Many of us have recently prepared a tea and simply boiled some water before pouring it onto the bag. But we are now realizing the preparation of tea is almost as important as the pleasure of drinking it! With that in mind, let’s take our time, without cutting any corners, and make a perfect tea according to our own personal rituals.
Water, an indispensable resource
So, you have chosen your tea and you are about to heat up some water. But how hot should it be? First of all, remember the water should never be boiling, but rather simmering, otherwise it will damage the tea leaves. The next tip is simple: the more oxidized the tea, the hotter you can make the water (you haven’t forgotten our lesson on the different types of tea, have you?). If you need a refresher, simply visit the little glossay of tea.
- For black teas, water heated to 176°F-194°F (80°C-90°C).
- For green teas, water heated to 158°F-176°F (70°C-80°C), or even a little hotter for blends containing maté.
- For white teas, water heated to 158°F-176°F (70°C-80°C).
- And for fruit and herbal infusions, 194°F-212°F (90°C-100°C)!
It isn’t always possible to measure the exact temperature of your water before pouring. However, an increasing number of kettles now enable you to choose the desired temperature (between 122°F/50°C and 212°F/100°C) and even monitor the progression on a digital display. A great gift idea, if you don’t have one already! We recommend using slightly mineralized cold water, preferably spring or filtered, if you want to preserve the tea’s full flavors.
Every detail counts!
Now you can decide what you want to enjoy your tea in. Perhaps a mug, or a cup? Or maybe even a teapot! Each moment of the day can have its own special recipient. From transparent mugs and porcelain cups to traditional matcha bowls and beautifully decorated mint tea glasses, there really is something for everyone. And of course, there are double-walled tea flasks so you can enjoy your tea on the go without burning yourself, and glitter-covered mason jars which are perfect for iced tea!
If you have chosen to use loose tea, then there is one final important decision to make – the type of infuser. All of them are easy to use, including metal strainers hung by a little chain, silicon models, beautifully designed infuser spoons, and filters made with biodegradable paper. Anything goes, although there are two golden rules: make sure your infuser is big enough to allow the long leaves to unfurl and release their aromas, and check it is tightly sealed to avoid small rooibos needles or other leaves slipping out.
Varying brewing times
While everyone can adapt the brewing time to their tastes, we recommend leaving it for at least three minutes, and no more than eight minutes. What’s more, every box of tea offers instructions for making the perfect tea, so you can always rely on them! As a general rule, you can wait between three and four minutes for black and green teas, and between five and eight minutes for fruit or herbal infusions. As for white tea, you shouldn’t brew it for more than three minutes, as its leaves are so delicate! While you wait, breathe in the delicious aromas and watch as the color of the liquor intensifies.
Et voilà! All that’s left to do is make yourself comfortable and take the time to appreciate your well-deserved break!