Cape Fynbos Tea Ceremony- Tips for the perfect brew

The Cape Fynbos Tea Ceremony User Guide gives us tips on brewing.

Brewing tips

Mastering the art of tea making takes a little time and practise, but through this process you’ll learn to make the perfect cup.  It is important that you use the time it takes to make your infusion as time to relax and unwind. Not only will this aid the healing effects of the tea, but it will also allow you some serenity after a long day and a chance to reflect or be meditative.  So, make your tea ritual an enjoyable experience and look forward to it each day.

  • Always fill the kettle with fresh water and never re-boil water. Tea needs an ample amount of oxygen to infuse properly, and if water is constantly reboiled, it will lose oxygen and make your tea taste stale.
  • There is no need to use fresh herbs when making an infusion. Dried herbs are a suitable alternative, but remember that they are twice as powerful, so use a lesser amount. If you use fresh herbs, pick them just before use and rinse thoroughly.
  • Invest in a teapot with a hole in the lid to allow hot air to escape and a handle that is easy to hold. It is best to buy a glass tea pot for herbal infusions, as glass retains heat well and won’t take on the flavour of the different ingredients used.  Never put a teapot in the dishwasher; instead, rinse with warm water, turn upside down and leave to dry.
  • Boil a fresh kettle of water. Once boiled, pour the water over the loose herbs or teabag and let the tea infuse for 3-5 minutes – if left for too long, tea becomes bitter and unpleasant; if underbrewed, it will be insipid and bland. Remember to place the lid on the teapot or cover your teacup while the tea is brewing.
  • Ideally, you should drink your tea at room temperature. This is because the flavours improve at a lower temperature.
  • Herbal tea is best drunk without milk, but according to personal preference, one can add honey or lemon to make the brew more enjoyable. Alternatively, add a crushed star anise to your tea or stir with a cinnamon stick. This will satisfy your sweet tooth and is a healthier substitute to sugar.
  • If you find herbal teas dull and uninspiring, look to natural ingredients to change the flavour. Here are some to consider:
  • Sprinkle grated nutmeg into a cup of tea – buy whole and grate only as required.
  • Use lime juice or slices in small quantities to add a refreshing flavour to your tea.
  • Use vanilla extract or pods to sweeten your tea – a healthier alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Drop a few crushed cloves into a herbal infusion to bring some warmth and rich flavour to your brew.
  • Adding lemon to your tea gives it zest. It also has a great detoxifying effect on the body and is great for warding off colds and flu.
  • Much like lemon, orange is the perfect ingredient to add some flavour to your tea.
  • Organic honey is a great sugar substitute and contains vitamins and minerals with great decongestant properties.

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