A Perfect Cup of Tea & A Tea Treat Too!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brew A Perfect Cup of Tea From Tim Smith owner of The Tea Smith of Omaha, Nebraska

Fresh Start
Start with fresh loose-leaf tea and good water. You can't make a great cup of tea with stale or poor-quality leaves. Because tea is 95% water, the water quality is paramount. Tim recommends spring water or filtered tap water. The water should be free from chemical smells and tastes. It should not be hard, but should contain minerals so that the tea has something to cling to.

Boiling Water
Tim says to skip heating water in the microwave, it results in flat-tasting tea because there's less oxygen in the water. Bring the water to a full boil for 30 seconds. The amount of tea leaves to use varies by type. Generally use about 1 teaspoon green or black tea or 1 tablespoon herbal tea for every 8 ounces of water.

Water temperature and steeping time vary by tea and should be marked. Here are Tim's guidelines.

White Tea 140°-175° for 3-5 miinutes
Japanese Green Tea 160° for 1-2 minutes
Most other green teas 160°-180°F 3 minutes
Oolongs 180°-208°F for 3-4 minutes
Black teas, herbals, fruit tisanes 208°F for 4-5 minutes

Now that you've brewed that perfect cuppa.....you need a treat and I can't think of anything I enjoy better with tea than a yummy, lemony cake.

These Meyer lemon loaves are moist, full of citrus flavor and delicious. Enjoy them with a nice cup of tea

Meyer Lemon Tea Cakes

2-1/2 cups flour + more for the pans
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 Meyer lemons
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 stick butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Meyer lemon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the loaf pans and set aside. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in the small mixing bowl. Set aside. Zest two of the lemons and place the zest into the large mixing bowl. Juice the two lemons, as well, and set the juice aside. Add the sugar to the lemon zest in the large bowl. Whisk together to combine. Add the eggs and whisk together until the eggs are incorporated. Alternate adding the flour mixture, the sour cream, the melted butter and the lemon juice. Mix well after each addition until all are combined. Divide the batter among the loaf pans, place them onto a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes until the tops are firm when pressed. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. To make the glaze, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Zest and juice the remaining lemon. Add the juice and zest to the sugar syrup in the pan. Stir to combine. Turn the cakes out of their pans and set them upright on a plate. Pour the glaze over the top of the cakes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve immediately. These cakes can also be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Posting to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tea Time Tuesday. Thanks to the lovely ladies who host the events each week!