Are you in search of the perfect cup of tea, but just don't know where to start? Or maybe you get overwhelmed by all the "rules" for brewing tea and you just get confused? Well, I've listed out 5 simple tips to help you on your journey to the perfect cup of tea. I call them 'The 5 T's to Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea'.
1 - Tea
This should go without saying, because after all, you are reading a tea blog, but I have to emphasize the importance of quality tea (QualiTea)! You can do everything perfectly, but if you have poor-quality leaf, all you will get is a poor-quality cup of tea. So, find a premium option. Loose leaf is always better, because its flavor and freshness have been preserved since it hasn't been crushed and powdered like the tea you find in processed tea bags.
2 - Teaspoons
It is also important to point out here that the amount of tea leaves you use will play into a good or bad tea experience. The recommended amount is 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 8 oz of water. It seems like just a teeny bit, but the leaves will expand as the tea brews. On countless occasions when I've brewed a cup of tea and wanted just a bit extra, I've ended up tossing in too much tea leaves and the result was too strong. But, following the rule of 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 8 oz of water makes it easy to get the right strength.
3 - Time
Imagine this: All the stars align and you have your favorite variety of tea ready to brew. It's the perfect day, and you have your perfect mug and the perfect chair. You start to brew your tea, and then the phone rings. You walk away and forget about your tea, so it brews for way too long and you end up with a bitter cup of tea. Well, that's a bummer! To avoid brewing your tea too long, make sure to follow the time guide given on the back of your Cozy Leaf bag of tea. Brew times vary by the type of tea, but in general, Green Tea brews 1-2 minutes, Black Tea brews 2-3 minutes, Oolong Tea brews 2-3 minutes, and Herbal Tea brews for 5-7+ minutes. You can let Herbal Teas brew longer, such as 15+ minutes, without running the risk of them getting bitter.
4 - Temperature
The most amazing tea leaves can be absolutely destroyed with the wrong water temperature. For example, green tea leaves should be brewed at a lower temperature than black tea leaves. Black tea leaves are best with water right at or under the boiling point (204 - 212 °F) to fully extract their rich flavors, whereas Green tea leaves are more delicate and should be brewed closer to 160 °F, which is steaming water. If Green tea leaves are brewed with boiling water, they get a bitter, more astringent taste and lose their sweet flavor profile. I have met a handful of people who like the bitter brew of green tea, but they are few and far between. I recommend trying different temperatures of water and seeing what you like best.
5 - Taste
What is your "cup of tea"?
There are some basic guidelines to make your tea taste good, but ultimately taste is up to the person drinking it. I have shared innumerable pots of tea both with friends and with complete strangers (like when I demonstrate tea at an event), and it is always fascinating to me how different people's opinions can be about the exact same pot of tea. That is why I like to have plenty of variety available, because one person's "cup of tea" might not be the next person's. With so much variety, I can help find the blend that is right for you.
It's also important to find what you like to put in your tea to change the taste. You can may find you like cream, sugar, or honey in your tea. This part gets really fun, because you can completely change a cup of tea just by adding a bit of cream or honey. Every once in a while, I like a little bit of cream in my Cottage Breakfast black tea, or a little bit of honey in my Breathe Deep herbal tea. So have fun with those options and make your tea experience completely unique and customized for you!
Follow the 5 T's and find your perfect cup of teA
YOU can decide how much loose leaf tea you want to add per cup, how long you brew it, and what temperature of water you use. These factors all come together to make different flavor profiles of tea, and I think it is great to focus on what YOU like and not what someone else (including me) tells you to do. These are basic recommendations to get you started, but experiment with adjusting different factors to find your favorite tea tastes!
Loose Leaf Tea Brewing Guide:
Here is a fun chart to help show the guidelines for brewing the various varieties of teas. But as always, find what works best for you and then you will love your tea experience!
Thank you so much for letting me and Cozy Leaf be apart of your tea journey! Now sit back, relax, and sip a good cup of tea!
Happy Tea Time,
Abby (Cozy Leaf founder & owner)