How to brew a perfect cup of tea?
Good tea is inexpensive but not cheap. For what it offers, tea is an affordable luxury but choosing good tea needs some care. Tea made in the traditional, artisanal way – called the orthodox method – retains the sophistication that natural soil, and climatic factors induce. Tea packed at source, retaining its freshness and in particular tea that maintains the purity of its origin – single origin, single region or single estate tea – is best. There are no hard and fast rules for brewing tea because there are so many taste preferences and drinking habits. Also, each tea has its own characteristics. The bottom line is, make it the way you like it. In general, however, if you keep in mind the following suggestions, you'll be making tea like a master in no time.
- Use the same amount of tealeaves. About 2 teaspoons (4grams) for a 220ml container.
- Use the appropriate water temperature for the tea you are using.
Green tea has a softer, generally more gentle personality than black tea and should be brewed in water that is cooled to around 75°C, whilst Oolong in water that is around 85°C and black tea in water with temperature of 90-95 degrees. Light and floral high grown black teas also benefit from lower temperature brewing and could be brewed at 85°C. If you watch carefully, you can notice the water get quiet before it boils. More delicate teas will perform their best with slightly cooler water.
- Steep for the appropriate brew time for the tea you are using.
Remember, some teas can be brewed several times and brew time changes for each brewing. For the first brew: 2-3 min. for Greens, Whites, Yellows and Compressed; 30-90 sec. for good Oolongs though some like 3-5 minutes; 3-4 min. for Blacks and Flavors; 5-8 min. for Aged Dark Tea.
- Remove the leaves from the teapot when finished brewing. For stronger tea use more leaf.
- For iced tea, use double the amount of leaf but use the same brew time. Pouring it warm over ice dilutes it perfectly.