Making a perfect cup of tea is an art indeed. Whether you add the same ingredients each time to brew a cup of tea, the way you make it does have an impact on the final product! There are tons of tea varieties and most of them are consumed for its health benefits. But are you sure if the tea you brew is really benefiting you? The benefits of tea purely and entirely depend upon how you make it. Most of us don’t know the correct method of brewing tea and end up with a cup of nutrient-lost tea. Here is everything you ever needed to know for making the perfect cup of tea:
Before we get to the important factors, let us first know the steps to making a perfect tea along with the reason why you are doing it:
HOW TO MAKE A PERFECT TEA
The key to perfect tea is to have water that could quickly infuse the herbs/tea leaves as soon as you put it in. It really doesn’t matter how you boil the water, in the kettle or a vessel. The water should be bubbling hot when you put in the herbs or tea leaves and you should be able to see the coloured stripes forming around the herbs/tea leaves.
USE A TEA STRAINER
Using a tea strainer means using fresh loose herbs or tea leaves. Avoid using tea bags since the herbs or tea leaves in it are not as fresh as the lose varieties. Keep them preserved for use when you are out and cannot make your own tea; like you could simply dip and drink. Take the lose herbs or tea leaves and add it in the strainer. Pace it in a cup and pour hot water over it.
After you pour water on the strainer and fill the cup, cover the cup with a lid so that the essentials volatile oils do not evaporate and escape the cup along with steam. Also, steeping time depends on what herb you are using. The standard steeping time for your lose tea leaves or herbs is 10 minutes, for tea bags is 5-7 minutes and if you are using dries barks, tough herbs and berries, steeping time is usually 20 minutes.
If you are using a tea bag, make sure you squeeze out all the extract to make your tea flavourful. If using lose tea leaves or herbs, press them against the strainer using a spoon sp that all the liquid is squeezed out.
The taste of your tea depends on what sweetener you use. You can use honey, maple syrup, jaggery, jaggery syrup or any other sweetener of your choice. Honey works the best and tastes better than sugar. Jaggery compliments black tea made using milk.
IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER
AMOUNT OF TEA
Standard amount is 1 flat tablespoon of lose tea leaves or herbs for 1 cup or water/milk. You can add 1 teaspoon of herbs/tea leaves for a stronger tea if preferred. If using tea bags, you can use 1 tea bags for 2 cups of water as well, but if you like stronger tea, use 1 tea bag for 1 cup and let it steep for longer.
The water you use does make a change in the quality of tea you make. Avoid using distilled water as it can taste flat. Use filtered, fresh and cool water that is not boiled to make your tea taste fresh and crisp.
The ideal heating time is 5-7 minutes if boiling tea leaves or herbs in the water. It also depends on the type of tea you are making. For chai, oolong, darjeeling and black tea, the best time is 3-5 minutes. For yellow, green and white tea, the time is usually 2-4 minutes. For hibiscus, rooibos and chamomile, heating time is usually 5-7 minutes for the best flavour. Top 10 Types of Teas and Their Benefits.
TASTY ADD INS FOR YOUR TEA
- Black tea: Coconut milk, jaggery, sugarcane juice
- Green tea: Lemon and honey
- Herbal tea: Coconut water, lemon, cinnamon (never add milk)
- Oolong tea: Few drops of honey
- Chamomile tea: lemon, honey, jaggery syrup