Brewing a cup of tea isn’t a difficult process but brewing a really great cup of tea requires a little more thought and care. When it comes to loose leaf tea, you have so many options to choose from, but that also means you need to be aware of the differences in the tea and how they affect the way you should brew them. We want you to always enjoy your cup of tea as much as possible, so we’ve created this guide on how to make the perfect cup of loose leaf tea every time.
Use Good Quality Water
As important as the tea itself is, a cup of tea is still mostly water. No matter how good your tea leaves might be on their own, poor water quality can ruin the entire pot if you aren’t careful. You may not want to use the water straight from the tap. Switch to filtered water instead if you’re trying to get the best tasting tea possible.
Control the Water’s Temperature
The temperature of your water also plays an important role in the cup’s taste. While it’s tempting to use water directly off the boil, this is a mistake, depending on the kind of tea you’re brewing. White, green, and oolong tea are all slightly more sensitive to extreme heat than other teas. If you’re brewing a cup of loose leaf tea with these kinds of teas, wait a bit after it finishes boiling so that the water isn’t too scalding as you pour it over the tea.
Pay Attention to Steep Times
Knowing how to make the perfect cup of loose leaf tea means understanding steep times. Green and white teas have shorter steeping times compared to something like black tea. Herbal teas usually require the longest amount of time to steep before drinking, but this isn’t always the case. Read the steeping instructions carefully and keep an eye on the clock as you steep your tea. Too much or too little time steeping can result in bitter or weak tea, respectively.
Accurate Tea-to-Water Ratios
Along with steep times, your tea will also have a specific ratio of leaves to water that you want to pay attention to. While this will vary between different teas, a general rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of tea leaves for every eight ounces of water. ImmuneSchein always lets you know the right tea-to-water ratio depending on the kind of tea you buy.
Remove Tea Leaves After Steeping
If you’ve gone through all this and still leave the leaves in your teapot, you’ll only get one good cup out of it. Placing your tea in a removeable basket or strainer will allow you to easily remove the leaves from the tea so that they don’t continue to steep past the correct time. This will help keep your tea from becoming bitter over time.