Make the perfect cup of coffee
In a coffee filter machine
1. Use a stainless steel or gold-mesh coffee filter for your machine, instead of using paper filters. If you prefer paper filters, try to buy those made from unbleached paper.
2. Make sure the glass pot is thoroughly clean.
3. Make sure you use the correct grind for a filter machine.
4. Use fresh, cold, filtered water. Use 180 ml water and 30 ml coffee beans per cup. Experiment with a little less coffee if this is too strong for you.
5. Pour the coffee and serve it as soon as it has finished brewing. The longer it sits in the pot, the more the flavour will deteriorate.
6. Don’t reheat coffee that has already been brewed.
7. Serve your freshly brewed coffee black, or with warm or cold milk and sugar, if you prefer.
Using a coffee plunger
1. Use the correct grind of coffee beans for a plunger pot. Plungers need a coarser grind than filter machines.
2. Add the ground coffee to the plunger.
3. Boil fresh, filtered water in the kettle, then wait for it to cool for 15 seconds or so before adding it to the plunger, so as not to scald the ground coffee. Stir well.
4. Place the top of the plunger on the pot and leave to stand for about four minutes to brew.
5. Gently press the plunger filter down. Serve black or with warm or cold milk. Add sugar, if you prefer.
Make a frothy milk topping for your coffee by using a battery operated milk frother. Heat the milk until it is hot, but not boiling (about 65°C). Froth the milk up with the milk frother and spoon or pour slowly onto your coffee.
If you don’t have a milk frother, warm the milk and then put it into a small jar with a lid. Shake well until the milk doubles in volume. Remove the lid and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds; then spoon the froth over your coffee.
Buy a coffee stencil to decorate the top of the frothy milk. Once you have topped the coffee with the frothy layer, hold the coffee stencil over the top. Sift cocoa powder or hot chocolate over the stencil. Carefully lift the stencil off the froth to reveal the design.
Make the perfect cup of tea
1. Use good-quality tea leaves, for example from India or Sri Lanka.
2. Use a teapot to make your tea.
3. Warm the teapot by rinsing it with hot water before you make the tea.
4. Use fresh, filtered water and make sure it has reached boiling point before you pour it over the tea leaves.
5. Use 5 ml of tea leaves per person, and then add an extra 5 ml to the teapot.
6. Tea leaves will give a better flavour than tea bags. This is because the leaves are less processed and contain more essential oils, which give more flavour. On the other hand, good-quality tea bags are very convenient and easier to use.
7. Leave it to brew for three to five minutes. You can gently stir or shake the teapot occasionally during this time. Keep the pot hot by covering it while the tea is brewing.
8. Use a metal tea strainer to strain the tea when you pour it into the tea cups.
9. Enjoy your tea black or with milk. If you are having milk, pour the milk into the cups first, before adding the tea.
10. It’s better to enjoy the flavour of the tea without sugar, but if you are using sugar, use white and not brown.