I love sitting down and making a great brew of tea to enjoy with friends, or as a way to unwind for myself in the afternoon. In our fast-paced world, I believe we have lost touch with the art of making tea. Long before coffee was a twinkle in the eye of a barista, the ritual of brewing the right tea for your visitors was a way of welcoming people to your home in both Eastern and Western cultures.
At Byron Bay Tea Company, we would love to bring back some of the rituals in tea making, to our fast-paced culture, by sharing our tips in how to make the best brew.
Yes, I know what you are thinking - all that pomp and ceremony is far too much work for me to do! However, behind the ceremony, we believe there is a magical process that happens when you dedicate your focus to brewing a cup of tea. The essence of the plant is unlocked and the flavours and healing benefits can permeate your senses. We see the ceremony more like a gift you are giving back to yourself and to those you are welcoming into your home!
Start with Quality
It seems obvious, but just pouring hot water over any tea leaf will not always produce great results! Knowing how to pick good quality tea, is the first step. Each tea has the ability to create a warm embrace. Much like pairing wine, knowing the right tea can enhance a conversation with friends, or relax them when they are stressed.
Lastly, we believe quality begins at the source. While tea has become a highly commoditised resource, there are still farmers that have been producing tea for 100’s of years sustainably, and without the aid of pesticides. They have been doing it for years and we know they cost a little more, but it's worth it…!
Having the right teaware is the centrepiece to the ingredient. I used to see my Dad warm up the teapot, which I thought was a waste of time when I was younger. Especially when you are going to just pour hot water into it - right?
Having a warm teacup and teapot means that you can get the aromas out of the tea. But it also means conversations are not broken and you can enjoy the moments without interruption of reheating! Did you know, reheating water in the kettle will reduce the amount of oxygen that lifts the flavour out of the tea?
Some like it hot..! But some tea and herbs prefer to be just below boiling and it all makes a difference. We have created a brewing chart for this reason. We always suggest using fresh, filtered water in your kettle as well.
There is a golden ratio for every leaf, herb, flower to water in your cup that brings out its essence. We have spent time perfecting this golden ratio, unique for each of our teas. When it comes to teabags- It's true that not all are made equal. Although conventional tea bags are cheaper, the portions in many supermarket tea bags mean you need to use two together to make a decent cuppa. It's something we take seriously with our pyramid tea bags that contain the high-quality loose teas and herbs that make them full of flavour.
I love to sit back and watch the colours infuse in the water. Finding that perfect colour that will tickle the taste buds on the way down is key - or to add some milk to black teas. It is unique for all tea blends and it's a must to read the instructions beforehand.
For those hot days, leave some tea left over from your evening teapot and pop it into a glass in the fridge and follow some of our lovely iced tea recipes to be refreshed in the Summer heat!
Notes for Brewing
The brewing celebrates the mellow beauty that time and care imparts to the elements in your teacup. There is a simplicity and meditative focus associated with this tea ritual that we believe enhances a transformative process for those drinking the tea. They say understanding and practicing the tea ceremony can foster peace in humanity - then let's start drinking more tea with friends..!