Making the perfect cuppa: what most of you get wrong

Here at National Tea Day we get asked a lot ‘Why does the amazing cup of tea I had in my local tea shop not taste as good when I made it at home? I used the same brand of tea and followed the preparation instructions perfectly’.

Without watching everyone of you make a cup of tea we can’t guarantee the right answer but in the vast majority of cases the answer is simple: water. Your local café is more than likely using filtered water and at home you are not.

The tea itself is only a tiny percentage of what you are drinking, a poor quality of water is going to equal a poor-quality cuppa.

In face the overwhelming majority of southern England suffers from hard water which can impact all kitchen devices not just tea!

To understand more about how to get great quality water for your tea we chatted with Finerfilters – our Water Quality partners to learn more:

  • Is it true that the quality of your tea is as good as the quality of your water?

True. Around 99% of a cup of tea is made up of water, so if you are brewing the finest quality tea you should be using the finest quality water. If you wouldn’t drink it on its own, then you shouldn’t use it for your tea. The quality of water varies greatly depending on whether you are using filtered water or tap water. If you are using tap water it can differ hugely from place to place, so if you are using tap water for your tea, you might want to consider getting a Finerfilters Undersink Kit, or Calida System to make sure your tea is chlorine and scale free. Please note, boiling water will kill most pathogens and germs, but will not remove the debris left in the water, such as heavy metals and chemical contaminants like a filter would. These make a real difference to the taste of your tea.

Variables in making a good cup of tea include PH levels, chlorine levels and levels of mineral impurities such as calcium oxide, magnesium and sodium which all affect the taste and aroma of your tea. Ideally, ‘soft’ water should be used with a neutral PH (PH 7), so unless you are lucky enough to live in an area with soft water, you are not getting the best out of your tea if you are using water directly from the tap.

What is it about filtered water which makes the tea taste so much better?

Tap water contains 100’s of additives, chemicals which are used to treat the water and heavy metals (usually absorbed by the water as it travels through lead piping). Have you ever tried tap water at your house, then gone to your friend’s and it tastes completely different? This is because all areas of the UK have different qualities of water. These differences are subtle, the kind you might not notice if you’re brewing flavoured tea, making a pitcher of iced tea, or planning to add lots of milk and sugar. But in fine tea, the kind that’s meant to be drunk straight, subtlety is everything. Brew a tea one way and it might taste nice. Brew it with the right water and with some extra care, and quality tea will surprise you with its aromas and finish, which will last minutes after each sip.

Ask tea experts about brewing and they’ll tell you how your source of water is critical, how better water turns a good tea great and bad water can make even pricey tea taste sour and acrid.

  • A lot of people think that filtered water is just a ‘treat’ they can have when they are out – how easy is it to get in your home on demand?

“Why is it that every time I buy tea here and make it at home, it doesn’t taste as good as when you do it?” This seems to be a very common question that a lot of tea makers get. However mostly all of them will give you the same answer. It’s all to do with the water!

If you want that shop-quality cup of tea at home, it’s as easy as installing an undersink kit in your home which start from just £19.99! These carbon filters will remove chlorine odour, taste and smell, as well as particulates in the water. If you are looking for a filter which inhibits scale, which will prolong the life of your kettle and won’t leave that layer of scum on your brew, then our Finerfilters quick style change kit starts from just £52.99 (it’s also bacteria rated)! There are also filters that can completely erradicate scale, known as de-alk filters. Although usually used in commercial applications, we can supply these filters for those who are looking for the highest quality water possible. Give us a ring to enquire!

Alternatively, if you’re thinking about ditching the kettle all together, then our Calida Systems start from £399.99! Our dual hot and cold chrome tap offers boiling and cold filtered water on demand, easy temperature adjustment from 50~100⁰C and LED light indicator. The quick-change filter removes chlorine and sediment, and inhibits scale to vastly improve taste and odour of your water. The Calida system is an undersink style kit which includes a 2-way tap, boiler, filter and all necessary fittings and tubing! Set your temperature of the water on your boiler and voila, you have instant boiling water, on tap!

We are now giving the readers of this blog 10% off all Calida Systems!

Use code TEADAY10 to get your hands on your own and start reaping the benefits of not only great tasting tea and instant boiling water, but healthier water.

(Code valid from now – 31st October 2017)

Check out their website!

EASY TO INSTALL KIT WHICH INCLUDES:

  • Tap and Fittings
  • Boiling Water Tank
  • Filter Head and Quick Change Filter Cartridge
  • 3 – Way T Connector with Shut Off Valve
  • 1/4″ White Tubing (2 Metres)
  • Presure Limiting Valve
  • Push Fit reducing Connectors (2)

 What are our tips on making the perfect cup of tea?

As a partner of National Tea Day, you can imagine, we love tea as much as the next person! We go through plenty of it in our office, so here is how I usually make my cup of tea!

Order – 

1. Tea

2. Sugar (optional)

3. Water (filtered of course)

4. Brew

5. Remove tea

6. Add milk (optional)

7. Drink!

Walkthrough – place your tea bag or leaves in your favourite mug. Add your sugar or sweetener if applicable, then add boiling, filtered water from our Calida system. Depending on your tea (we usually go for PG Tips here) brew for around 2-3 minutes, giving the tea bag a few squeezes to release the aromas. After the tea has brewed, remove the tea bag and add a splash of milk, again optional, and finally, you’re ready to drink!

In summary – if you are buying a premium tea you really need to look at a filtered water solution to get the taste from the tea you are paying for! Thanks to Finerfilters for the insight and we look forward to hearing your thoughts

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