Tea is considered by many as one of the most quintessentially British drinks around, which is no surprise since we collectively drink 165 million cups of tea a day – that’s 60.2 billion cups per year!
A cup of tea has become a regular sight in offices, homes, cafes and swanky restaurants across the country. As a nation, we clearly have a fondness for the plant and recently on National Tea Day (21st April) we had the opportunity to devotedly celebrate the drink that’s so entrenched in our culture.
Here at Zip Water we know the importance of a good cup of tea. However you like it - strong or weak, at home or as your favourite office drink - there’s a science to creating the perfect cuppa. Here, we share our top tips on how to create the perfect brew.
Too hot or too cold?
It’s a common misconception that the perfect temperature for tea is 100 degrees. In fact, temperatures of 100 degrees or more will burn the tea leaves, creating a bitter taste as well as dissolving all-important tannins which work to tone down the effects of caffeine, helping to calm you.
Kettle boiling temperatures vary depending on the make and model. With a Zip HydroTap, water is always set to operate at a temperature of 98 degrees, not only is this spot on for a brew – bringing out the flavours without burning – but it also creates a safer flow of water. With systems that dispense water at 100 degrees, they must first super-heat the water to 110 degrees in the tank. This wastes energy and means that when water is dispensed it steams and splutters, which is unsafe. To ensure you are investing in a safe boiling water system look out for WRAS approved products, as these have been thoroughly tested and certified.
Oxygen is another important factor when it comes to making the perfect brew, helping to develop the flavour of the tea. But you can easily lose oxygen from your water if you aren’t careful.
If you leave your kettle or water system to boil to 100 degrees, this will over bubble the water and expel dissolved oxygen which results in a less than satisfying, flat tasting cup of tea. The same can be said for reusing water already in the kettle, so always use fresh water where you can, or invest in a mains-fed drinking water system. As the Zip HydroTap is a mains-fed drinking water system, you are always using a fresh supply of filtered water for your tea, heated to the perfect temperature.
Once your water is heated to the right temperature, make sure to pour it into your mug at an angle so the teabag is gently introduced to the hot water, avoiding sudden direct contact which could burn the leaves. Now the teabag is in, it’s brewing time.
It’s best to leave the teabag in for around two minutes as a minimum to allow time for the flavour to properly diffuse and for the tannins to be released. Caffeine is immediately released once hot water is introduced, but by waiting an extra two minutes, tannins also make their way out. This will result in a calming cup of tea, giving you a gentle alertness that many prefer to the sometimes-frantic energy we get from coffee.
Happy tea drinking!
With these tips, you are now ready to enjoy the perfectly brewed cup of tea. Want to make sure you have it perfect every time? View our range of HydroTaps. You can also view our office drinking water options also if you want to be bottle free.