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Course: Drinks
Keyword: British, Drinks, Non-Alcoholic, Perfect Cup of Tea

Cup of Tea

ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 (6-ounce) servings
How to make the perfect cup of tea, without a tea bag. The goal here is to extract the good stuff and leave the bad stuff in the leaves.
Although a teapot with a strainer makes leaf separation simple, it just doesn't provide the leaves the room they need to bloom. That's what's nice about a French press. When you're ready to pour, you just push the leaves to the bottom. If Im making tea to get me through an afternoon, I press then pour into a Thermos that I've rinsed with hot water.
This recipe first appeared in Season 4 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 4 heaping teaspoons high-quality loose tea (about 1/4 ounce for teas like chamomile, 3/4 ounce for black and green teas)

Specialized Hardware

Electric kettle
Teapot or French press
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 (6-ounce) servings


  • Bring the water to a boil in a stove-top or electric kettle.
  • If using a teapot, heat the vessel by pouring about 4 ounces of the hot water inside and carefully sloshing it around. Discard the water (If using a French press, don't bother with this step).
  • Using a teaspoon, measure the loose tea leaves into the warmed teapot. Pour the heated water over the tea leaves. Let steep. For green tea, steep 2 to 3 minutes at 180°F; for oolong, 4 to 7 minutes at 200°F; and for black, Irish, or English, 3 to 5 minutes at 212°F.
  • Strain the tea into individual cups and serve. If using a French press, plunge, then pump up and down a couple of times before pouring, just to make sure the more concentrated brew at the bottom is thoroughly mixed in.
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