The tea species
camellia sinensis produces all these
varieties of teas: white, green, oolong, black and pu'erh. The growing
geographic regions and processing methods create the many varieties and
contribute to each tea's uniqueness.
care given during processing of the leaves brings out the natural
flavor and creates a visual aesthetic that is unique to each tea. Part
mystique of tea is that no two teas are alike. Each growing season
unique crop and flavor.
essential not to over-infuse your tea; it should be infused between thirty
seconds to five minutes. Over-infusing
tea will cause it to release unwanted tannins. Tannins cause the bitterness in the tea
and are unhealthy to your body. You
might want to increase the amount of tea leaves rather than infusing
longer than recommended. At the end
of a timed infusion, decant all of the tea in a fair pot or drinking
vessel. Never re-use tea leaves
once they are cold.
loose tea leaves whenever possible. Your tea leaves should be able to move
around freely and you should learn how to inspect them.
is best to boil fresh filtered tap or bottled spring water (not distilled
water). Avoid using water that has already been heated or boiled. This
flattens the water because oxygen has been depleted, making it less than
ideal for brewing a good cup of tea.
unglazed clay, ceramic or glass teapot is preferable for infusing teas
rather than a tea ball or clamping spoon.
This gives the leaves plenty of room to expand and fully
infuse. Try to avoid using metal
accessories with green or white teas.
This will neutralize the tea's antioxidants.
a beverage thermometer to make sure you are infusing your teas at the
appropriate temperature. Using the wrong water temperature can ruin a good
cup of tea (too hot or too cold).
Black teas infuse best with water at the boiling point and greens
infuse best at 160-180F. Oolongs vary, so follow the directions provided
by the supplier. As a rule of
thumb, the greener the tea, the cooler the temperature.
the tea enthusiast, try using a small gram scale to weigh your tea. Some teas have small or broken leaves,
and some large or whole. Weighing
is a way to know how much to use. To make iced tea, decant into a pitcher
and leave tea in refrigerator to chill.
Do not pour green or white tea over ice cubes; this neutralizes the
tea's antioxidants. Any tea will
work, so try a variety.
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