Brewing Tea and Experimentation
Don't be afriad to make a mistake, for there are no mistakes. Just an opportunity to learn....
I am often asked about exact measurements of tea when brewing. To me, tea is something you need to experiment with, play around with until you get the perfect brew for that particular tea chosen. Most importantly, it is unique to you. I tend to refrain from putting instructions of measurements and how to brew the perfect cup on my packs of tea. Such instructions should be used as a guide only. When brewing, there are many, many variables to consider as to how much tea should be used for brewing, here are just a few;-
If using a teapot or a teacup with a strainer - The teapot often brings out more flavour due to the lid, so I use stronger, more robust teas if brewing in a cup.
The size of the cup or pot- More tea will need to be used for larger teapots or cups
The size and style of the strainer -some strainers do not allow room for the tea leaves to expand thus not releasing the flavour as efficiently as a large strainer.
Rather than feel anxious about all of these variants, there is a more laid- back approach to the tea making procedure. First, learn what you like and the best way to bring out the flavour of the tea. So, experiment with a particular tea- change the amount of tea to steep- even change the temperature of the water, change the time of the steeping..... Empower yourself to experiment. There is no right or wrong, just another tool to learning more about yourself!
People who come to my home to enjoy a cuppa often watch surprised as I use my hands to place the tea leaves in the chosen teapot. I like to feel the amount of tea going into the cup instead of exactly measuring the tea before placing it in the pot. To measure it with a certain spoon or other fang dangle new apparatus on the market, seems clinical to me. Tea is more than just a beverage... It is the practice of awareness, of stillness, of connection. To de-stress and practice such things whilst making tea is so simple that it is ridiculous! We don't need a particular brand of teapot, or the prettiest cup. True enjoyment and appreciation comes from within.... slowing down..... enthralling the senses....When I brew a pot of tea, for example, I like to sit and listen to the water boiling- I think of nothing more than the water and feel stresses melting away. I open the pack of tea and breathe in its aroma and pick up some tea in my hand before slowly and mindfully placing it into the strainer for the teapot. Every action is mindful and deliberately slow and smooth. I slowly take the kettle and warm the inside of the pot by pouring in a small amount of water- then in my hands I hold the tea pot and swirl the liquid around inside of the teapot- watching the water swirling within. During this process not once has another thought of how stressed I am, or what needs to be done soon, entered my mind. Just the tea, and this beautiful still moment. Nothing else. Nothing. Even when my two sons are playing near me (quite loudly), there is an internal stillness and awareness of the practice of focusing on this one thing- tea. So simple, so relaxing, so freeing...
So, just remember the next time you go to make a cuppa, give yourself some leeway and experiment. There are no expectations, there are no rules, there are no criticisms, just you and this baby step to self discovery- even if it is only about tea. Apply this to every aspect in life and allow the aroma of stillness to steep deep within.