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How to brew the perfect tea
When it comes to brewing the perfect cup of tea, there are many opinions about what methods to use. From the scientific to the traditional, it seems as though everyone has their own strategies for putting together the perfect cuppa.
Researchers at the University of Northumbria's School of Life Sciences spent plenty of time putting together a scientific study of the perfect cup of tea last year, and came up with some very interesting findings.
The UK is known for its tea-drinking population - according to the university, 60.2 billion cups of tea are made in Britain alone - and the British scientists revealed that the best tasting tea is prepared using boiling water and left to steep for two minutes. The mug then should be left to stand for six minutes before serving, allowing the temperature to cool to 60 degrees C - which is when tea is thought to be at its most flavourful.
Of course, this study focused on black tea - you may find that other brewing times work better for other types of teas.
A matter of precision
The UK Tea Council has also weighed into the matter of what makes a perfect brew, suggesting a range of recommended brewing times depending on the type of tea you plan to serve.
However, there are some constant things you'll want to keep an eye on regardless of what kind of tea you are making. The organisation recommends storing good-quality loose leaf or bagged teas at room temperature in an airtight container.
Tea should be measured carefully, the council says, with one rounded teaspoon of loose leaf tea used per cup. And the tea will taste best, they conclude, if you use freshly-boiled water that has not previously been boiled before.
We'd love to know what you think makes the perfect cup of tea?