Making a great cup of tea is easy. It should be relaxing, fun and enjoyable. But when you go through the effort of making a cup, it can be frustrating when it turns out bitter, weak or over-extracted. To ensure a quality cup, you need to pay attention to a few details like temperature, steep time, and dose.
Step 1– Tea Dose
The general rule of thumb is a measuring teaspoon of tea for every 8oz of water. Super-sizing will not necessarily lead to a better cup. The leaves need space to unfurl and extract their delicious flavor into the water. When the leaves are tightly packed, they do not extract well. Make sure you allow enough room for the leaves to properly expand.
Step 2– Water Temperature
Tea leaves can be very fragile, especially whites and greens. They go through less processing and therefore extract more quickly. Boiling water will scald the fragile leaves and not make for a quality cup. Whereas black teas are highly processed, so they need boiling water. Use a variable temperature kettle or at least a thermometer if you are steeping anything other than a black or herbal (tisane) tea.
Step 3– Steep Time
The same concept with the temperature carries over into the time. The more fragile the leave, the less amount of time it takes to steep. So, go easy on the greens and whites, only 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Blacks go 3-5+ minutes and herbals up to 9 minutes. Get into the habit of setting a timer based on the category of tea. In a kitchen, the stove or microwave timers come in handy.
To make it easy, we designed labels with instructions for each of our tea categories. Part of the experience is being present mentally. Focus on a few details and enjoy the results. Swing by one of our cafes or order online for delicious whole-leaf tea.