It's such a big part of Persian culture that I'm going to dedicate the next few blog posts to the aforementioned aspects of tea culture starting with brewing your own perfect cup of Persian tea.
If you visit any Iranian home, the first thing you will be offered is a hot cup of tea. Iranians use loose leaf black tea (Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or Ahmad tea are popular choices), but you can use any black tea you like. I'm going to use a fruity, floral black tea I recently bought in Spain called Sueño de Alhambra.
1. Boil cold fresh water in the kettle.
2. Place 2 tablespoons of tea in the teapot, pour the boiling water over it and fill it close to the rim. Place the lid back on top.
3. Brew the tea for 10-15 minutes. The idea here is to "cook" the tea. In Iran, the teapots can easily fit on top of the kettle, but if you can't do that with your kettle, place them side by side on the stove so that the kettle keeps the teapot warm.
4. Fill the cups about 1/3 full with tea (you can adjust this depending on how strong you like your tea). Fill the rest of the cup with water from the kettle. Iranians drink tea out of clear glasses called fenjaan فنجان or estekaan استکان. The clear glass is imperative to be able to see the color of the tea thereby adjusting the strength.