Gold Meritorious Patron
At last some workable Tech!
I read that whole thing hoping that a woman with big gazoongas would appear, or a van would blow up.As a public service, here is (without humour) the right way to make tea, and why. This will probably be eye-opening to many:
1. Use fresh, loose tea, not tea-bags. Best bought from a proper tea shop that specializes in real loose tea, stored correctly in airtight, opaque containers. Tea-bags often contain low-quality tea, often powdery bits that are not sellable if the customer could see them, and stale because they were manufactured long ago. When infusing (brewing/steeping), tea leaves expand, and should be free in the pot so the water can circulate around well and carry the subtle flavours throughout the drink: teabags are too constrictive to allow this.
2. Use fresh water, well-oxygenated. Fresh mountain streams are impractical, but fresh from the tap after letting the tap run a bit so the water comes from the cold mains supply and not from having sat in your local house pipe supply for hours should be OK unless your house supply is undrinkable. Don't use bottled water--it is pretty much dead and not fit for drinking unless you know how to rejuvenate it. Don't use water than has sat anywhere for a long time. As fresh as you can get it. Don't use water from the hot tap because first, it will have been sitting in a tank for hours, and secondly who knows what else is dead or sitting in that tank. Boil in a kettle, or saucepan, not a microwave--microwaves do nasty things to water molecules.
3. Metal pots often taint the water and affect the taste, so use ceramic. Heat the pot, with hot water or whatever. The idea is to have boiling (not boiled) water hitting the tea leaves in the pot, and the water kept as hot as possible for the three or four minutes it is brewing in the pot. This is the reason for the quaint "tea-cosy", an often-knitted woolly jacket one puts over an earthenware or china teapot. Bring the teapot to the kettle, not the other way around, for the same reason. Do not boil the water for more than ten seconds, or it will lose too much oxygen. More oxygen in the water makes better-tasting tea.
4. The traditional amount of tea to use is "one tea-spoonful for each cup and one for the pot". Adjust for taste. If you like it stronger or weaker, use less or more tea. Do not adjust the brewing time, but adjust the quantity of tea. It should brew for the full three or four minutes. Stir the pot when you have first poured the water in, and a couple of times in the brewing time. Keep the water as hot as you can while the tea is brewing. If you brew it for longer than the three or four minutes, tannins of higher molecular weight come out of the tea and leave a bad aftertaste.
5. Pour the tea into the cups, using a fine-mesh strainer to keep any loose leaves from entering the cup. Polystyrene cups result in the tea being too hot to drink, quite apart from the aesthetic effect, so preferably use a china cup or mug. Use fresh milk, not UHT milk, if you are taking milk and not lemon. Put the milk in the cup first, not afterwards. If you pour cold milk into hot tea, it will scald some of the milk, affecting the taste. If you pour hot tea into cold milk, it will not, and will also provide the proper aesthetic appearance. There is no need to keep the water as hot as possible once it is no longer in contact with the tea leaves, and of course one can not drink water that is very hot. So it is rather silly to warm the cup first. A cold teaspoon, maybe used to add the sugar and stir it in, is often sufficient to cool the tea sufficiently so it can be drunk without burning the lips or tongue, but not so much the tea is too cool.
6. If you are going to keep the tea in the pot around for a second cup, then somehow arrange for the tea in the pot to not remain in contact with the leaves, brewing for several minutes more. Easiest is to use a cup or mug big enough to satisfy you, so that one cup/mug is sufficient.
Most Americans, and many English people, have never tasted tea prepared properly. Tossing a teabag in a cup with hottish water and milk already added does not produce a good-tasting cup of tea.