Brew Perfect Tea

Tea in its various forms has been an everyday staple for centuries. Yet even in today's society of forward thinkers and gadget lovers, it's not easy to find someone who has perfected the art of tea making.

Making a truly great cup of tea is more than dunking a bag into a mug of hot water. It is a delicate art that some may learn by trial and error or by reading tea-making books. Others may never learn at all.

There are seven factors that are required in brewing tea:

Quality of Tea
Be sure that the tea you buy is from a reputable source. The tea must be fresh, and should have been processed correctly if it is to produce optimal results.

Quality of Water
Water mustn't be taken for granted. Begin with fresh, tasty to brew the perfect cup of tea. Those poor souls who start with distilled water will never know the taste of good tea.

There is no magical formula for measuring tea, as personal preference plays a major role in the finished product. Some like a strong cup of tea, while others prefer a light brew. Generally, the standard ratio is one rounded teaspoon of tealeaves for one eight-ounce cup of water. Find your own perfect measure based on the density of the tealeaves you use.

Steeping Time
This also varies depending on the type of tea. Black teas take 4 to 6 minutes; Oolongs 3 to 8 minutes; Darjeeling, green and white teas take 2 to 3 minutes. Puerh teas need at least 7 to 8 minutes, with some requiring up to 20 minutes steeping time. Herbal infusions require a minimum of 5 minutes, with some reaching optimal brew at 10 minutes or more.

Steeping Temperature
Different varieties of tea require different steeping temperatures. Black tea is best brewed with water boiled at 212 degrees. Oolong tea should be brewed between 190 to 203 degrees. Use water at 160 to 180 degrees for green tea, and 150 to 160 degrees for white tea. Herbal and puerh teas should be brewed with boiling water for best results.

Room to Brew
Tea should be brewed in large, deep pans to enable the leaves to expand 3 to 5 times their original size. Tea balls are not the best choice, as they do not allow room for expansion and prevent the full flavour from being released into the liquid. Brewing leaves loose in the pot still produced the best tea flavour.

Separate Leaf From Liquid
Most teas will turn bitter if steeped too long. Use a tea infuser or strain the leaves from the brewed tea.

First thing in the morning to late at night, while socializing or simply stealing a quiet moment of solitude, tea is a wonderful complement any time of the day. Follow a few simple steps and you will master the art of brewing the perfect cup of tea.

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About The Author, Linda Davis -
Linda Davis writes for several web sites, on food and beverages topics.