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The Perfect Cup of Tea with Anton

Martha Stewart Living Television

Though a perfect cup of tea requires only a few simple steps, getting each step just right is an art form. Anton Edelmann, maitre chef des cuisines at the Savoy hotel in London and author of "Taking Tea at the Savoy," demonstrates the proper way to make tea, English-style.

The best tea is brewed from whole, loose leaves. Whole tea leaves are not only fresher and of higher quality than tea bags; they also produce a more complex beverage as the leaves unfurl during brewing. The most popular tea served at the Savoy is the hotel's own blend of Assam -- a strong, malty breakfast tea from India -- and broken orange pekoe, also referred to as BOP.

Making the Perfect Cup of Tea
Cup warmer (optional)
Tea leaves

1. Bring fresh, cold water to a boil. Once the water is boiled, remove from heat, and let it sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, fill a teapot with hot tap water to warm it up. (Anton suggests also warming up your teacups in a cup warmer or with hot tap water.)

2. Empty the pot (and cups), toss in a teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup you are making, and fill pot with boiled water. Let steep for 2 to 3 minutes for small-leaf black teas and green teas, 4 to 5 minutes for full-leaf black tea, and 7 to 10 minutes for oolong tea; pour the tea, using a strainer to catch renegade leaves. Don't over steep, or the brew will turn bitter. Loose tea will keep for up to 1 year if it's stored properly in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot.

Comments (2)

  • CreatingPerfectHome 1 Dec, 2008

    I love serving tea at parties, my favorite is carrot cake from Sorella Naturale and I serve it along with a slice of real Carrot Cake (Martha's recipe from years ago) and always get compliments!

  • WesternLady 21 Jul, 2008

    I love to take tea! It is so easy! Before I made tea with tea leaves the first time, I thought it was a daunting, complicated task. Silly me! Tea leaves really do taste better than tea bags. My personal favorites are Irish Breakfast and Autumn Haze.