Keep Calm and Drink Tea
People say tea brewing is an art. You follow a few basic rules and you are sure to get the best flavour and goodness out of our infusions, and then, how you put your personal touch to it is upto you.
Since 99.9% of the tea is water, it has a big bearing on the taste of the brew, SO make sure you have clean crisp fresh water, free of chlorine and low in alkalinity. Short of going out to the mountains with a jug to collect natural spring water (that’s what we brew our infusions in when we are tasting them). Good water is available in any number of ways.
Another thing about water, try using water stored in earthen pot (Ghada/ Surai), it gives the brew a nice earthy tone which we like.
Water temperature is a crucial element in the tea brewing process. Classically tea is brewed hot but different teas have to be brewed at different temperatures to get the best out of them.
Now we know, almost none of us are going to have a thermometer ready when we are brewing our teas so here’s a clever little cheat. Once the water has come to a boil, Lift the saucepan to eye level and observe the steam as it rises. If the steam column is rising straight up from the water, it is close to a boil (around 95 degree Celsius). Once the steam starts to drift, it means the temperature has come down to a range of 85 – 90 degrees Celsius.
For all our herbal teas taste best when brewed just below the boiling temperature, which basically means bring water to boil, switch the heat off, wait for like 15- 20 seconds and then pour it over the leaves.
Quantity of Tea
For a cup of tea, use 2 heaped (around 3gms) tea spoons of leafs per cup ( around 250ml) as a rule but again it depends how you like it, for stronger increase the quantity, for lighter reduced it
Duration of seeping is again very important. Our herbal teas except chamomile should be seeped for around 5 minutes for optimal flavour and nutrients. Chamomile flower tea should be infused only for 3 – 4 minutes
IMPORTANT: To make a brew stronger or lighter don’t play with the brewing duration or water temperature it will spoil the taste of the brew. Only increase or reduce the quantity of the leaves
Never use refined sugar or artificial sweeteners to sweeten your herbal teas, it defeats the whole purpose. You can use Organic Honey, Khandsari Sugar (unrefined sugar) or Gur Shakkar to sweeten the tea. The sweeteners should be added in the end, in individual cups, once the tea is brewed.
If you are clever and careful and finish all the brewed tea in one go, you can use the same leaves for a second brew, it will be milder but still effective, the only condition is make sure there is as little residual tea from the first brew as possible
- Bring the required amount of water to boil. Turn off the heat
- Pour a little of boiling water in the pot/jar which you are using for brewing and the cups you will be drinking the tea in. This is to make sure that the temperature doesn’t suddenly comes down when you transfer the water
- Swirl the water in the brewing pot/jar to make the pot warm and discard the water
- Add the required amount of leaves
- Pour the hot water over the leaves and cover the brewing pot/jar
- Let it seep for the requisite time. Make sure the pot/Jar is covered to prevent essential oils and nutrients from escaping
- Strain and Pour in cups. Here if you desire you can add a little sweetener to your teas