drinking tea

Challenge Yourself: The Art of Making A Cup of Tea


photo via flickr.com/laurelfan

By Maria Masters

You’ve probably heard that wine is best when it’s allowed to breathe for ten or fifteen minutes before serving. Or perhaps you have your own tricks for making the perfect cup of coffee, like scrubbing that coffee maker down so residue doesn’t muddy up your brew. But did you know there are secrets for pouring the perfect cup of tea as well?

As Peggy and Tiffany mentioned, they received Lipton teas to help them stay hydrated. (Not only is tea delicious and calorie-free, but studies also suggest that it can speed up weight-loss and lower a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes.) So we asked Lipton for the inside scoop on preparing the perfect cup.  Follow their tips:

Get Fresh. Bottled is best for making tea. But if you’re going to the faucet, run the water for a few minutes. Doing so ensures that the water is as fresh as possible.

Watch The Clock. Green tea only needs about 1 to 4 minutes, but black tea generally takes about 3 to 5 minutes. For a stronger brew, let the tea steep longer.

Keep It Warm. If you tend to sip your tea slowly, use a tea cozy. Some of the brew’s flavor is lost when you reheat the drink.

What’s your favorite tea? Share in the comments below.

Peggy, Week 7: Breaking the Tea Habit

lipton tea

This week, Family Circle asked Lipton to send us a large supply of decaffeinated green and herbal teas as a part of the hydration challenge. If you follow my blog, you know I normally drink tea all day long.

I drink a mug of black tea on my back porch, as the deer eat my grass and the fog lifts over the trees. I enjoy a mug in the car, while I listen to an audio book from the library. I use my commute time to catch up on my “reading.” I alternate between fiction stories from authors I follow and novels I have always said I would read, but have never taken the time to finish, such as Catch 22 or Catcher in the Rye.

Once at work, I grab a fresh mug for the morning read-out of screening mammograms, and make another once I finish the first biopsy. My mug of tea travels with me throughout the day, as I tell patients their results of their diagnostic testing and biopsies. The process of making the fresh mug of tea rejuvenates me as much as the tea itself. As I finish the tea, I am ready to, once again, be in the moment.

The everyday, black tea, I usually drink happens to be Lipton. This is the brand we purchase at work. I also keep a supply of aromatic, specialty black teas: Christmas Blend, Tazo’s Earl Grey, and Harrod’s 1840 blend for my extreme moments—those that are either really good, such as a sunrise over the beach when no one else is awake or those that are really bad, such as telling a friend that their cancer is back.

During this challenge, I have tried to:

  • Alternate a mug of water with a mug of tea in order to increase my total water intake.
  • Switch a mug of black tea for a mug of green tea in the afternoon.
  • Cut down on the black tea.

But tea is my one vice I don’t think I will ever be able to break! What’s yours? Post a comment and let me know.