That first relaxing sip of tea can be one of life's greatest simple pleasures. You can feel the stress melt from your body as the warm amber liquid flows in.
A soothing hot beverage can indeed be one of life's most enjoyable experiences. Not too strong, not too weak, and never bitter to the taste. Although each person has their own image of the ideal cup of tea there are a few guidelines that can be followed to insure that you successfully brew your cuppa as it was truly intended to be brewed.
Creating the perfect cup of tea does sometimes take a little trial and error but the process can be quite simple if you follow these tips on the proper way to steep a pot of tea.
To Insure Quality Flavor Use a Good Quality Tea
1. The number one rule for a good cup of tea is to insure that you are using a good quality tea. Irregardless of whether you prefer Black , Oolong, Herbal, or Green Tea it is very important to select a high quality grade or blend.
Quality does indeed make a difference when you are seeking the perfect cup of tea.
Whenever possible select a loose leaf variety rather than a bagged one. A bagged tea will generally not have the strength of character that a loose leaf tea will bring to your beverage.
Depending on whether you prefer a strong cup of tea or a weaker one you will require one to teaspoons of loose leaf tea per each cup of water. If using a bagged variety then you will generally require one to three teabags per teapot of water.
Savor the Sensation
Use Fresh Filtered Water for Each Cup or Pot
2. To ensure the finest hot beverages always use fresh water that has not previously been boiled. Boiling water more than once can increase impurities in your beverage.
For the best tasting tea use filtered water. Using filtered water insures that the only flavor in your tea is your tea.
Your tap water may contain fluoride, chlorine, or other residual chemicals or metals which can affect the taste of your prepared beverage.
Prevent Bitterness by not Steeping for Extended Length of Time
3. For Black or Herb tea it is acceptable to pour boiling water directly over your tea leaf but if you are preparing green, Oolong, or white tea, allow your water to cool just slightly before adding it to your teapot or teacup.
When brewing black or herbal tea add the water to your pot while it is boiling or just shortly after then allow the tea leaf to steep for anywhere from one to eight minutes before removing the spent leaf.
A longer soak time will cause your tea to become stronger but also more bitter. It is recommended that if you prefer a stronger beverage that rather than increasing the time that you steep your tea that you instead increase the amount of leaf that you use.
Your taste preferences will be the sole judge as to the amount of tea that you use and the amount of time that your leaf will be required to steep in order to create your ideal cup.
Savor the Moment
The Proper Way to Brew Green, Oolong, and White Tea
4. For brewing Green, Oolong, or White tea allow your water to cool slightly after boiling before pouring it over the tea leaf.
Too hot a water will cause these more fragile teas to produce a bitter and excessively strong cup of tea.
Simply allowing your water to cool one to two minutes after boiling then adding the hot water to your teapot will allow these antioxidant rich teas to gently release their full flavor and nutrients into your beverage.
Loose Leaf Will Release Flavor Better Than Bag Tea
5. Remember that when steeping your favorite tea to allow your leaf to float in the pot rather than being contained within a ball or bag as this will insure the utmost release of the tea's flavor.
When the leaf is allowed to float freely within the teapot it best allows for the leaf to unfurl fully and to completely release its flavor into the hot water around it.
Tea balls and teabags although suitable will restrict the tea leaf's expansion and thereby provide slightly less flavor than loose tea leaf.
Try Out a Tea Press
6. A tea press is the ultimate teapot. It allows loose tea leaf to fully release it's flavor while keeping the leaf confined from the tea liquid itself. Many of these tea presses are also in glass so allow a pleasant view of your beverage as it steeps.
However it is that you prefer your tea, the perfect cup is just a few minutes away when you follow a few simple guidelines. Use good quality tea and quality water each time.
Also take just that little extra care with your water temperature and steeping times to insure that your tea will come out perfect every brewing. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the wonderful soothing experience that is a fine cup of tea.
White Tea is as Healthy as Green but Much Milder
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