Allow your taste buds to determine how to make your perfect cup of tea through some initial experimentation. We have some helpful suggestions and recommendations to guide you.
Water Quality: Because water is the primary ingredient, be sure it tastes good to you. You may wish to try bottled in lieu of tap water. Use only freshly drawn, cool, clear water.
Boiling: In a covered kettle, allow the water to reach a full, rolling boil, then pour immediately into the teapot or cups. For a milder cup, pour when bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pot. For green and white teas, remove the pot from the stove when it reaches a boil, and wait about 30 seconds before pouring on leaves.
Preheating: If you like especially hot tea, it is best to pre-heat the teapot or cups by rinsing with hot water.
How Much Tea: Add approximately one teaspoon per cup for your first experiment, and adjust your measure according to taste.
Steeping: For the richest taste, stay within the suggested steeping times, to allow just the proper amount of flavor to be released from the leaves.
Black: 3-5 minutes
Oolong: 1-10 minutes
Green: 1-2 minutes (Can be reused for 1 or 2 subsequent brewings)
White: 2-15 minutes (Can be reused for 1 or 2 subsequent brewings)
Chai: 3-9 minutes
Herbal: 5-10 minutes, according to taste
Herbals: These teas steep differently. Some require boiling over a period of time. Others may require just some hot water added for a brief period of time. Follow product instructions for specific brewing and steeping details.
Lemon or Milk: Tea may be served with lemon or milk. (Cream deadens the taste.)
Iced Tea: Use twice as many tea leaves for steeping, since the addition of ice cubes to the hot brew will dilute the taste considerably.
How Much to Buy: If stored properly, tea will last up to six months. Flavored teas last about half that time.
How to Store Tea: Use an airtight container, preferably dark. Keep it at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and from other sources of heat.
More information in our Tea Guide.