Quantcast
Latest Stories

Kitchen Rescue

Your own cup of tea

By

BUDDHIKA Abayakoon

Buddhika Abayakoon of Dilmah, the highly regarded tea brand in Sri Lanka, was in town to train the F&B personnel of one of the country’s most prestigious hotel chains on the rudiments of preparing and serving tea.

I had the opportunity of meeting and chatting with him.  Apparently, many of the things we do to make our cup of tea is not the way they should be.

What makes good tea?

There are a few factors—soil conditions, the climate and the manner in which the tea is manufactured. Another is the freshness of the tea. The leaves and the tea bags absorb moisture very fast, so it is best to get foil pack-wrapped tea bags or those in airtight canisters.

What are the different kinds of tea?

Black tea, which is fully fermented; oolong tea, semi-fermented; green tea, unfermented; white tea, the most expensive, consists of two tender leaves and the bud. It is handpicked, sun-dried, and is full of antioxidants.

How is tea best prepared?

The quality of the water is most important. It has to be filtered, spring or mineral. Boiled only once, using water that had been re-boiled, gives the tea a different profile, sometimes a bitter taste.

The temperature for black, oolong and white teas, as well as infusions (a blend of herbs, spices, flowers and fruits with no tea leaf content), is 100 °C; for green tea, 80 °C.

For every tea bag, there should be one cup of water, approximately 200-250 ml.

The brewing time for black tea is three minutes (for very strong black tea, up to five minutes); oolong, three to four minutes; green, two minutes; white, two to three minutes; infusions, also two to three minutes.

Always, tea before water! Put the tea bag in a cup and then pour the water. Doing so agitates the leaves, allowing them to bloom and develop flavor.

After the recommended brewing time, remove the bag or the leaves to avoid bitterness.

Do not reuse tea bags. Once you brew the first cup, you get the character, strength, color and taste of the tea, so the second cup will no longer be good.

There is really no need to keep lifting the bag up and down vigorously, holding it by the string. Moving the bag slowly and gently, a couple of times from left to right, is enough.

Do not scoop the tea bag out with a teaspoon and twirl the string around it. Doing so extracts the caffeine and unwanted flavors from the bag. Simply remove the bag from the cup.

Is it okay to add milk and sugar to tea?

We do not recommend adding milk and sugar to white tea, green tea and infusions. You can add sugar to strong black teas such as English Breakfast, Assam from India and Ceylon Black. Milk, like sugar, is best with strong black teas, but just about 1 tsp to a cup of tea.

Tea and food pairing has become quite popular. Cinnamon tea goes well with our native adobo.

Food is paired with hot tea, but it can also be iced. It really is a matter preference as is the type of tea that goes well with a dish.

According to the Dilmah manual: “Light and delicate teas complement light foods that have been steamed and poached. Green tea works with fish, poultry, rice, salads and many seafood dishes.

“Oolong tea makes a good match with stronger tasting seafood, food with sauces that are not too strong, fried food, dishes with ginger and berries.

“Since black tea contains more tannin, it works better with heavier, fattier and richer foods—creamy sauces, meat, cheese.”

How to brew iced tea:

Steep one tea bag in 200 ml of hot water (not boiling water). Temperature should not be lower than 205 °F. For batch preparations: five tea bags per 1 liter of hot water for 15 minutes.

Steep tea according to tea type. Never over-steep. Wait until the temperature of tea cools down and put tea in the refrigerator.

Use simple syrup to sweeten the tea by bringing 2 c sugar plus 1 c water to a boil, then simmering for seven to 10 minutes.

Add four ice cubes per glass per serving (12 oz) of iced tea.

Over 30 tea varieties

Dilmah has over 30 tea variants and flavors to choose from, all interesting and very distinct. My personal favorites, both hot and iced, are lychee, Italian almond, chamomile (real flowers), green tea with jasmine flowers, Arabian mint with honey, Lapsang Souchong, Moroccan mint, and many, many more! For all your tea needs, call tel. 8623041 to 44, and 0922-8096734.

Next week: To beat the summer heat, delicious Dilmah iced tea recipes, plus cooking with tea


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Buddhika Abayakoon , Drinks , Lifestyle , Tea



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  • Moderate earthquake jolts southern Iran
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • Netizens seething in anger over Aquino ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
    Marketplace