Times of the Islands - - To Your Health -

• Choose a non­porous teacup (ce­ramic, porce­lain, bone china or glass) with a wide rim and a thin lip. An old-fash­ioned china cup is a per­fect choice.

• Start with pure, fil­tered wa­ter, so that the tea doesn’t pick up the taste of the tap. Make sure the teapot is used for brew­ing tea only, or other fla­vors might seep through, such as cof­fee.

• Heat the wa­ter to just short of boil­ing. Gen­er­ally, green, white and herbal teas need lower-tem­per­a­ture wa­ter to bring out their fla­vors, while black teas can han­dle the hottest wa­ter.

• The per­fect mea­sure­ment of fresh herbs for brew­ing tea is two to four tea­spoons per cup, while dried herbs re­quire one to two tea­spoons. Place the herbs in a tea strainer or di­rectly in the wa­ter and strain af­ter­wards. If us­ing fresh herbs, press them gen­tly against the side of the pot with a spoon to help re­lease fla­vor.

• Leave the herbs in the wa­ter for two to five min­utes to al­low the tea to steep. Any­thing longer might pro­duce too strong of a tea, but it all comes down to per­sonal taste. Al­though black teas darken, herbal teas stay light, so it’s im­por­tant to watch the clock.

• Be sure to re­move the teabag, strainer or fresh herbs be­fore you drink.

• To make iced tea, let the tea cool com­pletely, then add ice.

• Re­lax and en­joy your fresh cup of tea.

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