“Why can’t I get my tea to taste the same at home?” It’s a common lament. We hear it many times. Different factors such as water temperature, the freshness of your leaves, the amount of tea, steeping time, and even how much sweetener you add can affect the end result.
However, never fear…the perfect cup of tea requires just three things: high quality tea, a strainer, and hot water.
TEA TIP #1
First, what kind of tea are you using? Although bagged tea has a bit of the win in terms of convenience, loose leaf tea will produce a far better taste and is much healthier. Why? Bagged tea is often made with lesser quality tea leaves that have been crushed, releasing much of the flavor and nutrients prior to steeping.
Loose leaf tea is often bigger and bulkier since the leaves haven’t been crushed which also insures a well-rounded, full-bodied taste for up to 6 months. Plus, depending on the blend, most teas can be steeped as many as 3 times!
TEA TIP #2
Second is a strainer. If you’re still worried about the time it takes to strain loose leaf tea, consider either a travel mug with a mesh strainer or, for larger amounts, this large tea infuser. Of course, a regular French press or other strainer will do the trick. Just be careful with strainers designed for coffee, however. Some smaller teas may come through the wider mesh.
TEA TIP #3
Water is the third and final factor in producing the best cup of tea. Although it may cut some time on boiling, if you’re using water from the tap, be sure it’s cold. Hot or warm water from the tap has a funny, metallic taste from the copper pipes which will certainly affect the end result.
Additionally you’ll want to make sure you use the correct water temperature. Here is a table that shows the various types of teas and their recommended water temperature. As a general rule, green and white teas should NOT be steeped in boiling water as the tender leaves will burn and produce a bitter flavor. Instead, allow the water to sit for a few minutes after boiling or place two ice cubes in your cup to lower the temperature.
The samples and most of the hot cups to go at The Green Teahouse contain honey but you may enjoy a different sweetener such as agave or stevia. Just keep in mind that each of these sweeteners have their own distinct flavors. Even better, enjoy your tea without added sweetener!
However you drink your tea, iced or hot, sweetened or unsweetened, be sure to treat yourself to the perfect cup every time!
Questions or comments? Do you have any tea tips you would like to share? Comment below!