How to Easily Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

Everybody has their own preference. Some like tea bags, some like high quality loose leaf tea, some are just somewhere in between. It is not up to me to convert you or decide for you what you find the best. My goal is to make you a little bit more curious and provide you with options for your tea journey.

The perfect cup of tea is the one you like the most. It is the one that hits the spot and has the right taste. The perfect cup will bring joy and a sense of gratification to your day. What could be better than to find an oasis of happiness in the middle of a stressful day. I talked a lot about taste in recent posts and tasting right takes a lot of practice. Bringing a little bit of mindfulness in the way you are making decisions when making your cup of tea can go a long way and ultimately lead to better tea enjoyment in the process.

The key components for the right cup of tea are:

1. The right water

2. A high quality loose leaf tea

3. The right brewing temperature

4. The right brewing time.

You can take this further to the top by selecting special brewing vehicles and a wonderful cup to enjoy the tea in, but I am trying to focus on the essentials. The key is that you create an experience that suits you best and connects with what you like. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all solution.

1. The right water

The quality of water is often overlooked. As a water sommelier this is one of my most important areas of education and also one of the most fascinating. You do not have to be a water sommelier to make a good cup of tea, but if you want to expand on your essential knowledge, I can highly recommend a Fine Water 101 course with The Fine Water Academy to learn the basics.

The best tea water has a ph level (check the label on the bottle) of around 7, and a super low TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), best below 50. (As long it is in the neighborhood of these numbers, you can select a water you like the best. I believe that selecting a wonderful water will only further add to the tea experience by adding a little piece of affordable luxury and will complement the high-quality tea. Remember, 95% of tea is water and a fine water will make such a big difference.

2. A high quality loose leaf tea

I often get the comment: “But this kind of tea is more expensive. Is it worth it?” Totally. The beauty of loose leaf tea is that you can re-steep the same leaves, while with a standard tea bag, you can normally only use once. If convenience is a priority, buy some empty loose leaf tea bags or pyramid teas. Try to research where the tea is coming from, which country, even which state or province. Try to learn more about the characteristics, what is the best way of brewing it, what are the intended flavors or aromas. Most high quality loose leaf tea is produced by experienced tea masters and they turn a leaf into a piece of art and into a wonderful taste.

Certainly there are limits and it’s the same with water or wine. There is the terroir and the conditions that will influence the characteristics of the tea leaf. The soil and the water running trough the ground will have an impact on the growth of the tea plant. A tea plant in the soil of China will be completely different than a tea in the soil of India. The beauty is that you have six types of tea to choose from and thousands of different kinds of tea. Even if you would drink a different tea every day for the rest of your life, you would not be able to experience them all. So pick something you like. If you give me a preferred taste you like, I can guide you in the right direction to fast track your search.

3. The right brewing temperature

Most teas are pretty forgiving. You can boil the water and pour it over the tea leaf and you get a decent cup of tea. Some high quality loose leaf teas are not so forgiving. Use the wrong temperature and the tea will turn bitter or weak. So using the right temperature is essential and the below picture can guide you in the right direction. You do not need a thermometer. Just use the fisheye method to ‘eye ball’ the right temperature. When you see bubbles on the bottom of the pot, it will tell you about the temperature of the water. Tiny bubbles (the size of shrimp eyes) will be a water temperature of about 160F, while the size of fish eyes will be about 180F).

4. The right brewing time

If you brew some teas too long, they become too bitter. Brew it for too short an amount of time and they become too weak. In the picture below you can see the right combination for a tea type. You might have to experiment a little bit to find just the right spot for your tastes.

Conclusion

Being mindful of these components will result in a better cup of tea, one that you never imagined. It is like flying business class for the first time and never wanting to go back to economy. Life is full of obstacles and challenges. Treat yourself to a nice cup of tea and great a little piece of happiness to brighten your day. Choose a favorite cup or mug to drink the tea to further elevate your experience.

If you know the background of the water you are brewing the tea in, the culture and terroir of the tea leaf, brew it at the right temperature and at the right time, I guarantee you that you will create something magical, something special to be remembered. And you can use this knowledge to bring joy to your friends and family. Nothing creates happiness more than a wonderfully brewed cup of tea, at least for me.

Stay Thirsty!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.