How to Brew a Great Cup of Tea
Brewing a great cup of tea doesn’t take rocket science, but it does take patience. As you probably know, there are many tools to help brew a cup of tea if you purchase bulk tea. However, it takes some knowledge of quantity and quality of the tea leaves, the amount of water and temperature of water, and the time for infusion. Making a mistake on any of these elements can lead to a strong, bitter taste that will give you a less than positive experience with tea.
Purified water is best to use versus distilled water. Purified water will still have some of the coveted minerals which can actually enhance some teas. The water should also begin by being cold rather than a warm or hot water. Furthermore, bringing it to a gentle boil is crucial to a good cup of tea. Boiling the tea at a gentle bubble will help to purify the water further.
Green tea requires a more gentle boil to bring out its delicate flavors. Conversely, black tea needs a heavier boil in order to enhance its baked sweetness due to being fully oxidized. Secondly, the length of time it takes for green teas is generally shorter while the time for heavier, black teas could be longer.
Types of Containers and Tea Strainers
Tea strainers range in type and style. There are tea balls, tea spoons, and tea infusers for every preference. Comically, some are fashioned into shapes like dolphins, deep sea divers, and tea bags just to appeal to the tea user. They range from stainless steel to silicone styles.
Tea pots can also impacts the tea when brewing. Green tea needs less temperature, therefore, porcelain or glass tea containers are good. Black tea requires a hotter temperature. Hence tea pots made of iron or Chinese yixing ware retain heat over longer periods of time than porcelain or glass.
General Tea Preparation Guidelines
- Bring fresh, cold water to a boil in a kettle.
- Remove from heat when it reaches a gentle boil.
- Poor into a warm tea pot or tea cup (poor hot water into container prior to the tea water to keep temperature more consistent)
- Add proper amount of tea to the pot or cup determined by number of people drinking the tea.
- Poor water over the tea leaves and strain later or use a tea strainer to infuse the tea into the container.
- Steep for required amount of time, usually five minutes, for preferred flavor and strength.
A cup of tea is a symbol of hospitality all over the world. There is nothing like drinking a fresh, brewed, flavorful tea with a friend. Enjoy!