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The Tea Egg by Normann Copenhagen ($18 each) is a beautiful alternative to a traditional tea bag. Bonus points for being dishwasher safe.
Alexis Siemons Tea Tip: Steep tea with filtered or spring water. True teas often have delicate flavors that can only shine through in pure water. Considering that there is an art to tea, you'll want to start with a blank canvas to really appreciate the complexity of flavors within the leaves (especially if it's a subtle white tea or fresh green tea). If filtered or spring water isn't part of your routine, opt for teas with naturally stronger flavors (like breakfast black tea blends) that can stand up to water that is less than pure.
The mate gourd and bombillo from Bellocq ($25) are intended for drinking yerba mate, but they're gorgeous enough to use soley for decoration.
Alexis Siemons Tea Tip: Some like it hot (but not all). If your tea is truly bitter, then you might be burning the leaves with water that is oh so hot. Each specific tea calls for a different water temperature. While a cooking thermometer is the ultimate tool to add to a steeped collection, it might not be in every kitchen drawer. Just keep in mind that you'll almost never want to use boiling water for green tea leaves, but all herbal blends need piping-hot water to extract their essences. Most tea companies will list heating temperatures on the box, though you can also look online.
Store your tea in this adorable tin from Monoblock ($25). The viewing window shows you how much tea you have left.
Alexis Siemons Tea Tip: Timing is everything when it comes to tea. Each tea often has a unique, suggested steep time (check the box or look on the tea company's website) that will result in the most flavorful cup. Did you know that some Japanese green teas need to be brewed for only 20 seconds? Sip your tea right away while it's warm; the subtle flavors of delicate teas tend to fade as the liquid cools.
Sure, the weather is awful, the flu is in the air and season three of Downton Abbey has finally gotten juicy. But honestly, do you really need an excuse to drink tea?
Here, a few tips for making your daily cup even better:
Expand Your Brew-rizons You wouldn?t eat at just one restaurant for your entire life, so why are you drinking the same damn chamomile tea day in, day out? Try a bold, glamorous flavor like the spicy apple, almond and ginger blend ($15) from Le Palais des Thés or the lightly crisp jasmine No. 10 ($20) from Bellocq. Both companies (from Paris and London, respectively) are masters of the unexpected ingredient blend.
Serve It Pretty Go for good-looking accoutrements like the Normann Copenhagen Tea Egg ($18) or this rustic mate gourd and bombilla ($25). Valentine?s tea party in the works? We love a darling heart-shaped cup and saucer set ($50).
Make It Properly Yes, there is a wrong way to make tea. Professional tea consultant Alexis Siemons says you should always look up specific blends on the tea company?s website to see recommended water temperature and steep times. Some Japanese teas, for instance, need only about 20 seconds of brewing!
Hey, you sip, you learn.
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