How to brew the per­fect tea

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse - NAN­DAR AUNG nan­da­raung@mm­times.com

MYAN­MAR loves its tea, as ev­i­denced by the tea shops scat­tered across the coun­try’s street cor­ners. But does it brew it cor­rectly? Stephen B Twin­ing, the 10th gen­er­a­tion of the fa­mous Twin­ing tea fam­ily, vis­ited Myan­mar over the week­end to pro­mote the fam­ily brand. Not that the brand needed it, af­ter Aye Ne Win – son of the jun­taera dic­ta­tor Ne Win – com­plained about the lack of Twin­ing’s Earl Grey at a re­cent state func­tion hosted by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

“She [the state coun­cil­lor] made prob­a­bly a very wise de­ci­sion to set a good ex­am­ple,” Twin­ing said, ac­knowl­edg­ing the small con­tro­versy at a press con­fer­ence on Au­gust 5. “She was set­ting an ex­am­ple of not spend­ing too much money.”

He added that the com­pany makes no apolo­gies for its higher price (K17,200 for 50 bags at City Mart), point­ing to its care­fully cul­ti­vated prod­uct as one of the high­est-qual­ity brews on the mar­ket.

But to fully ap­pre­ci­ate the nu­ance of his brand, Twin­ings of­fered a demon­stra­tion on how to brew the per­fect cup of tea. His advice re­sem­bled that of Ge­orge Or­well, who penned a de­ci­sive mis­sive on proper tea-brew­ing technique in 1946 for Lon­don’s Evening Stan­dard. Or­well’s ver­sion fo­cuses on hard­ware, the age-old ques­tion of tea-or-milk-first and whether tea leaves can be swal­lowed (they can, to no ill ef­fect).

Twin­ing’s ver­sion, how­ever, de­liv­ered some sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion gleaned af­ter a life­time in the busi­ness. Be­hold, how to brew the per­fect cup of tea ac­cord­ing to Stephen B Twin­ing him­self:

1.

Al­ways use fresh wa­ter in your ket­tle. Fresh wa­ter con­tains more dis­solved oxy­gen and this helps bring out the tea’s full flavour.

2. Pre­heat the pot, es­pe­cially for black teas.

3. For op­ti­mal taste, use 200-250ml of wa­ter per tea bag. (Wa­ter filled to the top of the han­dle of a typ­i­cal mug will be around 200-250ml.) 4. To max­i­mize one teabag, use a teapot to make two cups. (If us­ing loose tea, use one tea­spoon as an equiv­a­lent to one teabag.)

5. Te­abags should only be used once, since all the flavour and nat­u­ral ben­e­fits are re­leased by first use.

6.

Give 3-4 min­utes for the tea to in­fuse. Dur­ing the first minute, you should see the colour re­lease into the wa­ter. The sec­ond and third minute al­low the aroma and flavour to be re­leased, and the fi­nal minute or so ac­ti­vates the anti-ox­i­dants and nat­u­ral ben­e­fits.

Photo: Sup­plied

Stephen B Twin­ing him­self gave the brew demon­stra­tion.

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