Have you ever made a cup of tea that you expected to be wonderful and it ended up falling flat or tasted bitter? It could be that you’re not a fan of that tea, OR MAYBE it wasn’t prepared optimally. Different types of tea need to be steeped at varying temperatures and for varying lengths of time in order to produce the best tasting cup or pot. It isn’t just the length of time that you steep your tea that matters. Other factors to consider are water temperature, amount of tea, and steep time. These will all vary depending on which type of tea you are preparing. Some teas are more fussy than others. These will also vary between tea drinkers, as we all have our preferences when it comes to how we “take our tea”.
I love this graph found at theteaspot.com because it provides tons of information all in one spot. Along the top axis you have the amount of tea needed depending how you are steeping your tea, as well as the preferred water temperature and steep time. While on the side axis you have many different types of tea listed by level of caffeine. Awesome. This way the graph can be read in different ways. If you know which tea you want, you find it and locate the best way to steep it. Or, if you are trying to decide what type of tea you would like depending of caffeine level, just scan the graph that way. Note: If you are steeping a cup of tea with a tea bag these same guidelines apply.
This is another fun way to look at how different types of tea should be prepared with the temperature listed on the tab and the steep time on the bag portion. I found this little gem on pinterest.com.
I am guilty, just as I’m sure many of you are too, of not taking the proper tea prep into consideration when steeping tea. When it is early in the morning and I haven’t quite remembered my name yet, I am not always thinking about how long and at what temperature I plan to steep my tea. In these cases I generally go for some something simple, like a traditional black tea, or an herbal tea. These teas are fairly forgiving and if I steep for a couple of minutes too long or at too high a temperature, the flavor is not totally lost, even if it isn’t perfect.
Happy tea steeping everyone! Do you have any tricks that help you prepare the perfect cup? If so, we are always looking for new idea on how to get the perfect cup!