Some helpful hints and FAQs.
It just so happens (conveniently!) that boiling point is the ideal temperature to draw the very best flavour out of tea. Under-boiling or (worse) over-boiling, results in a very disappointing result no matter what tea you use, so avoid both if you can.
Note: OK, we’re tea people, but for coffee, the reverse is true – NEVER let the water boil!
Re-heating Fyers Original Sussex Blend in a microwave.
This only works with microwave-proof containers – not metal!
If the pot is still warm but just not hot enough for your taste, re-heat it with the bags still in until very hot BUT NOT BOILING – try a minute at a time.
If the pot is cold, remove the tea bags and then microwave as above.
We really don’t recommend reheating tea that already has the milk in it. But if you absolutely have to, do so for just a very few seconds, otherwise the milk will make the whole thing sour.
Tea in a flask.
There’s nothing better than a mug of Fyers Original Sussex Blend when you’re out and about. Luckily, modern vacuum flasks are highly efficient. Make the tea exactly as you normally do, then while it’s brewing, fill your flask with very hot (not boiling) water to warm it up. When the tea has brewed to your liking, empty the water out and fill with the tea. ALWAYS take milk in a separate flask.
Iced tea, anyone?
Make your tea with perhaps one more tea bag than usual (because the ice will dilute it) and leave it to brew for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, leave it to cool and pop it in the fridge until it’s needed. To serve, pour it over ice cubes, add a slice or two of lemon or lime and sprigs of mint or (the English way) - leave all the fruit and vegetables out and just add cold milk – delicious!
Myths and Mythconceptions.
Hard versus soft water.
Despite all you may have heard or read, hard water is not a problem for tea. In fact, even very mediocre teas perform quite well in hard water.
It is soft water that will always expose the faults of a poor tea. So, if you live in a soft water area or use a water filter/softener, make sure you buy a really good quality tea. Not for nothing does Ireland, with its soft, peaty water, buy the highest quality tea of all.
Is loose tea ‘better’ than tea bags?
It entirely depends on which tea you buy. Tea bags themselves make so little difference to the flavour that their presence can be discounted. Fyers Original Sussex Blend all comes from exactly the same batch of tea – we just run some through a tea-bagging machine and the rest we pack as loose tea. It is all exactly the same high quality blend.
First flush versus second flush?
Occasionally you will hear people discussing tea ‘flushes’ (harvests) with heated arguments about whether first or second flush is better. Here are the facts:
The first flush of tea is ‘greener’ than later flushes and is much prized on the Continent, where it attracts extraordinarily high prices, just like the race for the earliest Beaujolais wines.
In The Old Tea Boy’s opinion, the second flush is much the best for the British palette because it has the deep but subtle flavour for which UK tea is famed. Compare it to the first cut you make of grass in Spring – all raw and stubbly. With the second cut, you get the consistently lush, succulent growth.
How ‘strong’ is Fyers Original Sussex Blend?
Fyers Original Sussex Blend is, by the nature of the Kenya leaf, bright and coloury and its flavour is best described as full and mellow. Depending on how many tea bags you use, it can taste mild, middling or strong. What it doesn’t have (and this is why it tastes so good) is any bits of bark or stem, so it will never have the bitter taste of ‘stewed’ tea.
The tea that doesn’t stew?
There is no trick to Fyers Original Sussex Blend. The simple secret is to select a very, very good tea and not to compromise it by blending it with anything less.
Next time you come across a tea with that horrible bitter tang, get hold of a dry tea bag and open it onto a piece of white paper. If you can see light or reddish bits among the dark tea leaves, they may well be bits of the stem or bark – OK, still from the tea bush - but put in to make the brew look more colourful to please the UK eye. Unfortunately, that’s what also makes a tea ‘stew’ and taste bitter.
All we buy, pack & sell is pure, 100% very high quality tea leaf.