You’ve Been Steeping Tea Wrong Your Entire Life! How To Make The Perfect Cup Every Time
Everyone knows how beneficial teas are, but does everyone know how to prepare them correctly and which the recommended daily amount is?
If your tea sometimes turns out bitter, you might have quit drinking the recommended two to five cups a day.
Well, here is a little secret: that bitter, unappealing cup probably was not the tea itself, but the steeping method. That is why in this article we are going to show you how to love your tea by showing you how to prepare it correctly.
A great number of teas cannot withstand boiling water, which means that pouring boiling water over lighter teas will scald them and release too many tannins which give the tea the bitter taste. This wrong way of preparing tea can even increase the caffeine content. If you let some tea of good quality to sit in water for too long, you will increase it bitterness because the tannins will go on steeping into the water and will impact the flavor of the tea.
How To Steep Your Tea Correctly
The leaves of the most of the teas are pretty complex and delicate, and each type of tea has its own preferred water temperature and time needed for steeping.
Guidelines For a Perfectly Steeped Cup of Tea
1. White Tea
This type of tea is the most delicate one and the youngest one. Remember that white tea should be steeped at the lowest temperature, somewhere between 158 and 167 degrees F. white tea is also the most prone type of tea to burning, becoming too bitter and too caffeinated, so you should be very careful when it comes to getting the temperature right. The recommended time for steeping white tea is between two and six minutes.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is also quite sensitive to water temperature, so you need to use slightly warmer water compared to white tea. The temperature of the water for preparing green tea needs to be somewhere between 167 and 176 degrees F. Very often, people forget and leave the tea in the cup, but you should really avoid that with green tea, because over-steeping a good-quality green tea can make it bitter. The time needed for steeping green tea is two to four minutes.
3. Oolong Tea
This type of tea is a bit harder than white or green tea because of the longer period of oxidation. This means that for the preparation of the oolong tea the needed water temperature should be between 185 and 206 degrees F. the oolong that are lightly oxidized are better toward 185 degrees F, and the oolong tea that is more heavily oxidized is better toward 206 degrees F. the time needed for steeping oolong tea should be short, about one to two minutes.
4. Black Tea
Fortunately, black tea does well when it comes to boiling water (or water at a higher temperature than 195 degrees F) and therefore this type of tea is a safe bet for people who do not have a thermometer or variable temperature kettle. Black tea should be steeped for about three to five minutes, depending on how strong you like this type of tea.
5. Other Teas
The optimal water temperature for other types of teas including dark tea, fermented tea (such as pu-erh), and herbal tisanes is the temperature above 195 degrees F, considering that herbals prefer boiling water. However, the time needed for steeping these teas is different, with pu-erh tea being ready in just 30-60 seconds, while herbal teas may need up to ten minutes, or more. Another good type of tea you are recommended to try is Agarwood tea.
If you want to remember which tea requires which water temperature, the easiest way for it would be to think from light to dark, starting at 158 degrees F for white, continuing up to 212 degrees F for black tea. You can even find a guide to tea steeping on the internet.
The time needed for steeping a tea depends on the tea itself and the personal preference. You should not forget to check the color, the opaqueness, the flavor and the smell of the tea if you want to determine when it is the right time to stop the steeping.
If you follow these advices and guidelines when you prepare tea, you will find your tea more tasty and pleasant, and it will be more likely for you to reach the recommended daily quotient of tea to maximize its health benefits. Now, go and prepare your favorite cup of tea and enjoy its taste and benefits in the most right way.
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