Whether you are making a cup of tea with a tea bag or with loose tea leaves, brewing a great cup of tea can be simple. There is no wrong way to brew tea, just techniques that enhance the flavor of a cup of tea.
How to brew a great cup of tea
Choosing water is the most important step in tea making. Tap water is not a good choose due to the purification process; the added chlorine in the processed water affects a tea’s flavor. Bottled water has its flaws too. Choosing a filtered water or alkaline water makes the best cup of tea; find a water type that suits your taste buds. My personal favorite is alkaline water; it makes a great cup of loose tea.
Water temperature for tea
Some people think that the temperature of the tea water should be warm and others think that cold is best to start with. The truth is that cold water to start with is best for brewing great tasting tea. The final temperature of the hot water will depend on the type of tea you choose. Green and white teas require the coolest temperatures, about 158-176 degrees F, releasing their gentle flavors, whereas boiling water draws out the bitter flavors in these teas.
Oolong tea steeps best when the water begins at 176-185 F; black and pu’erh teas taste best steeping when the water begins at 194-203 F. For best results, use a thermometer. An easy gauge for temperature, bring water to a boil. Use the boiling water immediately for black tea or pu erh tea, wait about 60 seconds for oolong tea and for green or white tea, wait about 1.5-2 minutes before pouring in teapot with infuser, over the loose tea leaves or tea bag
Tea bag and teapot vs tea ball
Measure 1 teaspoon of loose tea for each cup of tea when using a teapot.
Enjoy the process with a glass teapot, watch as the color seeps out of the infuser into the hot water. What an experience! Tea bags are easy to use,just place in the cup of hot water and drink after several minutes. Tea balls are to be filled no more than half way so the loose tea flavors can blend for a perfect cup of tea.
May you practice these tips and enjoy your perfect cup of tea!