The Perfect Cup of Tea
Begins with water:
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 & taste and you'll have a weak, muddy cup.
How much leaf to use:
Too much leaf will make your tea bitter. Too little leaf will bring a weak cup. The rule is 1 teaspoon of leaf per cup. But, that is not always the case, remember all tea leaves are different. Some are tightly rolled, broken, or fuller open leaves like White tea. You will have to adjust your measurement based on the actual leaf size and your taste preference. Rooibos, Wellness, Herbals, and Fruit tisanes we suggest 1 tablespoon per cup but if your having it iced, increase the measurement to about 1 1/2 tablespoons so the flavor is not weakened by the ice.
The temperature depends on the tea. Use boiling water (212F) when preparing Black, dark Oolong, Rooibos, Herbal & Wellness blends or Fruit tisanes. These teas require it in order to break down the leaf and release the flavor and antioxidants. It's important to use cooler water when steeping more delicate teas, such as Green, Green Oolong and White teas. If the water is too hot it will cause the delicate tea to taste overly bitter or astringent. Water that is too cool will cause a tea to taste flavorless and weak. If you don't have a thermometer or a kettle that shows the temperature of the water, you can let boiling water sit for 5 minutes, this causes the water temperature to drop to roughly 180F. The rule is usually 4-5 minutes for most black teas, depending on your preference for strength. Any longer, and they'll become overly astringent. Dark Oolong and White teas, on the other hand, are much more forgiving. They taste best when steeped for 3-5 minutes. Lighter less oxidized Oolong and Green teas need a little more attention so steep for only 2 minutes.
How to steep:
The proper equipment is important in the steeping process. When hot water is added, tea leaves can open up to 5 times their dry size. So to make a great tea you need to give your leaves room to open. An infuser basket should be wide and deep enough to reach the bottom of the cup or pot for the flavor to infuse.
Fresh water boiled to the correct temperature then poured over tea leaves in the proper steeping vessel =
The Perfect Cup of Tea!