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