It amuses me to no end to shake out a handful of dried leaves from the jar and put them in hot water. Just because while this is the true essence of tea-making, it is so far from what I think of as 'tea' usually. The upshot of the melange is a mental picture that focuses on tea-packets and tea-bags, in spite of acquiring later knowledge. So I find it amusing to remind myself of what tea really is: leaves.
Here's the recipe, such as it is:
- handful of tea leaves
- 2+ quarts of filtered water
- honey to taste (maybe a scant 0.25 cup per 2 quarts, not like I measure it, I just glop it into the pitcher and then taste the result, and I tend to like just a hint of sweetness)
Put 1 quart of water plus tea leaves in sauce pan on medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and top off water in pan to keep the liquid level reasonably constant, simmer in the neighborhood of 15-30 minutes, depending on what distracts you. The goal is for the tea to be a deep gold color.
When you're happy with the color, take the sauce pan off the heat and strain it into a pitcher. This is where I add the honey, so the heat can help it dissolve - I try to put the honey in the pitcher first but sometimes I forget and end up adding it second. Stir until honey is dissolved, then add the rest of the second quart of water until you are happy with color/taste. Refrigerate.