Image Desc: Read this guide to learn how to enjoy even better tasting tea!
Have you been looking to make a better cup of tea, but find all the different ways to brew tea a little overwhelming? Coffee has overtaken tea as the solution to most people’s caffeine fix, but you and I both know that the infinite variety of teas can be just as satisfying!
Coffee, however, seems a lot simpler to brew than a nice cup of loose leaf tea. You simply choose the type you want, grind it, and then add water in whatever device you choose to make it in whether it’s a french press, instant coffee dripper, or a coffee pod machine.
Black, Green, Oolong, and White teas all have different considerations than simply buying it, sticking it in your normal teapot, and then getting your water hot. There’s factors to take into consideration like the precise temperature, the amount of steeping, the type of pot, and evWhy To Measure Temperature & Howen the source of your water!
We want to help you make sense of it all, and enjoy all the health benefits and caffeine buzzes that come from getting your loose leaf tea just right.
Here’s The Required Equipment
Image Desc: Believe it or not, some tea tastes better once you get the right teapot!
Many tea drinking connoisseurs will swear that the choice of tea pitcher and tea cup will make a huge difference in how your tea will taste. The size of the lip you’re drinking from, the composition of the teapot, and how it absorbs or releases the heat off your boiling water are what they all will look at very closely.
However, you and I probably don’t have much time to shop around and test different pots and cups. How about we just tell you what, in our opinion, is the best kind to use?
The standard materials for your teapot are going to be glass and vitrified porcelain. Porcelain, in particular, is the material that’s been used for centuries in Asian cultures and influenced the peculiarities of tea ceremonies that are still carried out today. The vitrification process gives you, the tea drinker, a sturdy and clean type of material to drink out of that will hold the aroma of the tea and not add anything to the brewing process.
This is the main concern when you drink from pitchers that aren’t made of either one of these two materials as you want to maintain the purity of your tea. Only the water, tea leaves, and the temperature you brew it all at should affect the taste.
So with that said, if you want to have the best containers to drink your tea out of, we recommend anything made of “vitrified” porcelain. Yixing teapots are one of the most famous examples, but you can find high-quality porcelain in several online stores too.
Why Use Loose Leaf Instead Of Bagged Teas?
The biggest reason to use tea leaves without a bag is to increase the amount of contact they will have with your water. When the leaves are confined in a tea bag, it will restrict the water flow and the leaves ability to expand.
This basically means less flavor for you to enjoy! There are other considerations to take in like the size of the teapot and the amount of leaves you use, but not using bagged teas will help you get a much better tasting tea almost instantly.
If you’re worried about swallowing a bunch of leaves when you’re finished brewing, you can buy a pot with a built-in infuser to put the leaves in. There are even pots made of porcelain that can filter the leaves from your tea too.
Use Only This Kind Of Water
Image Desc: Your source of water is another factor to consider when making a pot of tea, and below we’ll tell you why.
Remember what we said about not wanting the minerals and other elements of your teapot to affect the taste of your tea? The same idea is at work when you’re choosing the water that’s going to be used to brew your tea.
The best type of water is filtered spring water, or even your favorite bottled water when you want to avoid adding extra stuff. Tap water often has traces of chlorination and a higher alkalinity which will mess with the chemistry of your finished product. However, if you like the taste of your tap water, then it’s probably going to be just fine for you to drink.
However try using a jug of filtered water from your local grocery store, and compare the different types of tea you make.
Why To Measure Temperature & How
A common mistake many tea drinkers make, especially those who are fond of green tea, is to steep it at a boiling hot temperature that cooks the leaves. This is no good as this type of tea and other types have a sweet spot where the right temperature will release all the flavors and aromas that are peculiar to that type.
So the general rule is this: the more densely colored a tea leaf is, the higher the temperature and vice versa. As white and green teas are lighter in color, they will taste better when the temperature is lower than boiling. Oolong and Black teas will need higher water temperatures because they’re much denser.
Is it starting to come together? Great! It can be tricky to do all of this without a thermometer and some practice, but there’s a great trick to knowing when to pour your water. If the steam is coming straight up from the water, then it’s still boiling and you can pour for those denser teas. However, for those lighter teas we mentioned, you should watch the steam until it starts to drift, which means it has descended to a low enough temperature to use for these kinds of tea leaves.
The Secret Steep Times Of Tea Connoisseurs
If you want to be exact with your measurements, then this chart should be a good reference for your future tea making exploits.
Hopefully, you’ve seen that there can be a lot more to making loose leaf tea than just throwing it in a pot or infuser, boiling some tap water, and then pouring it when you feel like you’re ready for the first cup you find available.
Each step has its own world of possibilities and can produce a vastly different cup of tea from the last one that you made. We hope you’ve learned a lot in this article, and have started your journey to making the perfect cup of tea!