How do you make tea?
Discover the golden rules of tea making: water temperature, type of vessel, steeping time, and so on. Learn how to fully enjoy your tea!
Until quite recently, for many of us making a tea was a simple matter of boiling water and pouring it over a teabag. But now that we have discovered that preparation matters almost as much as tasting, we take our time and avoid skipping steps, each of us following our own personal ritual. Read on to learn about the various stages of tea making:
1. Water quality
It is crucial that you choose cool water with low mineral content. Ideally, you should use spring water or filtered water.
Similarly, it is better to use a kettle because water heated in a pot can easily take on the flavor of the last foods cooked in the dish.
2. What temperature should the water be?
The inviolable rule about water temperature is that you should never use boiling water to make tea, regardless of the type of tea prepared! After that, the principle is simple: the more oxidized the tea, the hotter the water.
- For white teas, heat the water to 160°-175°F
- For green teas, heat the water to 160°-175°F or a bit hotter for blends that contain maté
- For black teas, heat the water to 175°-195°F
- For herbal teas and rooibos, heat the water to 195°-212°F
There are now kettles that let you choose the water temperature. Discover our selection of electric kettles for optimal tea preparation. If you are making your tea in a teapot, it is recommended that you "scald" it: pour boiling water in the teapot, swirl it around and pour it out.
There are two kinds of teapots:
- Earthenware teapots, which are known as "memory teapots" because they retain the aromas of previous teas. The best would be to have a teapot for each kind of tea to avoid mixing their flavors. After use, simply rinse out the teapot without scrubbing or using detergent, then allow it to air dry with the lid off. This kind of teapot is great for black teas.
- Teapots made of ceramic, cast iron, porcelain or glass can be washed in hot water, but without detergent. They are more versatile because they do not absorb the fragrance of tea.
You can also enjoy your tea directly in a mug, cup or tea mug. There is a perfect vessel for every moment of the day! Explore our wide selection of cups.
What kind of infuser should you use? Anything is possible, but there are two golden rules: Choose an infuser that is big enough to allow long tea leaves to unfurl and release their aromas. Be sure that it is sufficiently impervious to prevent fine rooibos needles from escaping
Have a look at our collection of Kusmi Tea infusers for more information.
3. How much loose tea should you put in a cup?
Common wisdom says that 3 grams (0.10 ounce) is enough for a cup. But the quantity may very according to taste. You may want to lessen the intensity of our Russian Morning No. 24, which is naturally quite strong, and use 2 grams (0.07 ounce) instead.
4. How long should you steep your tea?
This is a very important step in the art of tea. Indeed, the steep time will vary by tea type and by personal taste: we recommend steeping your tea for at least 3 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes. While a black tea that steeps too long will develop bitterness, a white tea that is under-steeped will be flat and flavorless.
All our tea tins provide instructions for optimal steeping, so why not follow them? As a rule of thumb, you should wait 3 to 4 minutes for black or green tea and 5 to 8 minutes for herbal tea. White tea should not steep for more than 3 minutes because its delicate nature cannot take anymore! Some teas require quite precise steep times. Our Jade Pearl tea should steep for 7 to 20 minutes, while our Be Cool will need 5 to 8 minutes to develop its full flavor. The tea should generally be covered while it is steeping to preserve its aromas.
Voila! All that remains is for you to settle into a comfortable spot and savor this well-deserved break!