February might just be the coldest month of the year in many areas of the country (Chicago included!) so if there was a time to hunker down with a warm cup of tea, this is it. Now, you could go out and buy tea from your local coffee shop, but that would require actually going outside. So, I have your tips for making the best cup of tea…all in your own kitchen.
The best part about making tea at home is you have an excuse to buy a cute tea pot! There are plenty of options out there, but my current favorite is from Ten Thousand Villages by a local potter in Nepal. Their “Tea for One” teapot makes the perfect amount for (you guessed it) one person, with just over two cups.
Tea loves oxygen and it helps if you let the flavor develop over time. Start by always using fresh cold water in the kettle to start. Then, make sure your pot is clean and warm it up slightly by swirling a small amount of boiled water in it.
Now you’re ready to start brewing!
To be safe, I heated the water in another, less cute metal tea kettle then transported it to the Tea for One pot. The pot stacks perfectly on top of the cup so it’s easy to carry around and this time gave the tea bag a chance to really seep into the water for a dense and delicious flavor.
Here are simple steps to follow along the way…
- Don’t brew tea for any less (or much more) than 3 minutes
- This is the most recommended time stamp I could find, and when I tested it out, it was indeed perfect.
- If the tea bag is in the kettle, do NOT transfer to your cup
- You should let the tea bag seep into the tea pot long enough to get all the flavor you need. Pour the tea into your cup, but leave the bag seeping. This will keep the flavor fresh, and decrease the nuisance of having a tea bag hitting your nose with every sip.
- If you’re going to add milk, don’t pour it in first
- This is more for appearances sake, but it’s still important. Think about how Starbucks pours their milk into iced coffee as the last ingredient and it looks so pretty as all the components mix together and combine. You can have a similar effect with your tea.
- NEVER reheat your tea in the microwave
- You’ve just put all that effort in! Don’t end up with tepid, watered down tea now.
But what tea should we use? Though I am a novice, I am a huge fan of Tazo Teas, which you can buy from Starbucks or many grocery stores nationwide. They come in a wide range of flavor profiles depending on what taste or effect you’re going for.
I am partial to their Awake English Breakfast tea for the mornings because it (seriously) wakes me up better than coffee sometimes. For the afternoon tea break, I recomend the Refresh Mint or Passion for an extra sweetness.
If you are still sticking to your New Years Resolutions and want to be healthier, there is also the Hyley’s Slim Teas, which promote body cleansing, detoxification, and a healthy digestive system. They don’t have the bitter taste that a lot of weight loss teas do, and come in fun flavors like Pomegranate and Acai Berry.