5 Tea Brewing Tips
Did you know that there are 5 variables that will determine how much you enjoy a cup of tea? They are: (1) The quantity of the tea leaves, (2) The cut and quality of tea leaves, (3) Temperature and quality of the water, (4) Steep time, and finally (5) Your own individual preferences.
1. Quality of the Tea Leaves
Quality is always number one! A lot of people assume that tea in a teabag is lower quality than loose tea — and that’s often true. Sadly, it’s really easy to hide poor quality tea by sealing it into a teabag. But it’s not always true.
The real truth is that there’s plenty of low grade tea that’s sold both loose and in bags. Likewise, there’s a lot of really good quality tea that’s sold both loose and in bags. The ultimate test is, of course, the taste.
(Which explains why we have so many happy customers and 5 star ratings!)
2. Cut and Quantity of the Tea Leaves
How much dry tea you use per unit of water is also important. The ideal ratio is 2 grams of tea for every 8-10 ounces of water. A teaspoon will hold 2 grams of finely cut tea or 1 gram of loosely cut tea. Our tropical teabags contain 2 grams of finely cut tea per back. So, one teabag per 8-10 ounces of water will brew the perfect cup!
3. Temperature and Quality of the water
A simple rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t drink the water straight, it’s not going to make great tea. An interesting note is that heavily filtered water with most of the minerals removed results in flat tasting tea. You might even want to brew a cup using bottled water or spring water, just to see how it compares to tap water!
Temperature makes a difference, too! Black, green and herbal teas all shine at different brewing temperatures.
- Black Tea: Heat water to near a full boil, 206 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but not a full boil. Continuous boiling will rob the water of needed oxygen and make the tea taste flat.
- Green Tea: Brewing green tea is a more delicate process. Green teas are much less processed than black teas and more sensitive to temperature and steep time. Green teas must be steeped at a low temperature, 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bitterness.
- Herbal Tea: The Rooibos that we use in our 100% caffeine-free Coconut Macadamia Herbal Tea is not particularly sensitive to temperature or steep time. We recommend near boiling hot water and a steep time from 5 to 15 minutes.
4. Steep Time
Black Tea: We recommend steeping black teas for 2 to 5 minutes, although you can steep up to 10 minutes without bitterness.
Green Tea: Steep time for green tea is short, 1 to 2 minutes. Longer steep time can cause a bitter taste. Green teas can be re-infused with water and steeped again several times.
Herbal Tea: We recommend near boiling hot water and a steep time from 5 to 15 minutes.
5. Your Personal Preferences
Last, but not least is personal preference. Do experiment to find your preferences, because there is no single set of tea brewing instructions that would be perfect for everyone. A tea that you found unappealing may turn out to be fantastic once you experiment with brewing temperature and steep time.
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