My tea, my tea, lettin’ it all hang out…

This time of year sets me to pondering warm beverages down in the Basement. A few years ago I got one of the best Christmas presents ever, a tea set with hand written instructions from a fellow musician. It consisted of a brown kettle for steeping, a white kettle for serving and perhaps most importantly, a hand written note to remind me of the tea brewing procedure. My friend is not online, has no computer or email address and might just be a bit of a Luddite. Even teabags are too new fangled for this guy.

Here is a pic of the note taped to my cabinet:

Tea instructions

Tea instructions

Let me transcribe it for you since it’s a bit fuzzy:

Fill tea kettle w/
cold water and bring to a full rolling boil
rinse steeping pot w/hot
rinse serving pot/w hot
put 4 tsps. tea more or less in pot (I use a teaspoon for this)
pour water
at the full boil as soon as it boils
cover immediately
steep 4 min
less for delicate
longer for stronger
max 5-6
pour off immediately through strainer
cover serving pot w/towels to keep warm

I have added an electric kettle to the mix and recommend it highly. Not only is it faster than boiling on the stove, it’s easier to control.

Electric kettle, steeping pot and serving pot

Electric kettle, steeping pot and serving pot

I have a bunch of different teas: green, black, orange pekoe (which, ironically is black tea) jasmine, and even white tea from Teavana, which I got with a gift certificate. It was way too pricey otherwise.

The only variation is steeping time. Green tea gets around three minutes, black gets around 5. After I pour the steeped tea into the serving pot with a strainer (not pictured) I pour into my oh so Zen handle free ceramic tea cups (a gift from the Mrs., btw) and serve.

Pouring...

Pouring...