How to make the best tea

Aug 20, 2009 at 6:16 p.m. ET

Nothing ruins tea time faster than a tepid cup of bitter tea. To ensure you are serving up the best tea with your noontime nosh, follow these simple steps.

Woman with TeapotStep 1: Find the right tea

Start with high-quality tea, and make sure it is fresh. Loose whole-leaf tea is a great way to go. There are also a myriad of varieties, so be sure to experiment until you find one you love.

Step 2: Boil the water

Fill a kettle or pot with fresh cold water and bring it to a rolling boil. To ensure that you get the most flavor from your tea, you must boil the water.

Step 3: Mix it together

Put 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves (using an infuser basket or tea filter) or 1 teabag per cup into a teapot. Pour the boiling water over the leaves or bag into the teapot. Cover and let the tea steep for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Take away the extras

Remove the leaves or teabags from the pot. Whatever you do, don't squeeze the tea bags – this tends to make the tea bitter.

Step 5: Serve the tea

Pour into cups, serve with milk, honey, lemon and/or sugar and enjoy. Nothing goes better with afternoon tea than some fantastic and simple tea sandwiches such as cucumber mint, goat cheese and watercress, salmon and dill or egg salad. Be sure to follow up with some delicious petit fours.

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For more info on this topic...For more tips on terrific tea, check this out:
Tea for two or just for you?

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