teatime tips

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“He boils milk with fresh ginger, a quarter of a vanilla bean, and tea that is so dark and fine-leaved that it looks like black dust. He strains it and puts cane sugar in both our cups. There’s something euphorically invigorating and yet filling about it. It tastes the way I imagine the Far East must taste.” ~Peter Hoeg, Smilla’s Sense of Snow

~French Press Pot as Tea Pot~

Don’t appreciate tea leaves floating around in your teapot making your tea strong and bitter after the steeping time is done? Here’s a simple solution. Brew tea leaves as you would coffee in your French press coffee pot. (Use the same measurements…1 demitasse spoon of tea leaves per cup of water + one for the pot. so if you’re using an 8 cup press…9 demitasse spoons.) Steep under a tea cozy for 4 minutes. Plunge. Decant into a warmed teapot of your choice and never worry that your tea is getting too strong as you sit and chat with your friends. Perfect tea every time!

~Tea Concentrate~

This is a great trick I learned at the tearooms where I worked. It’s awesome for large groups.

1 cup bulk tea leaves + 6 cups boiling water = 5 cups concentrate

1/2 cup bulk tea leaves + 3 cups boiling water = 2 and 1/2 cups concentrate

1/4 cup bulk tea leaves + 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water = 1 and 1/4 cup concentrate

Make the concentrate the morning of your party. Pour boiling water over tea leaves in your teapot or heatproof bowl. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain leaves and put the concentrate in a hot teapot to keep it warm. Cover with a tea cozy.

Concentrate to water ratio for the perfect cup or pot of tea:

2 Tablespoons concentrate  + 1 and 1/8 cups boiling water = 8 oz. tea

1/4 cup concentrate + 2 and 1/4 cups boiling water = 2 and 1/2 cups tea

1/2 cup concentrate + 4 and 1/2 cups boiling water = 5 cups tea

1 cup concentrate + 9 cups boiling water = 10 cups tea

2 cups concentrate + 18 cups boiling water = 20 cups tea

Pour concentrate into teapot. Pour boiling water over the top. Serve. Don’t forget your sugar lumps, lemon wedges and milk. Refrigerate any leftover concentrate for iced tea.



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