Not the three tenors, but the three tenants of the perfect cuppa. Tea, temperature and time. Get those right, and you’ve got a proper bari cup of tea. Then you can start on the age-old British argument of milk in first or second. But that’s a whole different subject. Let’s nail the cuppa first.
There are good teas. There are bad teas. There are okay teas. And the best teas aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Often a very expensive tea costs as much as it does because only a small quantity is produced and/or the harvesting and drying operation is time intensive. Vice versa, a very expensive tea might not have the best character. Trust your taste buds.
At Bari we take advice from highly trained, qualified and experienced Tea Masters from around the world to ensure that we only bring you excellent teas. So that’s one less thing for you to worry about.
Different teas brew best at different temperatures. Tea connoisseurs use temperature controlled kettles and thermometers to get this perfect*. But to be honest – like the Bari Team – you might just want a good cup of tea without the malarkey. Our menu and packaging will advise on individual teas, but as a broad guide we suggest the following:
Tea Approximate Water Temperature
Blend : Freshly boiled (100°C)
Black Estate : Freshly boiled (100°C)
Oolong : Just-off-the-boil (85°C)*
White : Just-off-the-boil (85°C)*
Green : Just-off-the-boil (85°C)*
Herbal : Freshly boiled (100°C)
Flowering : Freshly boiled (100°C)
*No state-of-art, calibrated-to-the-nearest-degree kettle? Neither have we. Just pour freshly boiled water into a heat proof jug, then onto the leaves. That will knock about 15°C off the water temperature.
So apart from making sure you use fresh water and only boil the kettle once (so you haven’t boiled off the oxygen – essential for the brewing process), you can leave the temperature responsibility to your kettle and perhaps a handy little jug.
There’s no getting away from it. This is your responsibility in the move towards a bari* cup of tea. Use an egg timer. Or your phone stop-watch. Or count “one-mississippi, two-mississippi…”. Time seems an eternity when you’re desperate for a cup of tea. Or flashes by when you just doing something else while waiting for tea to brew. Brewing time guidelines are indicated on our menu and Bari Tea packaging, and are usually 3-5 minutes, but see what works best for you. However if, for example, you prefer weaker tea, try switching the type of tea to something lighter, rather than reducing the time. That way you’ll draw out all the flavours – strong or mild – that each individual tea has to offer.
With most teas, when time’s up, remove the ‘liquor’ from the leaves either by pouring all the liquid into your cup, separating the leaves through a tea press, or lifting out the tea filter if used. This prevents that horrid stewed, bitter taste that will result from over-brewing.
Once you’ve become an expert at this, you’ll probably find you’re becoming quite precious about your tea. We certainly hope so.
* Bari means ‘lovely’ in Northumbrian