As the weather gets cold outside, many people transition from drinking iced tea to hot tea bags. People drink tea for many different reasons.
Some drink tea in order to help them fall asleep at night, while others drink it to give them the pick me up that they need during the day. Tea, very much like coffee, has very basic fundamentals to use when preparing it.
These fundamentals are storage, water, temperature, and steeping time.
Storage - The best way to store loose leaf tea is to keep it in a tightly closed container, far away from heat, moisture, and sunlight that can make it go stale more quickly. Tea can pick up odors from other coffees and teas so do not store them with different kinds of tea in the same container. Tea leaves do not have oils on them so they do not go stale as quickly as coffee. When tea leaves do go stale their flavor becomes flatter, duller, and less brisk.
Water -The type of water you use is just as important with tea as it is with coffee. You want to use water that tastes good so that your tea tastes good. You want to avoid water that has water softeners, distilled water, or well water. The best practice is to use water that comes from a filter or bottled water.
Temperature - The temperature of the water you pour in your tea is another key element to making a good cup. Black, oolong, and herbal teas brew best when you use water that is as close to boiling as possible. Green and white teas are a little different. These teas are brew best using water that is a little bit cooler. A best practice for green tea is to let your water come to a boil and then let it cool for on or two minutes. Experimentation with temperature is recommended so that you get the flavor out of the tea that best fits your taste.
Steeping time - Tea quality will decline quickly if not given enough time to steep. Steeping times can vary based on preference of taste, so the following times are just a reference to go by. Green teas need about three minutes to unlock its full flavor. Oolong teas need about four minutes. Black and herbal teas reach their full flavor when they are steeped for about five minutes. Almost all of the flavor and caffeine are extracted from the leaves in the first three minutes of steeping. After that time, tea will start to develop more body and briskness.
There are many different types of tea, from many different parts of the world that are available for people to enjoy. Many cultures around the world have been growing and enjoying tea for centuries. Tea is so important in some countries that it has become ingrained into their daily lives. We hope that this post has peaked peoples interest into trying tea for the first time. If you follow these four fundamentals, it can be the beginning to enjoying a great cup of tea.