The Key to Making that Perfect Cup of Tea

Tea is undoubtedly the world’s most popular beverage.  What many people don’t realize is that most true tea or the most popular types of teas all come from one species of plant, Camellia senensis.  The difference is in when the plant is harvested, how it is cured, prepared and aged.  There is a saying in Asian culture that essentially says that you could study tea for an entire lifetime and not know everything about it or even all the different types of teas that there are.

Whether you prefer a white or a green tea such as a Young Hyson , a traditional Japanese Bancha or Genmaicha,  or if you prefer a cup of black tea, such as a Darjeeling, a Nilgiri, an Assam Earl Grey, there is a right way to brew tea.

Every good pot or cup of tea begins with cool, fresh  oxygenated water.   The most widely accepted measurement is one teaspoon of tea for each cup.   A popular English method is to add just one more teaspoon “for the pot”.   

Heat the water in a kettle.  For green teas, heating it to the point just before it comes to the boil; or just when the bubbles are starting to release and the water is on its way to boiling.  For black tea, the water should be brought to a gentle rather than a rolling boil. Even if you don’t have a whistling tea kettle, listening to the sounds of water being prepared for that satisfying cup of tea is all a part of the ritual that makes tea such an enjoyable indulgence.

When steeping the tea, you can use a tea infuser or tea ball, or pour directly into the pot itself. The tea leaves need room in order to expand and to fully  unfurl themselves, so don’t  pack them too tightly if you use an infuser or tea ball.  If you put the tea directly into the water in the tea pot, use a strainer  when pouring the tea into a cup.  

Green teas take approximately 1 – 2 minutes to steep, as will a black tea.  White teas, surprisingly take a little longer  Green teas will generally be heated to a temperature of between 180 -200 degrees Fahrenheit, while black teas are prepared at a hotter temperature of between 212 -215 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The best thing to remember about any tea, whichever you prefer, is that to make a perfect cup, you have to give yourself the time to enjoy it, one cup at a time.

1 comment

  • These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to bring water to a gentle boil for black tea. I haven’t had much experience with drinking or making tea, but I have a friend who loves it, and she has me interested. I’d like to get some that I can make at home, so I’ll definitely keep in mind that for black, you need to bring the water to a gentle boil for the best results. Thanks for the great post!

    Lillian Schaeffer Aug 05, 2016

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