Monday Morning Jolt | The Art of Brewing Tea
Brewing Tea: A lesson on how to buy and brew loose leaf tea.
The best part about purchasing loose leaf tea is that you buy it out of a can. You can sniff the tea before you buy to get a good idea if you will like it. You then get to chose exactly how much of it you would like – all the way down to 1 ounce. This allows you to try a lot of new teas without emptying your wallet at the counter.
These are my favorite places to buy tea:Fava Tea Company 1656 N. Casaloma Drive Appleton, WI 54913 http://www.favatea.com/ (they will be moving in November to 706 N. Casaloma Drive) Teavana Mall of America 128 W Market Bloomington, MN 55425 http://www.teavana.com/ (Teavana has many other locations around the country)
Once you have your tea you will need to steep it. You should start with cold tap water (water heaters can sometimes add contaminates that will cause the flavor to change in your tea.) Heat your water to a rolling boil. At this point you will either add your tea or wait for the water to cool slightly. The package your tea is put in should state the temperature and steep time. If it doesn’t, here is a start. It is not super important that the water is exact. For instance if you are making a white tea, let the water settle for 30 seconds and you will have approximately 180 degrees. For green tea wait 60 seconds.
|Tea:||Water Temperature:||Steep Time:|
|Green Tea||160 degrees||1-3 minutes|
|White Tea||180 degrees||4-8 minutes|
|Oolong Tea||190 degrees||1-8 minutes|
|Black Tea||Rolling Boil||3-5 minutes|
|Herbal||Rolling Boil||5-8 minutes|
While the water is boiling you should prepare your tea. You will usually want 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces of water. It is important to remember that if you want a stronger cup of tea that you should add more leaves instead of letting the tea steep longer. Over steeping the tea will drastically change the taste.
Traditional Tea Pot
Every tea drinker should have one of these. It is ideal for serving one or many. I will use the tea kettle to not only heat my water for morning tea but use the extra in my oatmeal! This method is more timely but you really get to experience the process this way.
These come in a lot of different variations. Some are called infusers which are open top strainers that sit on top of a tea pot or cup. There are also some that are “egg” style or balls. These are either on chains or have handles. Again, they can be used in a tea pot or cup. I prefer to use these rather than paper filters because these are reusable.
This pot is made by Adagio Teas and is one of the most convenient ways to make tea. All you do is fill the pot with water, pop it in the microwave to get the water boiling, add your tea and when it’s done steeping you place the pot on top of your cup and the tea strains through mesh in the bottom into your cup! It is even dishwasher safe.
This is usually used for coffee but can also work for tea. You pour your water and your tea into the same chamber and when it is done steeping you press the mesh disc down and all the pieces are pushed to the bottom and you are left with your tea. This is considered a “dirty” method because you will get more leaves in your tea than you would with other methods, but it tastes just as good. Bodum makes my favorite presses, including this traveling press.
My favorite tea accessory brands are Bodum and Adagio. Bodum can be found at Target while Adagio is usually found at places that sell loose leaf tea.
Amanda is the Team Barista Extraordinaire for EDR. Perk up your week with her every Monday right here on Eat.Drink.Repeat.