Do not make tea with boiling water. That is what the Rare Tea Lady told me the other afternoon.
A shocking statement for someone like me brought up from childhood to take the teapot to the kettle to ensure that the tea leaves were woken up by the hottest possible infusion.
“It was World War II propaganda because we had cheap industrial tea,” said the Rare Tea Lady, Henrietta Lovell. “In order to get good flavour out of it, you needed to use boiling water because they say boiling water dissolves the tannins – the strong bitter flavours.”
But real tea has lots more taste than that bitterness, and that is what Henrietta Lovell has built her Rare Tea Company around.