A Perfect Cup of Tea
Loose leaf tea is best way to enjoy a cup of tea. Tea bags are made with fannings and yes, they are convenient for a quick cup. But, you will get more flavor and more antioxidants from a cup of loose leaf tea. The difference is timing and most loose leaf teas steep in as little as 3 to 5 minutes. Follow these simple tips and enjoy a perfect cup of tea.
Fresh water is always the best choice because if your water "tastes funny", so will your tea. Water that has too many minerals will extract extra astringency from your tea and give you a harsh brew. Water that is too soft will not extract enough of the polyphenols that deliver astringency, health benefits, resulting in a weak and muddy cup.
Always follow the steeping instructions for each tea. Too much loose leaf will make your tea bitter. Too little loose leaf will steep a weak cup of tea. The rule is 1 teaspoon of loose leaf per 8 oz. cup. Tea leaves are not all the same size and shape. Some tea leaves are tightly rolled or broken, and White tea leaves are fuller and more open. Adjust your measurement based on the actual size of the loose leaf and your taste preference. Rooibos, Herbal & Wellness, and Fruit Tisanes, use 1 heaped teaspoon or 1 tablespoon per 8 oz. cup. For iced tea, increase the measurement to about 1 1/2 tablespoon so the flavor is not weakened by the ice.
The temperature of the water all depends on the tea. Use boiling water (212º F) for Black tea, dark Oolong, Rooibos, Herbal & Wellness, and Fruit tisane. These teas need boiling water to break-down the loose leaf to release its flavor and antioxidants. When steeping more delicate teas, such as Green, lighter Oolongs, and White teas, use cooler water (175º - 180º F). If the water is too hot it will cause these delicate teas to taste overly bitter and astringent. If you don't have a thermometer or a kettle that shows the temperature of the water, bring the water to a boil and let it cool down for 5 minutes, this causes the water temperature to drop to about 180º F.
The rule is usually 4 to 5 minutes for most Black teas, Rooibos, Herbal & Wellness, and Fruit Tisane depending on your preference for strength. Any longer and the tea will become overly astringent. Dark Oolong's are more forgiving if left a minute or two past the recommended steeping time. Green, lighter Oolongs, and White teas taste best when steeped for 3 to 5 minutes.
The proper steeping vessel is important in the steeping process. When you add hot water to loose leaf tea it can open up to 5 times their dry size. To make a great cup of tea you need to give the loose tea leaves room to open. A teapot should have a wide infuser basket deep enough to reach the bottom of the teapot. If you are steeping a cup at a time, make sure the infuser basket is wide and deep enough to reach the bottom of the cup.
Remembering all these tips will help you steep the perfect cup of tea. If you have any questions send us an email.
Peace, Love & Tea