THE SECRETS OF A PERFECT CUP OF TEA!
Questions that have been asked by many are: What is tea? and how to make tea. Tea is the second most-consumed drink in the world, surpassed only by water. An often-surprising fact to tea novices is that all teas (Black, Green, Oolong, White, and Pu'erh) come from the same blossom. This beautiful, delicate, and multifunctional flower (mostly seen in botanical gardens and mesmerizing landscapes) is scientifically known as Camellia sinensis.
WHAT IS IN TEA? FIND OUT WHY TEA IS THE SECOND MOST CONSUMED DRINK IN THE WORLD!
The three primary components of brewed tea are essential oils that provide delicious aromas and flavors, polyphenols that provide briskness, and natural caffeine that provides an energy boost.
It takes around 2,000 tiny leaves to make just one pound of finished tea. The tea plant grows naturally in the woods throughout much of Asia. The best tea is usually grown at higher elevations, and often, on steep slopes. Many of the teas produced for large-scale commercial production are grown in flat, lowland areas. Some of the finest, hand-plucked teas in the world come from flat fields and lower altitudes.
So, how the tea is grown is just one of many factors to be considered. It can be said that “tea” is anything derived from the Camellia sinensis plant. While sometimes called "tea", anything else is more accurately referred to as an herbal tea or tisane. Tisanes include chamomile, rooibos, and fruit teas.
Brewing tea is no Rocket Science, However it can be a bit confusing at times. Follow our guide on How to Brew Tea to brew the perfect cup of tea.
MEASURE IT PERFECTLY
To measure tea perfectly firstly learn to take a precise measurement for a single cup. Then add the quantity as per your requirement. The tried and tested measurement for a perfect cup of balanced flavor should have 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves or a teabag of 0.5 grams. The result certainly depends upon how much water is poured, and what is its temperature and steeping time the tea is steeping in.
POUR IN WATER
You should make sure that you are keeping the water-tea ratio correct. Also, the temperature of the water should be appropriate. This means it should neither be too low nor be too high. You should never pour boiling water over a tea bag or loose tea leaves. As the boiling water will burn, and scald the tea leaves. Whereas too cold water slowers the release of useful compounds such as catechins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and others. Due to the unawareness about these tips, the teas that most beginners try to make are unable to release all of their maximum flavors.
STEEP TEA LIKE AN EXPERT
Temperature plays a huge role in this process because molecules are moving faster at higher temperatures. This also allows molecules to overcome barriers and get out of tea leaves. You need to be careful while steeping different types of teas. Here follow the precise steeping methods of different types of teas that will let your teas be steeped properly.
SERVE AND ENJOY
The final step is to strain your delicious decoction into your favorite cup or mug. And, let your taste buds feel the nectar-filled with heavenly flavors and beneficial components.
Green teas are the least processed, and unoxidized types of teas. Green teas taste best when brewed at temperatures between 140°F - 175°F (60°C to 79°C). Due to its higher levels of amino acids, Green teas picked earlier are steeped well at a lower temperature. Brewing it at this range of temperature will ensure the perseverance of the sweet flavors and the beneficial compounds.
White teas are made with the young and the minimally processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea shrub. White teas are mainly categorized as leafy White teas and bud-only White teas. Leafy White teas should be steeped for 2 to 3 minutes at a temperature of 176°F (80°C). Whereas the bud-only teas should be steeped for 5 to 7 minutes at a temperature of 190°F (88°C).
Black tea is an oxidized tea. These are stronger in flavors than other types of teas. The best temperature at which Black teas could be steeped ranges in between 208°F (98°C) to 215°F (102°C). The minimum time for steeping is 3 minutes and the maximum could be 5 minutes. Steeping more than this will make it taste bitter, and will also degrade its nutritiousness.
Oolong teas are the type of tea that is made by the process of withering the leaves of Camellia sinensis under the sunlight and oxidation. After this process, they are curled and twisted. Oolong teas are steeped well at 180°F (82°C) to 200°F (93°) for 5 minutes. Oolong tea leaves are well-known for multiple steeping. It releases unique aromatic flavors with each subsequent brew.
Herbal teas are called tisanes. These are the blend of various herbs, nutritional spices, and other medicinal parts of the tea shrubs. These are of two types- dried Herbal tea, and fresh Herbal tea. Dried Herbal teas like Chamomile, Peppermint, Hibiscus, Lemon Balm should be steeped at 212°F (100°C) for 7 minutes. Fresh Herbal tea like Ginger, Bay leaf, Turmeric should be steeped at the same temperature but for only 3 minutes to preserve its tender flavors.
Packed with vitamins, and antioxidants fruit teas are the best caffeine-free version of these. These are the first pick of the tea enthusiast who is somehow caffeine sensitive. The fruity-nutty flavors are just what gives your dull mood a quick energetic push. Fruit teas could be steeped for 95°F (35°C) to 200°F (93°C) for around 10 minutes.
HOW TO KEEP CHECK ON TEMPERATURE WITHOUT THERMOMETER?
The easiest way to measure the temperature is using a thermometer. But if you don’t have a thermometer, there is nothing to worry about. As you can still measure the temperature with maximum accuracy by following the boil, wait, and check method.
If you want the temperature around 75°C, after boiling at a high flame just keep the lid open for 10 minutes.
If you want to keep the temperature around 80°C to 85°C then after boiling it till the bubble appears keeps the lid open for 5 minutes.
If you want a temperature between 90°C to 215°C then after boiling until the bubble appears keeps the lid open for 2 to 3 minutes.
Now you are at a stage of being an expert at tea making. After learning all the tips and tricks of how to make tea, you can now serve yourself, your family, friends, and guests with this lovely, popular liquor.
If you want to know how to make Indian tea with milk just add one more step after straining your tea into a cup, or mug. You just need to add half quantity of milk that is around 250 ml, or 8 oz, and lessen the quantity of water to 8 oz (250 ml). And if you prefer sugar for sweetness, do add it to enhance the taste of your tea.
There are varieties of these that you can try and taste. And choose the best tea that suits your taste preference. No matter which type of tea you select, every tea has its unique flavors and tremendous health benefits.