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The Art of Cold Brew

The Art of Cold Brew

(Photo: A flight of cold brewed teas at  串門子茶館Stop By Tea House! in Taipei)   85% of tea consumed in the United States is consumed cold. Iced Tea, sweet tea, and bottled tea beverages are popular and refreshing; and the tastiest varieties are generally home made.While icing hot-brewed tea is the traditional method, slow-brewed sun tea is also popular.  Superior to (and easier than) both of these methods is cold brewing tea.Using cold water to extract the flavors of tea yields a smoother, sweeter cup that shows off the fruity, floral and savory flavors of tea without producing the bitter, tannic...

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On Milk in Tea

American tea drinkers might not be aware of the great national debate in the U.K. regarding the proper use of milk in tea.  Milk in First (MIF) or Milk in Last (MIL), it seems, is a question critical not only to good English tea enjoyment but is--at times--one of character as well. (See the comments in this Facebook tea group, for example) But why add milk to tea at all?  Certainly many fine teas have a natural  sweetness and character that would be obscured or ruined by milk.    As tea explorers, we generally first try all our teas without additions....

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Simple Steps to a Better Cup of Black Tea

A better cup of tea is easily within reach no matter where you start. Good water, good tea leaves and the right temperature and steeping time will always result in an excellent cup of tea. But no matter tea what you have in your cupboard right now, just changing the water temperature and time can help you get the most of it.  Tea is an adventure and we all have personal tastes. Don't be afraid to experiment. Remember that the sweeter flavors of tea emerge at lower temperatures (170-190F) and the tannins and more astringent flavors emerge in the 180-210...

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Basic Tea Brewing Tips

George Orwell preparation tea water temperature

George Orwell penned a somewhat infamous and rather opinionated essay on the perfect cup of tea. You can read it here, but be forewarned (and with all due respect to Mr. Orwell's skills as a writer)  that while we fully share his enthusiasm for tea in general, we don't embrace all of his opinions regarding its preparation or potential. The perfect cup of tea requires good tea and good water.  These must meet at the optimal temperature and for not shorter or longer than the time required to coax the best flavors of the tea leaf into that water for us to enjoy. Different varieties...

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