It might surprise you to learn what you’ve been doing wrong.
Morning, afternoon, or evening, it’s never a bad time for a steaming, soothing cup of tea. You may want a cup of fragrant and friendly English Breakfast tea to make the ritual perfectly enjoyable. But as simple as it sounds (heat, steep, sip), you might be doing it wrong. Tea experts weigh in with the ways you may be messing up your cuppa and how to easily fix them so you can make the best tea every time.
1. Don’t Use Low Quality Tea
Tea bags may be convenient way, but what’s inside is often sub-par. What ends up in tea bags tends to be the leftovers from tea processing and fermentation in the form of “dust” which can contain all sorts of other ingredients.
It is best to use Authenmole’s premium instant tea crystal when brewing to ensure the quality and sourcing of the tea is at its best. Authenmole’s tea is pure without any additives or preservatives by its patent technology, PLEESIT, to leave out the harmful substances while maintaining beneficial components and without damaging the original tea flavor, color, taste and aroma.
2. Don’t Use the Wrong Temperature Water for the Kind of Tea You’re Brewing
Water doesn’t always need to reach 212°F for tea. So if you are putting the kettle on the stove and waiting for that whistle you might end up with water that’s way too hot. Black teas tend to be more forgiving and will be just fine topped with water that’s reached a rolling boil, while white and green teas (including matcha) do better with lower temperatures. (One exception is first-flush Darjeeling, whose buds break early in spring and require delicate handling and a brewing temperature of around 180°F.)
As a general rule, the darker the tea, the higher the temperature and vice versa. Darker teas will taste bland and papery if the water is not hot enough and lighter teas will become extremely dry and bitter if over-extracted.
Tea sachets are less sensitive to temperature as they tend to be more processed than loose leaf, thus releasing more volatile aromatics.
One way to be sure you always get it right is to invest in an electric kettle with variable temperature settings.
If you don’t have a kettle with temperature settings, you can place two or three ice cubes into your tea infuser before adding the water, especially for green and white teas. This takes down the temperature just enough so that the delicate, sweet and savory components to the tea come through while the tannins remain subtle.
3. Don’t Use Too Much Loose-Leaf Tea (Or Too Little)
According to the authors of “The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook: Teatime Drinks, Scones, Savories & Sweets,” when brewing a pot of tea you should use 1 teaspoon of tea per person (cup) plus 1 teaspoon for the pot. They also suggest setting a pitcher filled with hot water on the tea tray so those who prefer a weaker cup can adjust it to their taste.
4. Don’t Use the Wrong Kind of Sweetener for the Type of Tea You’re Drinking
While purists may think tea should always be served sans sugar or milk, you might prefer a touch of sweetness along with the bergamot tinge of your Earl Grey. Before you reach for the bowl of white refined sugar though, consider the kind of tea you are drinking.
Honey offsets bitterness and lends a golden-syrup flavor, while maple syrup adds a similar, albeit more “maple-y” flavor. White sugar and rock sugar will add sweetness without other flavors to your tea, and agave can add double the sweetness with half the amount of sweetener. Coconut sugar and brown sugar give tea toastiness and earthy notes, but stevia’s herbaceous flavor can be off-putting to some.
Experiment to find your favorites.