An expert tea-taster shares fail-safe tips for nailing the perfect cuppa

Brewing the perfect cup of tea often comes down to personal taste. But, there are some very simple ways to make sure you’re getting the most from your cuppa.

Nerada Tea Plantation Director, Tony Poyner tastes over 30 cups a day to ensure the blend from Australia’s largest tea estate on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland is top-quality and consistently flavoursome.

We asked him to share his tea expertise, so you can make your best cuppa yet.

Quality of your water

“Use good quality cold water, filtered where possible and don’t use water that’s been lying stagnant in your kettle for a while,” he says.

“Run the tap a little so that the water is aerated, as oxygen in the water helps with flavour.”

Temperature of the water

Tony says the temperature of the water is important, and changes depending on what tea you’ll be drinking.

“Once you’ve boiled the kettle, let it sit for a few minutes before you pour. We recommend that our Nerada black teas and herbal infusions need water boiled at about 100 degrees celsuis and white and green tea are often best at 70 degrees celsius.”

Let it sit and brew

Tea needs time to sit and infuse properly, which is why tea from a pot always has a stronger, tastier flavour. “Often tea from a pot is superior because it has time for the flavours to be enhanced,” explains Tony.

“If you’re using tea bags, make sure that you let the brew sit for at least two to four minutes for the flavours to impart.”

Add your milk

Tony concedes this is often the most contentious point about tea making!

His personal opinion? “I’m a milk after guy, preferring to add the milk in after the brew has formed, but many add a splash of milk before. It’s purely a personal choice.” 

Choose fresh

“Like any produce, the fresher the product the more it impacts on flavour,” says Tony.

“Whilst many tea brands are imported, locally produced tea can go from crop to cup in as little as four weeks which is why it always tastes so fresh. Look out for the Australian grown logo on the pack and ask the question about where your tea comes from,” he suggests.

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