Video:How to Brew a Cup of Teawith Annelies Zijderveld
Want to curl up with a cup of delicious tea? Before you pull out the kettle, brush up on these basics of brewing the perfect cup of tea.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Brew a Cup of TeaHi, I'm Annelies Zijderveld with Mighty Leaf Tea for About.com Food, and today I'm going to show you how to brew the perfect cup of tea.
Select Your TeaFirst, select which loose whole leaf tea you want to brew. You will find all the health benefits attributed to tea and a more nuanced complex infusion realized in whole tea leaves.
This makes them superior to the standard supermarket variety, known in the industry as C-T-C, which means cut, tear, curl and results in leaves that are heavily broken.
Heat the WaterNext you will want to use filtered or purified drinking water, and set that to heat in a tea kettle, electric kettle or for you purists, a water brewing mechanism like this one with temperature control.
To really draw out the nuances of the tea, the water needs to be properly oxygenated through, bringing it close to a boil. So I would steer away from using an insta-hot spout, if you have one implemented into your kitchen sink.
Bring Water to the Proper TemperatureTypically for black teas and herbal infusions, the water will need to be pretty hot, around 203 degrees. Green and white teas should be brewed with water that is slightly cooler, at around 170-180.
Cool Down Water for Green TeaTo brew green tea with water from a tea kettle, here's a trick to cool down your water before infusing your green tea leaves.
Pour the water into an empty 12 oz. cup and then pour it into another cup. This transference will bring the heat down on the water sufficiently.
Select a Tea Infuser or StrainerWhen considering what kind of infuser or tea strainer to use, I use this rule of thumb and say that I am like tea leaves, in that I need a lot of space to unfurl properly.
You will find that if you use a wider mouthed or larger infuser, your leaves will have more room to expand and the flavor will be deeper than if you use a tea ball or other cramped steeping utensil.
But make sure that the holes in your infuser are minuscule so none of the leaves enter your cup.
Choose the Proper Amount of TeaNext, you will want to pull out your measuring spoons to figure out the amount of tea to infuse.
For black tea, you will want to use a rounded teaspoon per 12 oz. of water. For all other types of tea and herbal infusions, you will measure out a rounded tablespoon per 12 oz. of water.
Decide on the Brewing TimeBrewing time is sometimes the most overlooked detail when steeping tea and can dramatically alter the flavor of the infused beverage.
Many people haven't known that tea leaves must be removed and thus don't like tea, citing it as being bitter or tasting like flavored water.
Brew Based on the Type of TeaWe will conquer this by following these rules of thumb: For black and oolong teas, let the leaves steep for 4 minutes.
For green tea, you will need to leave them in for 3 minutes. If you leave them in longer than that or the water is too hot, the tea will release more tannins, which will relate to your palate as tasting bitter.
Infuse white tea for around 4-6 minutes. Since herbal infusions have no tea in them, if you decide to brew them longer than our suggested brew time of 5 minutes, the infusion will only become stronger, not bitter.
Remove Leaves and Serve the TeaOnce you have brewed your tea for the allotted amount of time, remove the leaves and discard them.
Take a sip of your tea and soak in the indulgence of a quiet moment. Breathe in the aroma, realizing you are partaking now in a ritual that spans the globe.
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