Secrets to Making the Perfect Cup of Tea

Anyone who loves tea has a particular way of making the perfect cup. Apart from the quality of the leaves, the taste is in the method. Although there are some superstitious methods out there, there are also certain tricks that do influence the quality of the cup.

There are also a couple of mistakes that the average tea drinker makes that seriously affect the taste. Making the perfect cup of tea is not just a matter of pouring boiling water over a couple of leaves. In fact, it takes some skill to produce the perfect cup. Keeping your tea in its original packaging is also not always the best idea.

For the tea connoisseur, tea is much like wine. Good quality tea is usually made from whole leaves, whereas teabags are mostly made with fannings, broken twigs and tea dust. It leaves the tea tasting watery, whereas whole leaves preserve the taste of the tea and produce a more rounded flavor with undertones in taste.

Then you also get single origin tea which comes from a single tea farm or estate, rather than an assortment of different farms. These teas are unique in flavor and give you a sense of the estate. Many of these estates opt for organic agriculture due to the purity of taste that they get. These teas are free of chemicals that could alter the tea’s taste, as well as have a negative effect on the environment.

If your taste buds aren’t what they used to be, you might be tempted to go for a tea bag. However, tea isn’t merely a hot drink. Its main purpose is to make you feel refreshed. Therefore, you can test the quality of your tea by the way you feel after you drink it.

If you feel light and refreshed, you’ve got a winner on your hands. On the other hand, a poor quality tea will only make you feel a bit stuffed.

Tea Selection

Tea is a very subjective substance and what counts for one person will not necessarily count for someone else. When selecting tea, it ultimately comes down to what you prefer. If you are new to the game, however, there are a couple of places where you can begin your search for your favorite tea.

Low-acid black tea is your go-to tea if you want some unadulterated energy. This tea is fully oxidized and is fairly easy to find. There is loads of variety to choose from including Irish, Indian and English Breakfast teas.

For a dreamier pick-me-up, Pu-erh tea is what you want. These are very dynamic teas which go through a microbial fermentation after the leaves have been dried. Studies suggest that pu-erh tea is also of the healthiest teas around and can even lower cholesterol. However, if it doesn’t come from one of the villages in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, it isn’t true pu-erh tea.

Oolong tea is a tea with a lasting effect. They are also some of the most versatile teas around with many different flavors, depending on which Chinese mountain range they grow on. These teas are three-quarters oxidized and only slightly fermented and is a good mix between a green tea and a black tea.

Most people are familiar with Japanese Green tea which has a grassy and herby flavor. They provide you with a light and cool energy. Green teas are also of the healthier teas around with many medicinal attributes, although they aren’t of the most flavorful teas.

If you need to focus Macha tea is what you need. These teas are made from the high-quality green tea leaves, but they are ground up into a powder. Instead of infusing your water, you consume the whole leave as you drink the tea which means a higher concentration of caffeine and antioxidants.

Proper Steeping

One of the biggest rookie mistakes that people make when steeping their tea is using boiling hot water. Another mistake that people tend to make is to steep the tea for too long giving the tea a bitter taste.

To start with, you need to use fresh leaves instead of leaves that have been sitting in your cupboard for a couple of months. Although your tea won’t go off or become moldy, it does become flat and loses its flavor. The second most important ingredient is the water. Using clean and filtered water will produce a cleaner tea and enhance the tea’s flavor.

For a full-flavored cup of tea, use one teaspoon of leaves for every cup. It is important to let the water that you boiled cool down for 30 seconds to a minute. Using water that is too hot, scorches the leaves and tends to make the tea bitter.

Once your water has cooled down, pour it directly over the leaves that are in a strainer or directly into your teapot if you are making tea for a couple of people. Only steep for three to five minutes lest the tea becomes bitter.

After you have steeped your tea, add whatever you like. Tea is all about personal taste, so there are no rules as to what you can add like sugar or milk.

The Cup

Tea is a very subtle drink, and the taste is easily influenced. You should stay away from drinking tea out of a Styrofoam cup because the material gives off a taste and also absorbs some of the flavor of the tea.

Some individuals also say that the color of your mug influences the taste. For sweeter tea, use red or pink mugs. But if you want to accentuate the saltiness, blue and white mugs are for you.

Using a metal mug, will leave your tea tasting metallic and using a ceramic mug won’t necessarily influence the taste of your tea, but it will cool it down faster. The ideal mug for your tea is porcelain, seeing that it isn’t porous and it will keep your tea warm for longer and enhance the flavor.


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