How To Make The Best Tea

Photo credit: Flickr/Kanko*
Photo credit: Flickr/Kanko*

Whether you want to enjoy a cup of white tea, green tea, black tea, or even herbal tea, follow these instructions to make the best possible pot of tea!

Whenever possible, always use loose tea instead of teabags.  The quality of loose tea is much better than the grade of tea used in teabags.  And loose tea is often more affordable, as well.

1.Tea kettle versus teapot

The tea kettle is what you put on the stove to boil water.  It is usually made of metal, and often has a whistle attachment so that you can tell when the water is boiling. 

A teapot is what you use to brew (steep) the tea.  A teapot is usually made of ceramic material.  If you only want to make one cup of tea, you would use a mug instead of a teapot.

2. Fill your tea kettle with cold, fresh water. 

Cold water has more oxygen, and creates tea that tastes better.  It also is free of any “off” tastes that may come from your hot water heater.

Always use fresh water.  Water which has been boiled and then re-boiled will taste flat.

Bring the water to a full boil.  Have patience!  It’s important that the water be very hot.  This is why an electric kettle is superior to boiling water on the stove.  If you make much tea, an electric tea kettle is a great investment.

3.While the water is coming to a boil, get the tea ready (but do not put it in the teapot). 

As a general guideline, one teaspoon of loose tea for each person plus one for the pot.  An average-size teapot would take three teaspoons of tea.

If you want stronger tea, add more tea to the infuser.

Put the loose tea into your strainer or infusion ball, and set it aside for now.

4. Pre-heat the teapot or mug. 

Pour in a little bit of hot water from the kettle, and swish it around to warm it.  This ensures that the water you use to steep the tea is as hot as possible.

5. Put the tea strainer or infuser ball into the teapot. 

Pour the boiling water over the strainer.  

This ensures that the tea leaves are properly saturated with hot water.  If you do it the other way round, sometimes the infuser ball bobs atop the water and the tea leaves don’t get wet.

6. Let it steep the correct amount of time. 

Check the tea container if you are not sure.  Typically this is 3 minutes for green tea, 5 minutes for black tea, and 7 minutes for herbal tea.  If you have a tea cosy, this is a great time to deploy it!

Remove the tea leaves when the time is up.  Steeping tea for a longer time just makes it more bitter.  If you want more tea, add more tea leaves, but steep it for the same amount of time.

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