One And For All: How to brew tea, with Farrin Foster

· Wednesday November 28, 2012

Farrin Foster is a busy lady, but she always has time for tea. She writes and edits Collect Magazine, rides horses and runs Magazine cafe/shop/gallery alongside her two main men: gentleman about town Joshua Fanning and Dachshund about town Fred.

“I think my first memory of tea was when I was a little kid, and my horse bolted at a show,” Farrin says. “He disappeared over the horizon with me stuck on him. When eventually I got back I was freaking out and I remember my mum gave me a cup of tea. That that was the start of how much I like tea.”

“I’ve never lived with anyone who drank coffee, really. I tried it when I became a city-dwelling hipster, but I never liked it as much. The one I drink most often is our tea, the Clubhouse Lane. It’s a rooibos tea, so it’s not caffeinated. It’s made from a bush in South Africa, and it’s got cinnamon, orange zest, calendula and cloves added to it, so it’s quite spicy and interesting.”

“But it’s totally a pussy drink, tea. It’s for people who can’t deal with brown spirits.”

Well then. Let's brew!

5tmeetfarrintea1

I think it’s best to match the size of the teapot to the number of people that are drinking tea. Especially if you are having a black tea, because if you want a lot of tea and you leave it in to steep for a long time, it will get really tannin-y. So if I’m having a black tea I’ll have several small pots rather than one big pot. This is a four-person teapot.

5tmeetfarrintea2

Before you actually make your tea you need to warm up your teapot. Put some hot water in it and swirl it around. Your water needs to be below boiling. Ours is 87 degrees. Crazy tea people would use hotter water for herbal tea and colder water for black tea. And don’t ever boil the kettle twice! You should throw your water out after it has boiled. The quality of the water is everything. After you’ve warmed the pot, pour the water out. They call it ‘scorching’ the pot.

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This is Scullery Made Tea's new one, the Beekeeper’s Breakfast. It is soaked in honey and has bee pollen in it. It varies with lots of teas, but the general rule is one teaspoon per person and one for the pot. So this is a five-teaspoon pot accordingly.

5tmeetfarrintea4

Then you fill the teapot up with your hot water! Then steep it (let it brew) for three minutes – but I usually steep ours longer.

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I also like to heat up our cups, which is… not difficult. Put hot water in them. Tip it out. These cups are an Alessi and Jasper Morrison collaboration.

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Strain your tea into your cup. I’m all for people having milk, but I don’t think it’s a hardcore tea thing to do. With this tea you would have honey, but it’s all to taste. Always put milk in after you put tea in the cup. The other way around is wrong!

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You should always drink it when you have the time to drink it. And time to make it properly, otherwise it’s just a bit of a waste. Josh makes me a cup of tea every Sunday morning in bed.

Naw, isn't that nice. Thanks Farrin!

This article is part of our new series 'Once And For All', made possible with support from Ketel One. Stay tuned for further posts in which local characters teach us how to do things properly.