The Perfect Brew
How to brew the perfect cup of loose-leaf tea:
Does your green tea taste bitter? How about your cup of black tea, does it make your lips pucker? Almost every tea drinker I have come across over-brews their tea, ruining the subtle, and often times sweet, flavor that a well-crafted tea has. At the very least, the taste profile is overwhelmed when a brew is poorly done. Follow these three steps and experience pure, whole, loose-leaf tea the way it was intended to be enjoyed.
Step one: Proper measurement
To get a perfect and full flavor, you must have the proper amount of tea. One tablespoon per 6-8oz. cup is perfect. A tablespoon may seem like a lot, but remember, most teas can re-steeped 3-6 times, so don’t be to skimpy on how much you measure out.
Step two: Rinse the leaves
Rinsing is rarely done in the western world, but it is a vital step if you want to experience the pure taste of whole leaf tea. To rinse, envelop the tealeaves in hot water (always purified or spring) and let them soak for 5-10 seconds. In China they call this “opening the tea leaves.” Essentially, you are rinsing off the tannins, which are what cause a fair amount of the bitterness that we have all tasted when a tea is improperly brewed.
Step three: Steep
Finally, we steep. Contrary to what most people have been taught, steep time should not exceed 30 seconds for most pure teas. Some teas taste best with only 10-15 seconds! However, steep time is completely dependent upon the drinker’s pallet. We at Tea Culture prefer the shorter steep times for pure teas because we prefer a lighter, subtler taste. This is a more traditional way to brew and is how most tea producers intend their tealeaves to be steeped. Essentially, the shorter brew time will yield a truer cup.
- Joel Ressel
Slow it down
We love tea because it reminds us to slow down. In our fast-paced culture of drive through coffee, 70-hour work weeks, overloaded schedules, and too much noise, tea reminds us that there is a good reason to take a rest. Let me just be real for a second. My mind is always racing. I’m thinking about what to do this evening, or homework, or trying to run my business, or a million other things, but with all this thinking, I’m rarely meditating on anything of value, or life-giving.
If you feel the same lamentation I do, I have a little secret to share with you, and it has to do with tea. I’ve started to take tea breaks (very British, I know). My first tea break of the day is at the crack of dawn. Setting my alarm just a wee bit earlier than I normally do, to allow for my break, I start some water, pour it over some loose leaf tea and sit. That’s is, just sit. I don’t check my phone. I don’t turn on music. Heck, I don’t even turn on any lights. For me this is a time to reflect, pray, and prepare my heart for the day to come. It’s perfect, you should try it.
- Joel Ressel
Tea at a glimpse
Nothing calms like a warm mug of Chamomile tea in the evening. And on a cold afternoon, few things delight as much as flavorful mug of Rooibos tea, or a cup of Peppermint tea to sooth a sickness. But, as delicious as these beverages are, they are not technically tea. These beverages are considered herbals.
So what is tea? Tea is a beverage that is brewed from the leaf of a particular species of tree, Camilla sinensis. Not to be confused with the Australia’s Melaleuca alternifolia, from which we get the medicinally-fragranced, Tea Tree essential oil, Camilla sinensis is a hardy evergreen shrub that thrives in subtropical climates.
The different types of tea (green, oolong, black, white etc.) are all produced from the amazing leaves of this tree. So how can so much variety come from the same family of tree? This will be answered in a later blog post, but for the time being, let us appreciate the wonderfully useful creation that is Camilla sinensis, our little tea shrub!
- Joel Ressel
The Origin of Tea Culture
Flashback to late winter of this year. A few friends met for breakfast, encouraging each other in life and career and living well. A couple shares that they have a dream to start a tea company born from their love of tea and their knowledge and desire to start their own business. Two others explain they have had the same dream. And suddenly, an idea sparks and the dream starts to become reality. Well that was us, and that dream is now Tea Culture.
We knew we wanted to offer only the best whole leaf, loose leaf tea. And not only that, but to do it in a way that creates a shared community around tea, it's history, and it's traditions. We have spent that time from then until now tasting and blending and becoming even more immersed in tea culture so that we can share it all with you. We are so excited to finally be sharing our tea with you all. And please, stay connected with us. Comment here, shoot us an e-mail, chat with us via Facebook or Instagram, because we are all about community and sharing tea and life with you all.
- Joel Ressel