There is a great variety of good teas on the market, both black and green. The choice of tea is largely a matter of individual preference.

Tea should always be kept in a tightly covered can or jar to protect it from the air and moisture, because of the volatile oil present.

In the preparation of the beverage the purpose is to draw out the volatile oil and caffeine from the leaf into the water. Boiling water must be poured over the leaves to obtain these results and if the water is then allowed to stand on the leaves without boiling for only three or four minutes, the best results are obtained. A longer infusion draws out the bitter and harmful tannic acid, making the beverage not only unpleasant to the taste but also harmful to the body.

As tannic acid acts on some metals, it is not desirable to use a metal tea pot. China and earthen ware are best; earthen ware is especially desirable, because it holds the heat.

The tea pot should be scalded out and heated before the tea is put in. The water used should be freshly boiling and the tea pot tightly covered during the infusion.

A tea strainer or tea ball may be used to prepare one cup of tea at a time. The tea cup must be scalded and boiling water poured over the tea leaves.

One cannot economize in the preparation of tea by allowing a longer time for steeping for that ruins the beverage. When a stronger tea is desired, more leaves must be used.

Tea is at its best served clear; lemon is often added (Russian tea); cloves and candied orange peel give a pleasing variety; cream and sugar are much used, and increase the food value of the beverage.

1 teaspoon green tea or

2 teaspoons black tea

2 cups boiling water (freshly boiling)

Scald the teapot, put the tea in the teapot and pour boiling water over it. Cover closely but do not boil. Steep 3 minutes, strain, and serve, adding hot water if desired. Serves 4.

Iced Tea

Follow recipe for tea using double the quantity of tea called for. Strain and set aside to cool. Chill and serve with chipped ice and sliced lemon. Black tea is more desirable for iced tea.