This is crucial. Wish I could be more relaxed about this and say it wasn’t that important. The truth is that when we’re talking about black tea, this is probably as important as what type of and how much tea you use.
Maybe the idea of boiling a kettle-full of water and pouring it in the teapot before boiling another kettle of water to use for the actual tea sounds like too much bother. Trust me. It’s essential. I used to think this was ridiculous, but have since been converted to the preheat-your-damned-teapot crowd. At the very least, the tea tastes better over here with us.
If you’re drinking green tea, I’ll give you the opposite advice. Don’t preheat the teapot. At all. The opposite. You need to start with either a cool teapot or check the water temperature before you add the green tea leaves.
Why? Boiling water is good for black tea. More than good. Necessary. But boiling water would damage the green tea leaves. They’re far more sensitive and need cooler water. If you’re drinking green tea, add a bit of cold water to your boiling water to get closer to the perfect temperature. I’ll talk more about green tea and give some tips on good water temperatures another time.