Take your tea time to the next level
Around half of all Australians drink at least one cup of tea each week, with many of us favouring several cups a day. The options for tea lovers now extend far beyond that jar of home-brand tea bags that’s probably still sitting somewhere at the back of your kitchen cupboard. There’s a whole world of tea out there these days, ready to be explored.
Speciality teas are now big business, and at the head of the pack sits T2, which was first founded in Melbourne back in 1996. T2’s tea specialists are always dreaming up and creating never-done-before blends of innovative ingredients. They’re well known to experiment with everything from classic desserts and sweet treats to exotic fruits, and even vegetables.
Beyond unique tea blends, T2 has revolutionised the way they do business to ensure they’re playing a role in creating a future that puts people and planet first. They’re committed to sourcing sustainable, ethical and quality products to create a diverse range of tea blends, with flavour profiles inspired from across the globe. From single origin pure teas to unique, bespoke flavours, there’s something to suit every tea lover and to pair with every meal.
Michelle McGoff, sustainable tea developer and sommelier at T2, shares how to prepare the perfect cup of tea, as well as some tea and food pairings you might not have considered.
The perfect cup
“Making a cup of tea shouldn’t be rocket science, but there are a few things you can do to guarantee a perfect cup, every time,” McGoff says. “The first thing to consider is brewing time. Whatever your sip, this guide will help you steep for just the right amount of time.”
Next, look at your measurements and ratios. The typical ratio is one teaspoon per cup for hot tea, or two teaspoons per cup for iced tea. So, a one-litre teapot will need around four teaspoons of tea for a hot brew.
“When it comes to strength, do you like it nice and strong?” McGoff asks. “Instead of brewing for longer, add an extra teaspoon and brew for the recommended time. If you’re adding milk to your black tea, brew for the longest recommended time. Remember, save your milk for black teas – most whites, greens and herbals are best served without.”
White, green and oolong teas prefer 80°C, so just combine 20 percent cold water with 80 percent boiling water. A great tip is to swill a little hot water in your teapot or cup before brewing, then discard. This will keep your teawares from cooling your tea too quickly.
Not sure if you want loose leaf or tea bags? Both have their perks, McGoff says. “We love the ceremony of loose leaf, but will never say no to tea bags when we’re pressed for time. Whichever you go for, make sure you follow the tea’s brewing instructions.”
Tea and food pairings
Over centuries, sommeliers have learned the art of pairing the right wine with every type of meal to create the perfect flavour-enhancing experience for diners. Today, more dining establishments are offering tea to accompany high-end culinary creations, as its variations of colours, scents and taste create the ultimate drink pairing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here are some of McGoff’s picks for delicious tea and food pairings.
English breakfast serves perfectly with rich chocolate cake; the sharp profile and astringency of the tea contrast the sweetness of the cake.
Delicate, umami and earthy, green teas pair wonderfully with light dishes such as vegetarian stir-fries, salads, lean poultry dishes and gentle curries. The refreshing nature of green tea is also great for palate-cleansing between courses.
Not only do people love chamomile for its relaxing qualities, it also works well as a companion for many dishes. With sweet grassy notes, chamomile tea pairs well citrus dishes – either a lemon shortbread or use it to pair with, and as part of, a citrus sauce for salmon.
Originally a limited-edition brew, Jade Mountain became T2’s fastest selling feature tea of all time. With unconventional ingredients like carob, cocoa, hazelnut brittle, almonds and sweet chicory all tumbled with grassy green tea, this pairs well with an almond croissant.
“Melbourne Breakfast had us thinking about how we could capture Melbourne’s timeless, singular style in a tea,” McGoff says. “It had to have a vibrant black tea base, be smoothly sweet and have a unique twist – we picked vanilla.”
Pair your Melbourne Breakfast with muesli, fruit and yoghurt or, to try something different, add a strong brew of this tea to your morning green smoothie.
Jam on Toast
The smell of thick-cut bread in the toaster as you wake up. The sweet, sticky berry flavour awakening your tastebuds as you take the first bite. It’s now in a cup.
“This tea is surprisingly delicious when paired with a cheese toastie,” McGoff says. “It sounds weird, but trust me, it works.”
Brewing up a better world
T2 has made significant progress towards achieving new sustainability objectives that have made a positive impact across its team, suppliers and community. Since committing to its sustainability transformation, the Aussie company has reached some significant milestones.
• As of July, 100% of all T2 teawares are ethically sourced
• By the start of 2020, 60% of all T2 tea (Camellia sinensis) was sustainably sourced, which is up from 36% in 2018. 100% of all tea will be sustainably sourced by the end of 2020
• T2 has reduced carbon emissions by 8.2% in 2019, of which 100% was offset
• T2 has diverted over 250 tonnes of waste from landfill annually through the use of recyclable bags and compostable materials and this continues to be a focus through the reduction in the of use of bags and packaging in 2020
Continuing to be agents for positive change, T2 is committed to expanding the boundaries of social and environmental responsibility within the broader business community. The sustainability journey will continue to drive T2 to be a business that treads lightly on the planet, as the brand endeavours to brew up a world that benefits all.
To find out more, or to locate a T2 store near you, head to t2tea.com