Yes, I know, I’ve got the reputation of being a coffee fanatic. That’s easy to see with all the coffee articles I’ve been doing. However, tea has always been a favourite. Perhaps a bit more quietly, but a go-to drink when I want a bit of comfort. It was January when I was invited to the launch of T2 Tea in Asia. They opened their first store in the region right here in Singapore at 313 Somerset. There they introduced us to Singapore Breakfast (imagine kaya toast), matcha and their fantastic T2 Teamaker. I had the pleasure of an email interview with Nicky Sparshott, their CEO and rekindled my love of tea. It’s only been six months and T2 has just opened it’s third outlet at ION Orchard. Their second outlet is at Great World City.
Tea and treats
At the event to mark the opening of their third outlet, T2 treated us to snacks and nibbles all made with tea in the recipe. You can find some great recipes on their website. We also got to meet Frankie, their tea ambassador and tea pro from Sydney. He took us through how to make an amazing T2 iced tea called Fruitalicious, a perfect matcha, an exquisite chai. Recipes for these will be online soon so make sure and sign up for our newsletter or like us on Facebook to stay updated.
Frankie’s Pro Tips on tea
If you think that making tea is just hot water and tea leaves, think again. There is a real art to making the perfect brew of tea. Like coffee, there is an elegance to the process. I have watched and enjoyed my dad perform the art of Gong Fu Cha on many occasions but even when he has given me the exact same tea leaves, I have never been able to produce the same results at home. There is a method to tea making, depending on the type of tea, temperature of water, ratio of leaves to water. However, it is simple to master and we are so pleased to bring you Frankie’s Pro Tips on tea making.
Francis Bastoli, known to us as Frankie, has an effervescant personality and is a true ambassador for the brand. He not only showed us all his tricks at the media event but he was more than willing to meet us for a second day so we could shoot and write these tea stories. We enjoyed his love of Singapore and just how much he was exploring and relishing every moment of his trip. All while hard-at-work promoting T2 and his genuine love of tea. You can follow his continuing adventures on Instagram @_frankiegoesto_
Thanks for your tips, Frankie!
PRO TIPS by FRANKIE
There are three simple measures to assure you have the perfect cup of tea each time.
- The amount of tea leaves you use.
- The temperature at which you brew the tea.
- The duration of time you brew the tea.
Since each tea type is processed differently it is important to brew them accordingly.
Amount of tea leaves
- Hot Tea: 1 teaspoon per cup
- Iced Tea: 2 teaspoons per cup
- White tea, Green tea, Oolong: 80 degrees (F)/27 degrees (C)
- Black tea, Herbal & Tisane: 100 degrees (F)/38 degrees (C)
- White tea: 5 to 7 minutes
- Green tea: 1 to 3 minutes
- Oolong tea: 3 to 6 minutes
- Black: 2 to 3 minutes
- Herbal: 3 to 5 minutes
- Fruit: 3 to 5 minutes
- Adding milk to a tea can bring out different notes in the brew and change a classic cuppa into a rich, creamy, comforting chai or even into a refreshingly smooth iced latte. You can use any type of milk in your tea, but I have a soft spot for the full-bodied nuttiness of soy that compliments the flavour of the tea so wonderfully!
- For milky brews, feel free to let your brew steep for a little longer than usual, the richer flavour of your brew will be complimented by the creamy texture of the milk and create a harmonious overall flavour.
- To make sure you serve the perfect matcha, first prepare the matcha bowl by swirling hot water around to pre-heat it. This way the heat of the bowl maintains the temperature of the matcha longer and doesn’t cool it down. You can take your time and savour the flavour.
- The key to a rich, frothy matcha is whisking in a ‘M’ motion instead of a circular motion, this aerates the tea and breaks up any fine clumps of the matcha powder by ‘cutting’ through the tea as opposed to just pushing it around. It’s also incredibly relaxing!
- Drinking matcha is like drinking 10 cups of green tea, it has more antioxidants than any other superfood and it’s high levels of chlorophyll make it a potent detoxifier! What’s not to love?
- All of our teas are absolutely delicious just as they are, but they also taste great when blended together! Maybe you’ll want to sweeten your tea with one of our Turkish teas or add a smoky aroma with our Really Russian Caravan, the possibilities are endless!
- The best way to find your new favourite blend, is simply to give it a brew!
- There’s nothing more refreshing then a big glass of iced tea to cool you down on a hot day! To liven up your brew, use slices of fresh fruit to add a pop of colour and a hint of flavour to your tea. Mint, strawberry and lemon never go astray!
- If you’re looking to impress or simply feel like spoiling yourself, brew up your favourite iced tea, garnish with fresh fruit slices and then add a splash of soda water! The ultimate tea mocktail!
- One of the most iconic teas of all, chai is a favourite around the world. To bring out the richness of your spices, put your chai tea leaves into a mortar and pestle and grind them down, this will release the oils in the spices and leaves and make an extra spicy brew to heat you up!
- Great for entertaining, chai can be brewed up on the stove and let to simmer and steep for hours, filling your house with fragrant aromas of the spices and perfect to compliment almost any meal!
- All of our teas are vast in their flavours and uses, a fan favourite of T2 is making tea-infused food. Matcha ice cream, chai shortbread or even French Earl Grey Madeleine’s, these and more are found on our website, perfect for a high tea with friends!