Brewing a perfect cup of tea doesn’t have to be a mystery. When out at a café, you may ask yourself “Why doesn’t my tea taste this good at home”? With a few basic tools and guidance, you will be steeping a delicious cuppa every time. Let us help you take the guesswork out of your brew.
In summary, it’s all about the tea, the water, temperature, and the environment. If you are looking for a basic guide on how to brew tea and want to see how we do it, please check out our Tea Brewing Guides.
The perfect brew starts with the right tea. There are three main elements to keep in mind: Quality, Freshness, and leaf size. Making sure you have high-quality tea from a reputable source will ensure a delicious brew.
Unless you are purchasing deliberately aged tea, be sure your tea is fresh, and stored in a cool, dry area away from strong smells.
Finally, think about the size of your leaf. Using crushed-up leaves in a teabag is convenient, but sticking with full, loose leaf tea will help you extract more flavor for a memorable cup.
Keep in mind
A bigger leaf doesn’t always mean a higher-quality tea. Some tea leaves are naturally small, and others can be rolled into small ball-shaped leaves. So be sure to take the tea type, and processing style into consideration. To learn more about tea types and leaf size, check out our blog posts.
You have the right tea, and now you need the right amount of leaf for your brew. Using too much tea will create a bitter and undrinkable brew. Using too little tea will create a weak, flat cup. As a rule, we use 6 grams of tea for 1 cup of water.
Good tea starts with good water. If you don’t drink the water straight from your tap, don’t use it for your tea! We recommend always using filtered water. You will let the pure taste of the tea shine through. Bottled water is also a good choice.
Tea temperature can be challenging. Each tea type requires different water temperatures. If you use the wrong temperature, your tea can become too bitter, or not extract enough flavor. To make sure you have it just right, check out our post on how to brew loose leaf tea.
Keep in mind
A variable temperature electric kettle or thermometer can be an extremely useful tool to make sure you are getting the right water temperature.
You don’t need to get fancy with your teaware, but you need to have something large enough to let your loose leaves unfurl in the water. You can use a glass or clay teapot, a mug, or cup of the right size. Just make sure it’s large enough for the leaves to open and steep properly.
Removing the leaves after the proper steep time is also key. Using an infuser basket to easily remove the leaves could also be helpful. Or, simply pour out the entire brew into a separate cup once it’s ready. Just don’t let the leaves sit in the water for too long, unless you drink your tea grandpa-style.
Keep in mind
Warming the vessel before you steep your tea helps maintaining the perfect brewing temperature.
Setting the stage
What we deem as one of the most important points in achieving a delicious cup of tea is the environment. Paying attention to your setting will help your tea taste better. Drinking a vintage oolong while listening to blossom dearie will most likely taste different than drinking the same tea with backstreet boys full blast.
Mood and time of day
You may want a more robust brew in the morning, so brewing an herbal tea or a lightly caffeinated tea in the morning may not satisfy your craving. Saving those herbals for after-dinner may provide a nice way to unwind after a busy day. If you’re still stumped on what type of tea to choose, take our tea quiz, to find the right tea for you.
If it’s very warm outside, you may want a cold brew. Or if it’s chilly, a roasted, warming tea may be more appropriate. When selecting your tea, listen to your body and how it’s reacting to the weather.
Are you in a noisy environment? Perhaps moving away from the window would help. Playing music you enjoy will also help with your tea experience.
Keep It Simple
Making the perfect cup of tea is easy with just a few tips and tools. Tea leaves are forgiving, and it’s important to play around with your leaves and water ratio to see what you like best. Just a little time and attention will ensure a delicious brew every time.