Perfect Cup of Tea
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
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 (6-ounce) servings
- 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)
Teapot or French press
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.