The process of making a quality cup of tea is very simple. Here are a few tips that can make the difference between an ordinary cup of tea and a great cup of tea.
Tea can be stored for a long period of time without losing a significant amount of its flavor. Sunlight and air are the two elements that can really have a negative effect on tea. An airtight container placed in a cupboard will lengthen the freshness of tea for six months to one year.
Use Fresh Water
To really capture the true flavor of tea, begin with freshly drawn cold water. Hot tap water and water that has already been boiled will have less oxygen in it, and if used, will make the tea taste flat or stale. It is important to remember that tea is mostly water, and water that tastes impure out of the tap will carry that taste to the final product.
Don't Boil Water Too Long
When water boils, it releases oxygen. So the longer water boils, the less oxygen it has. The trick is to use water that has just come to a rolling boil before pouring it over the tea leaves. A kettle with a whistle is helpful.
Preheat the Cup or Teapot
In order to extract the tea leaf's true flavor and aroma, the water temperature has to be near boiling. If water is poured into a cold cup or teapot, most of the heat will transfer to warming the container, which will decrease the water's effectiveness in releasing the tea's flavor. Preheating the cup or teapot will eliminate this issue.
Measure to Ensure Consistency
Always measure your tea. Measuring will help ensure a consistent cup of tea and it will also minimize waste. Guessing can result in tea that is either too weak, too strong, or bitter. We recommend one level tablespoon of tea for every cup, but if a stronger cup of tea is preferred more tea can be used.
Use a Timer While Steeping
Most teas only need to steep for three to five minutes to fully release their aroma and flavor. The actual amount of time can vary based on the type of tea (Black tea, Green tea, Tisane, etc.) and the grade of tea being used. For example, steeping a broken leaf tea will take less time than steeping a whole leaf tea. Once the steeping process is complete, promptly remove the tea leaves from the brewed tea. If the tea leaves are allowed to steep too long the tea's taste will become bitter.