It seems like most people would just pour in boiling water and let it infuse for as long as they remembered they actually made tea.
Have you ever boiled water, put the tea in a cup and poured water over the cup, then watch your favourite show/do your chores /browse on facebook/ have gone out to do errands/ commented on those videos/ texted your best friend/ talked on the phone with your boyfriend/ went to sleep and forgot that you made tea?
You're not alone. Everybody has at least done this once in their lifetime. Tea is a majestic ritual that satisfies your sophisticated taste buds while you're in the zen zone. However, in order to appreciate the tea's unique flavour, you need to know:
- what kind of tea you're making
- the temperature of water you should be using
- how long the tea should be steeping
For starters, check your tea's packaging for steeping instructions. If you're infusing tea in a cup just for yourself, usually one teaspoon should be enough. If you're brewing tea in a teapot, one to two teaspoons would make sense. Some folks like to re-infuse their tea and this is totally advisable if you are drinking loose leaf tea - which by the way, is the highest and best euphoric tea experience you'll ever have. Those teabags are usually just tea dusts that are pulverized and are mass produced which is why they are way cheaper than rolled and dried artisanal loose leaf teas.
Anyways, you must remember that if you over-infuse your tea for a long period of time or poured boiling water on teas that react sensitively to hot temperature like green tea and white tea, your tea will be significantly bitter and may not pleasantly appeal to your taste buds. This is because different kinds of teas are not created equal. Some are fermented in which the leaves naturally oxidize as they were dried and crushed like Pu-erh tea and Black tea. Some are steamed to stop the oxidation process like green tea so they are completely unfermented. Some are only partially fermented like Oolong tea.
Now that you know that it's like different strokes for different folks when steeping your tea, it will be very easy for anyone to tell the water temperature by using a thermometer. Some kettles have an integrated thermometer so that should remove the hassle right of the bat. Set up a timer for your steeping time and get right to it so you won't forget that you have made a commitment to drink your tea.
If you do not have a kettle that has a built-in thermometer and have zero device on measuring water temperature, try to play it by ear. Listen to the rolling sound of water while heating it. For instance, if you are brewing green tea, remove the water from heat before its boiling point.
It's also important to note that the quality of water affects the taste of the tea. Spring water is the best water for tea as advised by the ancient Chinese scholar Lu Yu, but let's face it, not everybody has access to that God-given fresh natural resource. And by the way, how do they actually bottle up these spring waters anyways - is it from a stream of cascading waterfalls from the top of a mountain? Just to be sure that you will not be at risk of any spring water contamination, the real best thing is filtered water because it gets rid of the unwanted flavour of extra minerals and are safe to drink by general consensus.
Lastly, check that your metal tea wares are free from rust and tea stains so you'll get a fresh, vibrant and palatable cup of of tea.
If you want to try uniquely flavoured artisanal loose leaf teas - we have just the right collection for you. Everybody loves our Tropical Peach Rhapsody - Mango Peach Oolong Tea. Life is short, you wouldn't want to regret not trying this before you die. Live a little and give it a go!
Hope this helps, and happy steeping!