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November 20, 2020

Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup of Black Tea

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Black Tea

Water

There is an old Chinese proverb, water is the "mother of tea". A true statement considering water makes up 99% of tea, so choose your water carefully.

Filtered water is the best suited and most convenient water to use for tea. Filtered water from a filter jug or built-in filter in your refrigerator works well. Bottled spring water can also be used.

Tap water should be avoided as it may add unwanted tastes from chemicals or pollutants, which can also affect the pH of the water, or have unwanted odours.  Flat, unappealing distilled water should also be avoided.  

Brewing Temperature

The second key to brewing a great cuppa is water temperature. The perfect brewing temperature for black teas is 210 degrees F/100 C, or bringing the water to a rolling boil. 

Pu'erh and other dark teas can be brewed at a slightly lower temperature. Setting your kettle to 200F/95C should give you the best brew. If you don't have a variable temperature kettle, bring water to a boil and then let it rest with the kettle lid open for 2 minutes.

Instructions for making the Perfect Cup

  • Bring water to a rolling boil
  • add 1 heaping teaspoon of your favourite tea to your infuser. 
  • If using a cup style infuser pour water over the tea leaves until they are submerged. If you are using a tea-ball infuser, fill your mug with hot water, secure the tea ball with the leaves inside and slowly submerge in water.
  • Wait 3-7 minutes for leaves to finish infusing
  • remove infuser, being careful not to drip hot water :)

Helpful Tea-Making Equipment

Shops offer a huge variety of tea making equipment these days, designed to make your teamaking experience easier, better and more fun than ever! 

The Perfect 1-cup Measuring Spoon

The perfect loose leaf measuring spoon can make your life a little easier as they are often the perfect shape for scooping tea leaves!

Porcelain/Glass Teapots with Infuser

This classic teapot with infuser basket for loose leaf comes in a variety of sizes and should serve two people with a little extra for refills. 

Tea Ball Infusers

Tea Ball infusers have become a personal statement! They vary in shape and often hook into the side of a mug. When purchasing make sure that the infusion ball is large enough so the tea leaves have lots of room to expand and dance a little! Finding the perfect one is a great way to add a dash of fun into the tea experience! 

Mugs with Stainless Steel Infusers

Here's another way you can personalize your experience. Mugs with infusers are a convenient way to brew your tea without too much fuss, and are relatively easy to clean. The large basket infuser is large enough to allow tea leaves to expand to their hearts content allowing for the full taste of the leaf to infuse. Mugs that come with a lid are best because they preserve the aroma released by the leaves. 

Variable Temperature Kettles

These easy to use kettles often come with preset temperatures for tea type so that you don't over-steep or "burn" your tea. Simply select the tea type and press the button. Many may just have the temperature settings to you will  have to know the optimal brewing temperature for your tea. If you're lucky, you may be able to find one of the fancy kettles that allow you to infuse your tea leaves in the kettle. 

Gravity Steeper

These are a great addition for any tea-lover! Most are designed for one-person

and are BPA-free. Place the leaves directly into the infuser, pour water over them, and place on the counter until the desired steeping time is reached. Once steeped, release the infusion into your cup by placing the infuser on top of the tea cup or mug, which automatically depresses the bottom buttons and releases the tea into your cup.  It is quite a relaxing experience to watch the leave unfold and dance, infusing their colour into the hot water. 

Travel Flasks 

Travel Flasks make drinking on the go, easy and convenient. Most travel flasks are made of stainless steel, but some are made of glass. There are also different approaches on where to put the infusion basket.

Infusion basket screws into the bottom of the flask:

Herbal and herb & fruit blends that improve with extended brewing time are best suited.

Top-mounted infuser baskets that can be removed once you've steeped your tea for the desired time

Great from many blends but are especially well suited to green, black and white teas susceptible to over-steeping. Always remove the infuser once the tea is ready to avoid your tea tasting bitter. 



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