It is the most important element. Good water makes good tea. Bottled, filtered, or spring water are best. Avoid hard water, as the high percentage of minerals can cause your tea to taste “off”.
By the pot or cup?
It's true! Most teas taste better when brewed by the pot instead of by the cup. The additional leaf required to brew a pot provides fuller flavor
Tea / Time / Temp
|Black||190° - 200°||3 - 5 min|
|Green||180° - 190°||3 - 4 min|
|Oolong||190° - 200°||2 - 4 min|
|Pu-erh||190° - 212°||3 - 5 min|
|White||180°||4 - 6 min|
|Herbal||212°||3 - 5 min|
Many teas, especially oolongs, can be steeped more than once. However, the caffeine content may be diminished by the second steeping. The higher the grade of tea, the more steepings you can expect.
Warm your teapot or mug
Use a splash of hot water to warm your teapot or mug before steeping your tea. Temperature is crucial to brewing an amazing cup of tea, and pouring hot water into a cold pot or cup can drop the temperature 10° F, or more, possibly causing your tea to under-steep.
Rescuing over steeped tea
Try diluting the liquor with more hot water. Its pretty disappointing to realize you've over-steeped your tea, but adding water will bring balance to your astringent/bitter cup and help you through this difficult time.
Store tea in a sealed container away from light, heat, air, and moisture. This will help keep your tea fresh, to ensure great-tasting tea with every cup.
For iced tea, the secret is less water, not more leaf or longer steep time. Over-steeping will simply cause your tea to taste bitter or astringent, whereas additional leaf, once diluted with ice and cool water, makes your iced tea taste perfect. Find more info here.
Next time, try less leaf, less steeping time, or cooler water. It helps to have a timer and thermometer when first experimenting with tea.
Experiment with tea
Some like their tea stout, some like it mellow. There is no truly right way to brew a cuppa; it is all about taste, and taste is relative.