We all know that brewing the perfect latte and mixing the perfect cocktail requires a certain amount of skill.
But, brewing a cup of tea? Is this something you can really be good at? From boiling the water to steeping the tea bag, how can you possibly mess this process up?
The truth is, just like coffee and cocktails, brewing the perfect cup of tea requires some skill.
So, how do you do it?
Check out this guide to learn how to brew tea like a true aficionado.
How to Brew Tea: The Basics
If you’re completely new to the world of tea, then you first need to learn the very basics of brewing a pot of tea.
Step 1: Boil the Water
Each type of tea has its own ideal brewing temperature (more on that later) to steep the tea in to get the best flavor.
If you’re not sure what temperature to boil the water to, check the tea container, as it usually tells you.
Step 2: Warm Up the Tea Cups and Teapot
This is a vital step in the tea brewing process, yet hardly anyone does it. Before you begin the brewing process, fill your teapot and teacups with some warm water and give both the pot and cups a swirl.
This ensures that when you pour hot water into the pot or cup, the temperature won’t drop too drastically.
Once the pot and cup are warm, throw out the hot water.
Step 3: Adding the Tea
Now it’s time to add the tea to the teapot. For every 1.5 cups of water you boil, you should add 1.5 teaspoons of tea.
If you’re using teabags, the box should say how much tea each individual bag holds.
Step 4: Steep Your Tea
The next step is to steep your tea (aka, boil the water).
To figure out how long to steep it for, check the packaging for instructions.
Step 5: Filter and Pour the Tea
After your tea has properly steeped, it’s time to pour it into your teacups.
If you’re using loose leaf tea, you should use a strainer to ensure that no tea bits get into your cup.
You can then add milk or sugar to your tea according to your preference.
Tea Brew Times
As we mentioned earlier, different teas require different brewing times. While we don’t have the time to go over the brewing time for every single tea in the world, here are the basic brewing times you need to know:
Green tea is one of the most popular teas in the world. People like it because it’s low in caffeine and requires a short brew time to reach its maximum depth of flavor.
Green tea only needs to be brewed for 45 seconds to one minute at 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
Black tea encompasses a broad range of tea types, from English breakfast to earl gray to Ceylon.
To brew the perfect cup of black tea, you want to brew it for about 2 to 3 minutes at 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the water turns the color of maple syrup.
For the most part, herbal teas have a reddish tint to them. You’ll want to brew your herbal tea for 5 to 6 minutes at 208 degrees Fahrenheit, or until it’s cherry wood in color.
Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea that’s picked later in the season than green tea.
You should steep oolong tea for about 3 minutes at 195 degrees Fahrenheit, or until it’s a slightly darker shade than green tea.
White tea is the lightest and most delicate of all tea types. To reach its full potential, it needs to brew for 4 to 5 minutes at 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can tell white tea is ready when it turns a pale yellow color.
Matcha tea has become very popular in recent years due to its unique health benefits.
Matcha tea is actually made of dried green tea leaves that are crushed into a powder. You actually don’t steep this kind of tea, but rather dissolve it in hot water.
The water you dissolve matcha tea in should be around 208 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you choose to get creative and blend your own tea, you should follow the shortest steeping time at the lowest temperature in order to avoid bitterness.
Different Brewing Methods
As you know, the classic method of brewing tea is with a teapot on the stove. However, there are also plenty off other brewing methods available.
- Brewing tea with a French press machine: The advantage of this is that you can make several cups at once
- Steeping tea with a tea ball infuser: These handy devices work essentially the same way as tea bags. You fill the ball up with loose leaf tea and then clasp it shut and allow it to steep in the water. The great part is that you can use it over and over again
- Paper sachets: Brewing tea in a paper sachet is a great option when you’re looking for a super convenient tea brewing method with little cleanup
If you don’t like brewing tea in a kettle, you may also want to consider investing in an electric tea kettle. If you’re not sure about which one to buy, check out this electric tea kettle buyer’s guide.
How to Brew Tea: Are You Ready to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea?
Now that you know how to brew tea, it’s time to pick your poison and start brewing.
Remember, the perfect cup of tea depends heavily on how long you brew it for and what temperature you use, so be sure to pay attention when brewing.
Also, if you liked this guide, be sure to check back in with our blog for more food and drink-related tips and tricks.