Let’s brew the perfect cup of tea.
There is a multitude of complexities and subtle nuances involved in brewing the perfect cup of tea. As with coffee, the higher quality the ingredients you choose and the more effort you put into preparation, the better your experience will be.
Start with fresh, filtered water.
One of the most important factors in brewing loose leaf tea is the water. You really want to use freshly drawn, filtered water. The oxygen content in the water is crucial to the final flavor of the tea. If you use flat, stale water that has been sitting in the kettle for hours, the tea you brew with it will also taste flat and stale.
Watch your temperature.
The next key component is temperature. If you have an electric kettle that lets you set the temperature, that’s great! Most people don’t have that option, and it is easy to work around it.
With a few minor exceptions, all herbal and black teas require boiling water. But only just boiling. Due to the activity of the oxygen molecules in the water, as well as temperature, you want to use water that has just come to a boil. If you walk away from the kettle and the water boils for more than half a minute or so, it is best to start over with fresh water.
With white and green teas the opposite is true. If the water boils, it is too hot and you should start over. Green and white teas are more delicate and require water that is steaming hot, but not boiling.
Make room for leaf expansion.
Next, you’ll want to consider what container will best allow the herbs and tea leaves to expand to their maximum capacity. My favorite method is brewing loose leaf in a French press. But you don’t need special equipment to make great tea. I have brewed tea in a saucepan when nothing else was available!
All you need is a vessel to put the herbs in, pour boiling water over, cover, and let steep. It is very important to cover your tea as it is steeping in order to keep from releasing important compounds in the steam. There are a multitude of strainers available. Simply place the strainer in or over your mug and pour your freshly brewed tea. If you use your French press for your coffee, be sure use get a separate one for brewing loose leaf tea!
Keep a close eye on the time.
Brew time is the last key element in making the perfect cup of tea, and it is critical! Brew time varies depending on the ingredients in your tea, and how strong you like your tea.
Any blend containing black or green tea should only steep for four minutes. Steeping any longer does not make it stronger, it simply makes it bitter. To make black and green tea stronger, add more tea, not more time.
Herbal teas can be brewed longer, and they will become stronger in flavor. But the first time you brew any tea, stick to the the instructions on the bag, then modify to your liking.
If the tea contains caffeine, and you want it stronger or weaker, adjust the amount of tea you use. If it does not contain caffeine, and you want it stronger or weaker, adjust the amount of time it brews.
Brew the perfect cup of tea, every time.
Whew, that’s a lot to remember. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Download this handy tea brewing tip sheet and keep it close to your teapot.
Think beyond tea.
AstroloTea® handcrafted specialty tea blends go beyond amazing flavor and offer you a vast array of nourishing and enriching benefits. Not only are they delicious and exotic, they are custom-blended using extensive knowledge of the unique properties of each ingredient to combine rich, flavorful body with the capacity for deep and profound transformation of both mind and body. AstroloTea® blends are formulated for how you want to feel as well as what you want to taste.