A couple weeks ago I wrote about Tea Taste Killers, things that can seriously affect the flavor of your tea. In the post, I named badly cleaned teaware as a possible source of scent and flavor contamination. Here are a few tips for keeping your teaware clean and scent-free so that it brews you a perfect cup each time you make your tea:
- Watch the Dishsoap: If you are cleaning your teaware in a dishwasher or in the sink with lots of dishes, most of the dishsoap will rinse away as a matter of course. But if you are washing your teapots one at a time, beware: Dish soap is pretty concentrated, and that little drop you squirt into the pot or cup is actually intended to be used in a full sink of water. Getting that residue out can be tricky, so I advise being very scrupulous about rinsing and re-rinsing teaware washed in this manner. A good brush or clean washcloth can help remove any stubborn suds.
- Hot Water Isn’t Enough: Sadly, just rinsing out a cup or mug with some of your boiling tea-water isn’t enough to get it clean. Over time a residue will build up (particularly if you drink flavored teas), and this will affect the quality of your tea. Give your teaware a good scrub after each use.
- Use a Brush: Tea infusers often have tiny little openings into which tea leaves can get stuck. I’ve found that the best remedy for this is a baby brush (easy to find at a supermarket or dollar store). The soft, long, fine bristles can get into these tight spaces and get those leaf particles out in no time.
- Air Drying Takes Time: My favorite way to dry my teaware is to just turn it over and set in a dishrack overnight. This method won’t work, though, if you need to keep your dishrack clear: If you don’t let the teaware dry completely, and put it away with a lid on, the trapped moisture inside will give it a musty smell.
- Separate Towels: If air drying your teaware isn’t an option, make sure that the towels you use are clean and free of residue from scented laundry products. If necessary, buy a separate set of dish towels just for teaware use.
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