The Art of Drinking Tea: How to Prepare Tea the Right Way
If you are used to ordering your favorite tea drink at your local tea or coffee shop, we don’t blame you. You just can’t beat the convenience of enjoying a nice drink without having to deal with making it yourself! However, while you can’t beat the convenience, you may be able to beat the taste by learning how to make it yourself.
If you think that making tea just means placing a tea bag in some hot water, you have much to learn! While you can certainly brew tea that way, the truth is that preparing tea the right way is much more of an art form, and there is much more involved!
For any avid tea drinker, they will understand the nuances of brewing tea. From the water temperature, to steeping the leaves, the amount of time needed based on the type of tea, what to add to the tea, there is a lot to consider.
Are you interested in learning the art of drinking tea? Would you like to learn how to prepare it properly so that you next cup is all that more delicious? You’ve come to the right place. Brewing tea at home is almost sure to result in better tasting tea, and saving money in the long run instead of always purchasing it while you are out!
Here are all the steps you need to know in order to prepare tea the right way.
To start off with, you want to have the best quality water to brew the perfect cup of tea. Believe it or not you should actually start off with cold water! It may be tempting to warm the water up in your faucet first, but stick with fresh cold water instead. Preferably you should use filtered water, and not water from the tap, as that water could not only have contaminants, it could alter the taste of the tea.
The Boiling Process
All you’ve got to do is bring your water to a boil, right? Nope – it’s a bit more complex than that! In fact, you can actually heat your water up too much. You do not want to bring your water to a strong rolling boil, as that can actually reduce the flavor of the tea. Instead, shoot for gentle just boiled water.
Part of this depends on the actual tea you are brewing. Believe it or not, each type of tea typically needs a specific temperature of water if you are in search of the perfect cup! Here is a general guideline to follow based on the most common types of teas:
Black Tea: 180-212 degrees Fahrenheit
White Tea: 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Herbal Tea: 212 degrees Fahrenheit
Green Tea: 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit
Oolong Tea: 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit
You can check out this cool temperature guide for more information on the specifics based on the type of tea you are brewing.
Another tip when boiling your water is to actually look at the brewing instructions! Yes, the tea you want to brew comes with instructions. Even if it is very basic tea in a tea bag from the grocery store, it will have recommended instructions. Follow them!
If you brew your tea exactly as you are supposed to and don’t like the taste, feel free to experiment. Make your water a little hotter or cooler and see how that impacts the taste. After all, you are the one drinking it, you should enjoy what you sip on!
The Tea Pot
Now that you know how hot to heat your tea, what do you heat it in? While you might want to be lazy and use the microwave, that is certainly not the proper technique. Using a teapot and heating your water on the stove is the traditional, best way to heat your water.
There are two main types of tea pot- porcelain and metal. You might not think it matters, but it does! Metal teapots are best if you are brewing a tea like a black tea that needs water at a higher temperature – as metal teapots can hold in heat better. Porcelain pots do not hold heat as well, so they are a better choice when you are boiling your water to a lower temperature for something like green or white tea.
You might not think it matters, but small details like this all add up to make your tea truly the right way! It does make a difference, try it to believe us!
The Amount of Water
Now your water is the perfect temperature – before you can actually steep your tea leaves, how much water do you need? This is a crucial step in the tea making process. More water will dilute your tea, where as you will have stronger tea with less water.
Most of this depends on personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to have about 6-8 ounces of water. This is a standard amount and will fit in any standard sized mug. This amount will work for 1 tea bag, or if you are using loose tea, you should measure out about 1 teaspoon of tea. Again, check your specific tea to see what it recommends!
Start off by following the instructions, and then adjust to your taste. You may prefer slightly more water, for example.
The Actual Brewing/Infusing
Once you’ve brought your water to the perfect temperature and know how much to pour out, it’s time to actually make your tea! Essentially all you are doing here is placing your tea leaves in the water and having the flavor of the leaves infuse the water. Even if you use a tea bag, that is the process that is going on!
Each type of tea will require a different amount of time that will result in the perfect cup of tea. How you infuse your tea leaves can also make a difference. If you use a tea bag that is more straightforward, but if you have loose tea leaves, you have several options.
Typically lighter, fresher teas like green tea and white tea need less time to infuse, where as darker teas like black tea require a bit more time. Like mentioned before, follow the instructions that you have with your specific tea! Once you reach the recommended time, remove the tea bag or leaves! Do not leave it in there – it may be more convenient if you have a tea bag, but that is not proper technique!
Consider getting a metal tea baller if you have loose leaf tea, or consider investing in an actual tea infusion device that will hold your tea leaves and hot water. When you’ve reached the correct infusing time, you place the device on top of your mug and the tea pours out, leaving the tea leaves behind!
So there you have it! Did you learn some new tips you didn’t know before? It may be hard to believe, but the truth is that subtle changes in things like water temperature or water source can make a big difference when brewing your tea!
By following these steps you will be preparing your tea the proper way, and are sure to end up with an excellent cup. Once you do it the proper way, you can make small adjustments to your personal liking in order to have your own personal method for brewing the perfect cup of tea!