Looking at Cooking with Mildred Swift

To make the best tea, use your teapot. A teapot is best because it helps keep the water hot during brewing.

Bring fresh cold tap water to a full rolling boil. Water that has been reheated in a kettle gives tea a flat taste. Only boiling water poured OVER the tea produces the full flavor.

Use one teaspoon of tea or one tea bag per cup. Don’t guess. A tea bag is the equivalent of a teaspoon of tea….just enough to give you a full-bodied cup of tea.

Brew by the clock — 3-5 minutes, depending on the strength you like. It takes time for the leaves to unfold and release their flavor. So don’t guess — time in by the clock.

Remember: One pound of tea prepared according to directions makes about 200 cups.

Tea is one of the easiest things in the world to keep fresh. Just be sure to put it in a tightly sealed canister or jar away from cooking odors and spices. It’s best not to keep tea more than six months as it will gradually lose its fine flavor.

Tea used immediately after it is made, poured hot over ice, has a lovely sparkling color. When made ahead, iced tea should be stored at room temperature. Storing tea in the refrigerator will cause it to cloud. This is in no way handful; it merely destroys the aesthetic qualities of clear tea.


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