An excellent cup of warm tea can brighten up any gloomy day. It can bring smiles to worrisome and burnt – out faces. However, when not properly steeped, tea can be very bitter and may be a cause of disappointment for some.
It is therefore a must that you follow this meticulous method of tea preparation -- not just to enhance the taste of your tea, but also to ensure that you maximize its health benefits.
If you want to learn how to make tea, simply follow the instructions that follow:
Pour more than a cup of water into a kettle and bring it to boil. It is best to use purified water, but not distilled. Distilled water has undergone a process which may affect the taste of your tea.
Another tip is to make sure you only boil you water once. Boiling depletes the oxygen levels in the water which will make your tea taste different.
This is an important and yet the most ignored step when making a cup of tea. To preserve the heat in the steeping water always make sure to preheat your cup. Pouring boiling water in a room temperature cup may cause a sudden drop of temperature.
To preheat your cup, pour in a small amount of hot water and leave it until the cup is warm. When warm, pour the water out and follow the next step immediately.
You can either use a tea bag or powdered tea when making your drink. If you prefer to use tea bags, the amount of tea has already been measured and prepared for you. One tea bag is usually good for one cup. However, use only fresh tea bags to make sure that you’ll get the best out of your tea.
Add hot water into your cup. Make sure that the amount of water added is in proportion to the amount of tea you used. The required temperature of the hot water varies per tea type. As a general rule, highly oxidized teas such as the black tea needs hotter water, while, less oxidized teas require warm water. Below are the guidelines:
- White or Green Tea: (170 – 185 F or 76-85 C) Do not pour hot water into the leaves right after boiling. Let it stand for a few seconds before adding it in (30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea).
- Oblongs: (185 – 210 F or 85 – 98 C)
- Black Tea: (212 F or 100 C) It is a big mistake to let the hot water cool down a bit when using it for black teas. This type of tea needs boiling water as it helps activate the substances it contains.
- Pursuer: (212 F or 100 C)
Steeping time is different for each kind of tea. Generally, whole – leaf teas require longer steeping time, while broken – leaf teas need shorter steeping time.
Most teas which are available in grocery stores come in boxes with written instructions on it. Make sure you follow the instructions to achieve desirable results. If you can’t find any instructions, just steep the tea for a minute or two or until its flavorful.
For gong-fu brewing, follow shorter infusion time, usually 30 seconds to about a minute. For regular brewing, follow longer infusion time. Below are the guidelines:
- Green tea: 2 - 3 mins.
- Oblong tea: 4 - 7 mins.
- Black tea: 3 - 5 mins.
Serve hot tea either with milk, honey or lemon. Remember not to mix the lemon and milk together. You can mix either one, but not both or the milk will curdle. If you prefer to have milk in your tea, add the it first to prevent scalding.
Now that you know how to make tea, you can invite your friends over for a tea party. Or you can even amuse your family by serving them flavor-rich tea after a hearty meal. How about you? Do you have your own special way of preparing teas? Share with us your own unique way of making tea by writing down your comments below. We can’t wait to hear from you!