New to Tea
The Secrets to the Perfect Cup of Tea!
One plant, Camellia Sinensis, creates the varieties of tea available. How the tea is processed (dried and/or oxidized) by the growers will determine if the leaf will become white, green, matcha (stone-ground tea), oolong, pu-erh, black, purple, or yellow tea.
There are other plants that are brewed and consumed like tea and therefore commonly referred to as tea. For example, rooibos (an Afrikaans word meaning 'red bush') from South Africa, yerba mate from South America, and a broad range of herbals that are fruits, plants and botanicals.
Whichever tea you prefer, here are the general brewing methods to get you started.
Brewing Basics for Hot Tea
There's nothing better than a good cup of tea. To ensure best results, consider these three things:
1. Quality of Water
When possible, using fresh filtered water will bring out the best flavor of your tea.
2. Amount of Tea
A teaspoon is the simplest tool for measuring tea – or use one of our 'perfect spoons'. If using a teaspoon, measure one level teaspoon of loose tea (heaping for large leaf tea) for each 6 to 8 ounces of water (~ to 1 cup or mug). Pour prepared hot water over the tea to brew / steep according to the brewing instructions below.
3. The Steep (Water Temperature and Time)
Less time is always better – too long and tea may become bitter. Generally, we recommend:
- White / Green Teas – 170°F (take boiling water and let it cool for 2 minutes), steep for 1-3 minutes
- Oolong Teas – 190°F (take boiling water and let it cool for 1 minute), steep for 1-3 minutes
- Black Teas – 212°F (boiling water) steep for 3-5 minutes (start with 3 minutes, we do not recommend over 5 minutes)
- Herbal / Rooibos / Honeybush – 212°F (boiling water), steep for 5-7 minutes
- Matcha – see detailed instructions below
- Pu-erh – follow the water temperature of the tea group that your Pu-erh was fermented from (usually black, however there are other types such as white and green)
Note: feel free to adjust the amount of tea and the steep time to suit your taste – tea is a very personal experience!
Multiple Brews / Steeps
This refers to re-using the same leaves for multiple cups or pots of tea (in the same sitting). Most of our teas are great for at least one additional brew, or more.
Brewing Iced Tea
Individual (16oz) cup method:
Brew 2.5 teaspoons of tea in 4oz of freshly-prepared water using the appropriate time and temperature from our Brewing Basics for Hot Tea. Pour over ice. Top with additional cold water and ice up to 16oz.
Brew 1oz of tea in 16oz of freshly-prepared water using the appropriate time and temperature from our Brewing Basics for Hot Tea. Pour over ice. Top with additional cold water and ice up to 2 quarts.
The Art of the Cold Brew:
Cold brewing tea is as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, add 8 teaspoons of tea to a 2-litre pitcher of water. Second, steep in the fridge for a minimum of 2+ hours. Third, strain and serve over ice. The benefit of the cold brew method is the tea gets stronger, but does not over-steep and turn bitter.
Matcha is generally considered the healthiest of all teas since you consume the whole leaf. Matcha is used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony and is prepared using a bowl, a beautiful whisk made from a single piece of bamboo, artfully designed with 100 tines.
To prepare at home, place ¾ teaspoon of matcha - or 2 scoops with the bamboo scoop - into a teacup or bowl, and pour 6 ounces of hot water (170°F) into the bowl.
Using the whisk, briskly brush from side to side, and then whisk until a fine foam of small bubbles appears. Some people suggest whisking in the shape of an 'M'.
Consume the matcha immediately, directly from the cup or bowl.