ou always hear about coffee culture. So much in fact, we’ve become a jittery caffeine nation with java as its life force. But what about tea? It has been around for thousands of years but doesn’t get nearly as much love as it deserves, especially here in the States. It’s time to change that.
Let’s first learn how to properly brew it.
“Steep” — to soak in liquid and extract flavor
Scoop loose-leaf tea into a steeper or infuser. Vary the amount you use depending on the size of what you’re pouring into. Skip this step entirely if you’re opting for prepackaged tea bags.
2. Add water
Fill your container separately with hot water. Don’t pour it directly on top of your steeper. Expert tip: Pre-warm your teapot to extend its life. Pouring directly into a cold pot also alters the temperature of the water and may affect how your tea brews.
Drop your steeper into the hot water and remove it when your tea is done brewing. Different teas taste better when steeped at their optimum times and temperatures. You’ll need to read its label or follow the rules of thumb below. Steep for too long and your tea becomes bitter.
This is the variety that is probably most familiar to the American palate. Think about your Earl Greys, English Breakfast, Assam, Darjeeling, and Ceylon teas. These also feature the most caffeine and are often used to help curb your appetite. Typical steep time: 3-4 minutes
Often served at Chinese restaurants to cleanse the palate after a meal. Oolong teas feature less caffeine than Black Teas but more than Green Teas. Drinking oolong is also thought to help speed your metabolism and encourage weight loss. Typical steep time: 3 minutes
There are hundreds of variations of Green Teas originating from both China and Japan. You might be familiar with Jasmine, Matcha, and Sencha. All variations are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Typical steep time: 1 minute (short and sweet, unless you like it bitter)
Often light and sweet and features the least amount of caffeine. It contains the same types of antioxidants as Green Tea—just a lot more in quantity! White teas are also great for hydration. Typical steep time: 4-5 minutes
These teas contain ZERO caffeine. Herbals have been used in countless home remedies. For example, combine Chamomile tea with honey to soothe a sore throat or drink Lavender tea to promote a good night’s sleep. Typical steep time: 5 minutes
Rooibos comes from South Africa and is known to be sweet and nutty. These teas are rich in vitamin C and have been famed to ease an upset stomach. Typical steep time: 5 minutes
Derived from the South American Yerba Maté plant, these teas rival the caffeine content of coffee and contain a plethora of vitamins. Expert tip: Try combining any chocolatey-flavored tea with a Yerba Maté to imitate the taste of coffee. Typical steep time: 6 minutes
Got your own tea-tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below.