Ahhhh, tea time. For me, making the perfect cuppa or pot of tea is a very particular thing. When I visit my sisters or mom, or others I know who take tea time as seriously as I do, I notice we all have slightly different ways of doing it; therefore although I might harbor feelings of my way being the best way, in truth there are many ways of taking tea, and not one of them wrong if it leads to the enjoyment of the sipper.
I prefer to brew a pot of tea, rather than an individual mug; therefore my tea time is usually in the evenings. The ritual of making tea is so soothing in its familiarity, it’s almost as calming as actually settling down with a steaming cuppa and taking that first sip.
Won’t you sit a spell with me
While I fix us both
A spot of tea?
I fill the kettle, and while waiting for it to boil I bustle around the kitchen making sure the other elements are ready. First, the perfect pot. For tea by myself, I have a small(ish) tea pot that is white with blue toile on it which is my go-to. If Daughter is drinking tea with me, then I choose a bigger pot for us to enjoy together. Once the pot is selected, I make sure I have adequate clean counter space for the pot to sit while the tea steeps. (Because…it seems sacrilegious to steep tea on a dirty countertop, does it not?) Since tea time is usually after dinner, sometimes this means clearing dishes away and wiping down the countertop, then placing a hand-knit potholder down as the tea trivet (many thanks to my sister who knits!). On top of it goes the teapot, and by this time if the water has boiled, I pour a little into the pot and swirl it around to warm it, then pour it out of the spout so the whole teapot is primed and ready for its brewing task. The tea, the tea…which tea shall I make? Being that it is usually evening, I typically choose Cosy Evening Blend which is one of my most favorite blends of all time …and happily for me, it also happens to be decaf (you can purchase that blend HERE)! I place The-World’s-Best-Tea-Strainer-Which-Has-Changed-My-Life into the mouth of the teapot (you can find that strainer HERE), then scoop two or three spoonfuls of tea into it. I like using a pretty carved wooden tea scoop for this….it’s so much easier to use than a standard spoon, and after all, part of the joy of taking tea is all the pretty accessories that make you feel as though you are in for a treat.
I pour the recently-boiled water over the tea leaves, pop the lid on as best I can with the strainer still inside, and cover the pot with a tea cozy to keep it nice and warm. I set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes…my preferred time for steeping black tea. Since I take my tea sweet and creamy, I like to fill a creamer and leave it by the pot, rather than opening the fridge 3 or 4 times. I open the cabinet door of my cheerful yellow vintage-dry-sink-turned-tea-cupboard and locate a favorite creamer, then rustle up a saucer from one of the drawers and place the creamer on it. (My choice of “cream” while taking tea at home is usually a combination of half-and-half and milk.) Once the creamer is filled and ready, it is usually time to remove the strainer of tea from the pot (pressing down to release all the liquid) and Voila! The tea is ready. All that remains is pouring that first steaming, fragrant cup…which somehow always tastes the best. Care to join me? I’ll let you have the first cup.