Many people across the globe drink tea daily. However, not everybody knows how to make tea the proper way.
Yes, if you want to have the perfect cup of tea, you need to know how to make one the right way. You’re drinking tea wrong if you’re guilty of any of the following:
1. You use the wrong water temperature
Many of use boiling water for our cup of tea. Who doesn’t want a cup of hot tea, especially on a cold winter day, anyway?
Boiling water is okay if you’re making an infusion but if not, you could burn the tea leaves and affect the flavor.
For black tea leaves, you’ll know it’s the right temperature when the water really starts to bubble, which is around 85° to 95°C. For white tea, wait until you see a mist of steam, which means the temperature of the water is between 65° and 75°C.
The right temperature for green tea leaves is between the temperature required for white and black tea, which is 75° to 85°C.
2. You re-boil water for your next cup of tea
Water contains minerals and every time you boil a pot, you condense the minerals, creating a thin film on the surface of the water once they’ve cooled down. When drinking tea, the trick is to only boil enough to fill up everyone’s cup. Once you’re all done and you want more tea, you could always boil a fresh pot.
3. You heat up your glass teapot with hot water
Many people think splashing hot water in their glass teapot could keep the tea warm longer. This is only recommended if you’re using heavy stoneware. Besides, you wouldn’t need to keep the pot warm longer if you just boil enough for a single round of drinks (this is in reference to #2).
4. You add an extra teaspoon of tea leaves for the teapot
A common practice among people who love drinking tea is to use a teaspoon of tea leaves for every cup of tea. However, there's a saying that tells us that we should add an extra spoon for the pot. If you’re doing this, you’re wasting your precious tea leaves and making the flavor too strong.
5. You take the lid off the teapot while brewing tea
Too much oxygen gets into the leaves when you take the lid off and you wouldn't want that. However, you also don't want to "overstew" your leaves. A key thing to remember here is to be conscious of how long you're steeping your tea.
6. You let the tea leaves steep longer in the teapot
This, of course, depends on how bitter or strong you want your tea to taste. In general, it’s best to follow recommended steeping times to achieve the true flavor of your tea.
Steep white tea for one to three minutes. Green tea and darjeeling tea need three minutes to steep. Black, oolong, and pu-erh tea should steep for three to five minutes.
7. You press your teabag against the side of your cup
Squeezing the tea bag releases tannins, which could make your tea taste bitter. Simply take out the bag and put it aside.
8. You use a small tea strainer
Tea leaves expand. They need room to breathe and release their flavor. If you’re using a tea ball strainer, remember that it could only hold a teaspoon of tea leaves.
9. You don’t know when to add milk
Should you add milk or tea first in your cup? Yes, it could be confusing at first. This depends on how you’re making tea.
If you’re using a teabag, steep the bag first in your cup, take out the bag, then add the milk. Adding the milk immediately could let the fat from the milk block the leaves and affect the brewing process.
If you’re using a teapot, add the milk to your cup first, then pour the tea. The reason behind this is, if you pour the tea first and then add the milk, the temperature of the milk will cool down your tea. By adding the milk first, you’re warming it up with the temperature of the tea as you pour it in your cup.
These aren’t hard and fast rules for drinking tea but making sure you don’t do these common mistakes could help improve your experience and tea journey.