How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
Everyone knows how to make tea. At least, that’s what we all tell ourselves.
However, is there a best practice for brewing tea? Apparently, there is…and it all depends on the kind of tea. Read on for the best tips on how to brew the perfect cup of tea.
There are four things that you have to factor in for that perfect cup: water, temperature, duration of brew and the material of your teapot. Yeah, you read that right. I guess the type of teapot you have can bring out the best, or the worst, in your tea.
Unlike being blasted with cold water in the shower, in this instance, cold water is your friend. Purified or spring water is the best because they’re relatively free of any pollutants. However, if you just want a darn cup of tea fast and you don’t have spring water at your disposal, just make sure that the tap isn’t running hot. Cold, cold and cold is what you want. Whatever you do, though, don’t use distilled water. Since there aren’t any minerals present, it will make your cup of tea taste flat.
As a woman, I like the heat. I freeze in the winter and would much rather be too hot than too cold. This doesn’t apply to your tea, though. Green tea actually responds better to a cooler temperature because of its delicate processing; while black tea loves hot, hot, hot because it has already been fully oxidized. To avoid confusion, I’ve compiled a handy dandy chart at the end of this article.
Duration of Infusion
Like a man before he commits, your tea likes different timelines of infusion. Green tea just jumps into the commitment stage within a few minutes while you can soak that black tea for as long as you want but you may not come away with a ring after all of it. At the end of the day, the duration of infusion really comes down to personal preference. I am fully aware that I let my tea steep for way too long but I love the robust flavours that come with that.
Material of Teapot
When you’re at the store, admiring that gorgeous teapot that would look perfect on display on the top cupboard, take the flavour of your tea into account as well. An iron or Chinese Yixing ware are great for teas that need to steep at high temperatures since they keep the heat inside longer. Materials such as glass or porcelain are more likely to release the heat faster, which makes them ideal for green and white teas. A rule of thumb is the more delicate the teapot, the more delicate the tea to brew inside it.
A Couple Other Rules
After you boil the water, pour a bit of water into the teapot and teacups and then pour it out. It warms the pot and cups quite nicely in preparation for your perfect cup of tea so that the temperature remains consistent throughout the whole brew.
Once you’ve poured out the water that you used to warm the teapot, for goodness sake, put the tea leaves into the pot before you pour more water into the pot. Trust me, it does make a difference. If you’re dipping a teabag into your hot water after you’ve poured it, you shouldn't even bother making the tea, just have a cup of hot water instead.
A good book is always a great accompaniment to any cup of tea. So, if you want to curl up with a perfect cozy mystery while you sip that perfect cup of tea, check out my short story, Tea for Tea.
Quick Reference Guide for Your Tea Brewing Needs