The perfect guide for brewing tea, broken down by type. Never over or under brew your loose leaf tea again!
Different teas come with different ways to steep and brew. We are here to make it easy to understand! This quick guide will feature a bit about each tea and how to brew. Find which tea you're ready to enjoy and get brewing!
Black teas are hardy, and do better with higher temperatures, so boil away. But only steep it 3-6 minutes. Longer than that and it will have a bitter after taste. Nobody wants that. This applies to any blend that has black tea as its base too. This includes the well known Earl Grey. Earl Grey tea is usually a black tea, which has been infused with Bergamot oil, which comes from the rind of the bergamot orange. It's what gives this tea its well known scent, and citrusy flavor.
This is one of my favorite kinds of teas, and is so healthy for you. But even in restaurants they steep it waaaay to long. Green teas are delicate and should be treated with more care. The water should be about 150-180 degrees, and the leaves should only be steeped 3 minutes max. So the next time you are in a restaurant, and they bring you a pot of green tea, ask them for a plate so you can time the steep and then remove the leaves. You'll enjoy the pot all the way til the end.
Our Jasmine tea is actually a green tea, that hasbeen infused by wind with jasmine blossoms. Any blend made with this tea as a base would be treated the same way as Green tea above. Short steep times, and low water temperature. Not all Jasmine teas are made this way, as Jasmine can be added to oolong or black tea as well. Many times they are infused with 'natural flavors' which I find to be some what fake tasting. I like my temperature to be about 180 degrees for the double jasmine blend we offer. Sometimes I use the water setting on my Keurig, and just let it cool a minute or so before adding my tea ball.
White teas are very delicate, and the least processed of all the tea leaves. The young buds are still covered in a fine white hair, thereby giving this tea it's name. They are usually hand picked, and allowed to dry naturally. They include White Peony, and Darjeeling White Tea as well as a few others. Use water temperatures between 160-190 degrees, depending on the tea type used. Steep them 3-5 minutes. Each type of white tea has a slightly different requirement, so experiment with the temperature and steep time until you are happy with it.
Oolong tea leaves fall in between black tea and green tea leaves. Oolong is allowed to partially oxidize, giving it a color from green to dark brown. It can be steeped longer than green and black tea, 4-8 minutes, at a temperature of about 190 degrees. Taste it at the 4 minute mark, then again every minute after that, until it's the flavor and strength you enjoy. Be careful while tasting, because it's HOT! All of the teas above come from the same plant, Camellia sinesis. They taste and look different because of how long they are allowed to oxidize. They all contain various amounts of caffeine, although less than coffee, people who are sensitive to caffeine need to be aware of this component. All of the steep times can be adjusted to your preference.
This is a new herb for me. It's called redbush tea, from a shrub called Aspalathus linearis, which comes from South Africa and is hailed for everything. It's given to children of all ages. It's pretty hardy and can handle a long steep, and high temperatures. I think it has a very earthy flavor, but doesn't get bitter the longer it steeps. It is caffeine free, and is often served with a bit of milk and honey.
The term 'herbal tea' applies to any tea that does not fall into the categories above. They consist of flowers, herbs, roots and leafy plants. Generally their steep times are longer, and the temperature can range from 180 degrees to boiling water. For these blends, refer to the suggested times on the labels, and then experiment to get the steep time/taste to your satisfaction. I have several blends, where I just leave the tea ball in the cup until I finish drinking it. Most of our herbal blends are naturally caffeine free.
Any of these teas can be drank hot or over ice. If you make them by the pot, herbal teas should be drank with in 24 hours. They tend to spoil more quickly.
Note about caffeine content: Green teas are NOT caffeine free, however they have a very low amount of caffeine, especially when compared to coffee. An 8 oz cup of green tea, has about 1/10th the amount of the recommended maximum of caffeine per day. (between 30-50 grams of the recommended max of 400) People who are pregnant should pay particular attention to the amounts of caffeine they consume daily, as there are many risks to the baby with too much caffeine consumption. ALWAYS consult your doctor before adding any holistic therapies to your routine.