“When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.
There is magic in its’ fragrance,
There is solace in its’ taste;
And the laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.
And the world becomes a lovely thing!
There’s beauty as you’ll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.”
- Unknown author
The author of this poem would not be singing the praises of tea if he or she were alive today. Today’s bagged tea is weak, tepid and commercialized. Luckily for you (and me), the type of tea the author sings about in the poem is still available. But, before you can have an almost religious-like tea experience, you first need to know how to brew a proper cup of tea. The good news is it isn’t as hard as you think.
What you’ll need
- Loose tea
- A teapot
- Tea Kettle
- Bottled water
- A mesh strainer
- Tea cup
How to brew your tea
Step 1: Place 1 rounded teaspoon of tea in the teapot for every 6 ounces the teapot holds. For example, if you have a 24oz teapot, use four rounded teaspoons of tea.
Step 2: Fill your kettle with fresh cold water and heat until it reaches a boil
Step 3: Pour a little bit of water into teapot, swirl it around and discard the water. This will heat the teapot, which will help keep your water at the proper temperature.
Step 4a: If you are using Black Tea or a Dark Oolong, pour the boiling water into the teapot.
Step 4b: If you are using a Green or a White Tea, wait 5 minutes for it to cool and pour the water into the teapot
Step 5: Steep Green, White and Oolong Teas for 2-3 minutes and Black Teas and Dark Oolongs for 4 minutes. Do not oversteep.
Step 6: Pour the brewed tea into a teacup. I like to pour the tea through a mesh filter so the leaves do not escape the teapot.
Mistakes to avoid
- Pay attention to the steep time on the label of the tea you are using. You do not want to oversteep your tea otherwise the tea will get bitter. The general steeping rule is 4 minutes for Black Tea and Dark Oolongs and 2-3 minutes for Green, White and Oolong Teas. This can vary greatly so be sure to ask your tea supplier about each specific tea.
- Do not use poor quality water. Tap water contains a lot of chlorine and other chemicals. Since brewed tea is mostly water, you will taste all these chemicals in your tea. At a minimum, use filtered water.
- Avoid using the water at the wrong temperature when brewing your tea. If you use boiling water for your Green Teas, they will burn and turn bitter. Likewise, if you use water that is too cool on your Black Teas, they will taste weak and watery. The ideal temperature for Black and Dark Oolong teas is 220 degrees Fahrenheit. For Green and White Teas, it is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Be sure to use the proper amount of tea when brewing. If you use too little, your tea will be too weak. If you use too much, you will be wasting your tea and your money. The ideal amount of tea to use is 2 grams, which roughly equals a rounded teaspoon.
As you can see, the extra time and effort needed isn’t as big of a deal as some people make it out to be. Once you try tea the proper way, it will be hard to go back to large commercial brands. After all, when was the last time you read a poem about a grocery store teabag?