And now I love tea so much that I call myself a tea snob. Of course it’s also because I drink only BLACK TEA, made the IRISH way, even though I live in the STATES. Many Americans don’t love black tea, and many ties it is because of the way it is made…dipped and squeezed…which leaves for a bitter cup of tea. Or they use Lipton, which is basically colored water.
Isn’t our china beautiful? :>
So if you want to enjoy a lovely cup of black tea, first start with a teapot. You can make it in a mug or cup using the SAME method, but somehow I believe it always tastes better if you make it the traditional way, in a teapot. And it really is true that the process and patience of making proper tea, is part of the point…to take a break, take a moment to ponder and step back from whatever is pressing around you. I LOVE this treasured moment it takes to prepare my comforting liquid.
So, first of all, if you want a really good cup of tea, use Bewley’s or Barry’s. But they aren’t so easy to find here. We recently found Barry’s at Cost Plus World Market. Many stores have British PG tips. You could buy the Irish Breakfast at Trader Joe’s or British Tetley at Ralph’s, but they are weaker than the real imported Irish teas.
So fill your teapot with HOT tap water and put the lid on it. Heat your filtered water, just to a boil in a teakettle. Pour the water out of the teapot and put in your tea bags or *loose tea leaves. Many people use one tea bag for the pot and one for each person, but I typically use 1 or 2 for the whole pot, depending how large it is. Pour the boiled water directly over the teabags, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. (If you over boil the water, you will have issues with the oxygen of the water, and it’s important to warm your pot first as both of these steps affect the flavor of your tea). After the 5 minutes, remove the tea bags or leaves, but do NOT squeeze. Serve with milk and/or sugar. I put my milk in after I pour the tea, the Irish way, and no sugar. The British like to put their milk in first and maybe add lemon. I do not like lemon in my tea!
And enjoy your yummy cup of tea!
*For loose tea, use the same measurement idea, but by teaspoons, not bags. And use a good strainer that allows the leaves to breath and expand, not squish them. More tips here. If you prefer no leaves in your tea, you’ll need a strainer with smaller holes, otherwise, pick one you like.
You can serve your tea the Irish way with soda or brown bread with jam or cheese, a pastry, tea biscuits (cookies), or anything you like. I’ve had my tea with just about anything you can think of!
I’m also an American from the Northwest, so I also LOVE OREGON CHAI! It’s the one time I like my tea sweetened….mmmmm. So yummy!
I’d love to hear about your tea loves and routines. :>