Producing the perfect cup of tea is a tricky process. If not handled properly, those same polyphenols that provide health benefits can ruin the flavor, making the tea taste “grassy” or bitter.
The traditional method of making a cup of tea is to place loose tea leaves, either directly or in a tea infuser and pour hot water over the leaves. After a couple of minutes the leaves are usually removed again, either by removing the infuser, or by straining the tea while serving.
The best temperature for brewing tea depends on its type. Teas that have little or no oxidation period, such as a green or white tea, are best brewed at lower temperatures, between 65 and 85 °C (149 and 185 °F), while teas with longer oxidation periods should be brewed at higher temperatures around 100 °C (212 °F). The higher temperatures are required to extract the large, complex, flavorful phenolic molecules found in fermented teas. Never use boiling water to prepare your white or green tea. Water at this temperature will cook the leaves and destroy the tea and its flavor, creating a bitter tasting tea. Steeping time should be balanced with water temperature: the lower the temperature, the longer the tea can be steeped. Use approximately 2 grams of tea per cup to make a perfect tasting tea (1 teaspoon for a 6 to 8 oz. cup). You can use leaves for more than one infusion, and this is a common practice throughout the world.
Also, when you are bringing water to a complete boil, do not boil it for too long. This will deplete the oxygen in the water too much, and your tea won't taste as nice. This is also the reason why you need to use fresh water every time you are making tea - because with repeated boiling the oxygen in the water gets depleted. Here is the table to help you make that perfect cup !
|Steps ||White ||Green ||Oolong ||Black ||Herbal |
|Boil the water || || || || || |
|Let the water cool down to this temperature ||90 C ||85 C ||99 C ||99 C ||99 C |
|Put tea leaves/bag in hot water (Steeping time in minutes) ||4-5 Min ||1-2 Min ||2-5 Min ||2-3 Min ||4-5 Min |
|Take out the tea leaves/bag and serve || || || || || |
|Reuse same tea or tea bag ||3-4 times ||2-3 times ||2-3 times ||2 times ||2 times |
|Steeping time to be increased during subsequent reuses ||1-2 min ||30 Sec ||30 Sec ||30 Sec ||1 min |
|Colour ||Pale yellow ||Yellow ||Yellow ||Dark Chocolate ||Yellow |