After water, Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. An agricultural product of leaves, leaf buds and inter nodes, of the Theaceae family, white tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, pu-erh tea and black tea are all harvested from this Chinese species.
evidence shows that the polyphenols and other antioxidants in tea may
reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other afflictions. However
there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is
healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients. The black
tea's ability to keep disease away is limited to home-brewed teas. The
popular varieties of black (red) tea include Assam tea, Nepal tea,
Darjeeling tea, Nilgiri tea and Ceylon Tea. So how do we actually make
this ritual befitting to our health –
Step 1 : Just about
the most common fault while preparing black tea is to use water at too
low a temperature. Many of the active substances in black tea do not
mature at temperatures lower than 90°C (195°F). The water for black teas
should be added near boiling point 99 °C (210 °F) as the temperature
will have as large an effect on the final flavour as the type of tea
Step 2 : It is also recommended that the teapot be
warmed before preparing tea. I personally keep the pot over the lid of
the boiling water, adding the tea leaves with other spices till the
water is done. A whiff of ginger, crushed fennel seeds or holy basil can
be added for aromatic flavors. For delicate chinaware, it can be easily
done by adding a small amount of boiling water to the pot, swirling
briefly, before discarding.
Step 3: When the tea has
brewed long enough to suit the taste of the drinker, it should be
strained while serving. A tea cozy used as a cover for the teapot, keeps
it insulated and warm. Usually four to five minutes is enough for the
brewing process, but the precise time depends on a number of factors
such as type of tea, weather or water quality.
This delicious beverage can now be had with milk or simply black !