Making a delicious cup of tea is something my family wish I could do, but alas it’s either too milky or just too strong, so in the quest to make the best cuppa I could, my research lead me to the UK Tea & Infusions Association site

How to make the perfect cuppa!

• Firstly, buy and use a good quality teabag or loose leaf tea
• Store the tea in a cool, dry place and avoid placing it next to strongly flavoured or perfumed foods
• Always use freshly drawn water preferably filtered water when preparing tea or herbal infusions
• Check with your water board to see if you are in a hard or soft water area as this can affect the taste of your tea. If you can, install a water filter in your kitchen for cooking and drinking, but if that is not possible go for a water filter that you can store in the fridge
• The water temperature for black tea should be around 90 – 98 degreesC and for green tea, slightly lower at 80 degreesC. Most tea manufacturers will put their own recommendations on the back of the packet, so have a check of those too, to make the right decision
• Remember the hot water “energises” the tea leaf and extracts all the character from it because it contains oxygen and this is reduced the more times you boil the kettle. Being environmentally friendly only boil the amount of water you need – less energy used ☺
• Measure out your tea, use 1 tea back or 1 rounded teaspoon of loose tea for each cup served
• Allow the tea to brew to the recommended times on the back of the packet or take a look at the table below as a guide. Then pour
• If you brew your tea from a bag in a mug, remember to add the milk last for the best results
• Although it’s your personal preference that counts when it comes to making and enjoying tea, most tea experts suggest you remove the bag after the suggested brew times and before adding the milk

Listed below are just a few of the most popular teas and their brew times:

Assam from India is a Black tea with a brew time of 3 – 4 mins – enjoy with/without milk
Cylon Uva from Sri Lanka is a Black tea with a brew time of 3 mins – enjoy with/without milk
Cylon Dimbula from Sri Lanka is a Black tea with a brew time of 3 – 4 mins – enjoy with/without milk
Darjeeling from India is an Black tea with a brew time of 3 – 4 mins – enjoy without milk
Earl Grey from a variety of areas is a Black tea with a brew time of 3 – 4 mins – enjoy with/without milk
Jasmine from China is a Green tea with a brew time of 2 -3 mins – enjoy without milk
Kenyan tea from Kenya is a Black tea with a brew time of 3 – 4 mins – enjoy with milk
Lapsang Souchong from China/Taiwan is a Black tea with a brew time of 4 – 5 mins – enjoy without milk
Oolong tea is from China/Taiwan with a brew time of 3 – 5 mins – enjoy without milk

How to dispose of teabags

As my previous article suggests, your current choice of teabag may not be recyclable or compostable due to the plastic content it may contain. It is estimated that 1% of a typical teabag’s weight will be plastic (approximately 0.04g). Increasingly we are seeing tea manufacturers switching to PLA (polylactic acid) a renewable and sustainable bio-plastic derived from plants and is biodegradable.

An important point to remember is that a biodegradable isn’t the same as garden-compostable. A biodegradable teabag will need to be warmed to the right temperature and mixed with the right microorganisms to fully biodegrade, so if you have biodegradable tea or teabags, pop them in the green or brown bins, your council provide. They have industrial composters that will do the trick on a large scale. Tea bags containing plastic need to go in the general waste bin unfortunately ☹

If you would like to put tea on your garden compost, it is recommend that you can speed up the process by ripping open the bags before placing the spent tea leaves on your compost heap and disposing of the teabag paper separately in your bin.

Hope you enjoy this article ☺

Thanks to The UK Tea & Infusions Association