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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Black tea

The water for black teas should be added at the boiling point (100°C or 212°F), except for more delicate teas, where lower temperatures are recommended. This will have as large an effect on the final flavour as the type of tea used. The most widespread fault when making black tea is to use water at too low a temperature. Since boiling point drops with rising altitude, this makes it difficult to make black tea properly in hilly areas. It is also recommended that the teapot be warmed before preparing tea, easily done by adding a small amount of hot water to the pot, swirling for a short time, before discarding. Black tea should not be allowed to steep for less than 30 seconds or more than about five minutes After that, tannin is released, which counteracts the stimulating effect of the theophylline and caffeine and makes the tea bitter . Therefore, for a "wake-up" tea, one should not let the tea steep for more than 2-3 minutes. When the tea has brewed long enough to suit the tastes of the drinker, it should be strained while serving.
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