To some, brewing tea is as simple as putting a tea bag in a cup of hot water. But did you know that there’s actually a secret to getting it just right?
There are four main factors that go into making tea: the water, the temperature, the amount of time you steep it for, and the material your vessel is made of. Making changes to each of these things can alter the taste of your tea, even if it seems like a tiny difference.
Here’s how to get that perfect steep, no matter what type of tea you’re making.
A Ratio You Can Count on
The secret to getting the most out of your cup of tea is the perfect water-to-tea ratio. This ensures that you get the most out of every steep.
Here is a list of the ideal temperatures and steep times for each of the most common types of tea:
Loose leaf tea is a great way to enjoy the pure, natural taste of tea. Right now, it’s extremely popular, which means you can try thousands of different flavours and different infusions that you may have never even dreamed of.
However, loose leaf can be the hardest tea to get right because it’s not pre-measured, like tea bags.
Generally, the stronger the type of tea you drink, the more leaves you’ll need. For oolong and white teas, use 2-3 teaspoons, for green teas use 2 teaspoons, and for black teas use 1-2 teaspoons. If you buy your tea in a package, it’ll likely tell you on the label.
Steep each tea for an average of 3 minutes, allowing for variations depending on how strong you or your guests like it.
When it comes to brewing a pot of tea to share with company, here is a great way to make sure you treat everyone to a great tasting cup.
It’s beneficial to preheat your teapot by pouring some hot water in it and swirling around. This helps to ensure that the hot water doesn’t cool down too fast when you mix it with the tea.
Leave the lid off the pot when you’re steeping the tea to allow it to breathe. If the lid stays on, it can overcook your tea and cause the flavor to alter in a way you won’t enjoy.
Steep it for about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how big your teapot is and how many people you are sharing your tea with.
Here are some extra tips that can help you reach that perfect level of hot tea goodness.
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Bilow, R. (Sept. 2015). Steep your way to hot tea perfection by avoiding these common mistakes.Bon Appetit.Retrieved from https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/hot-tea-common-mistakes.
Cushing, B. (May 2015). Everything you need to know to make the perfect cup of tea.Bon Appetit. Retrieved from https://www.bonappetit.com/drinks/non-alcoholic/article/tea-steeping-guide.
Ito En. (n.d.) All things tea: The proper way to brew tea. Retrieved from https://www.itoen.com/preparing-tea.
Ukra, M. (Jan. 2009). Brewing the perfect pot of tea.The Huffington Post.Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-ukra/brewing-the-perfect-pot-o_b_147666.html.