It’s common knowledge that the English know how to make the perfect cup of tea (seriously, they must get instructions at birth or something). Wanting to know how to make the perfect spot of tea ourselves, we sought out the advice of a true expert, Jameel Lalani, founder of the boutique tea company Lalani & Co, and curator of the Prestige Seasonal Tea Library in The English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel in London. If anyone knows his tea, it is Lalani!
According to Lalani, buying a tea should be treated with the same care as purchasing a fine wine. “When choosing a tea, look for small-batch, seasonal teas,” Lalani shared. “Pay careful attention to the season: Tea grows for most of the year and each region has a season when the flavor is at its best. Buy your tea like you buy wine—read the tasting notes, read about the producer, try new things, and discover what regions and styles you like.”
When you are ready to actually make your tea, Lalani says to keep in mind that “infusing good tea is a relaxing ritual. Remember: Leaf weight, temperature, time.”
As for when the perfect time of day is to enjoy tea, Lalani said: “For me, tea is the elixir of life. I drink it always.”
Read on for Lalani’s guide for how to make the perfect cup of tea at home. When in doubt, head to London and visit The English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel (pictured above) for the ultimate tea experience.
Jameel Lalani’s Step-by-Step Guide To Making the Perfect Cup of Tea
1. Measure out the right amount of leaf. You can do this by eye, but, to do it perfectly, a set of mini scales is a very worthwhile investment. Usually two grams per 150 milliliters is a good start.
2. Heat the water to the correct temperature. As a guide it’s 203 °F for black tea, 185 °F for oolongs, 167 °F for green tea, and 149 °F for white tea. A premium tea should come with a recommended temperature.
3. With the growing desire for premium tea, variable temperature kettles have become readily available. Just push the right temperature and the kettle takes care of the rest.
4. Heat the vessel with a swirl of hot water.
5. Add the leaf, and then pour the water in gently.
6. Infuse for the recommended time and then decant all of the tea so the leaves are dry and not over-stewing in water. Good leaves can be re-infused.
7. Enjoy. Looking to create the perfect afternoon tea experience? Pair with freshly bakes scones, homemade jam, and real Devonshire or Cornish clotted cream.
For more information on Brown’s Hotel visit roccofortehotels.com. For more information on Lalani & Co. visit lalanianco.com.