Did you guys know that January is National Tea month? I sure didn’t. I found that out from Liz over at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. She was kind enough to share some tea brewing tips from Dave De Candia, Master Tea Blender with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
* Water temperature: Never use boiling water to make tea. Boiling water burns the tea leaves and diminishes the flavor. The ideal temperature is between 185 and 190 degrees. If you’ve let the kettle start to boil let the water sit for 30 seconds so the water cools slightly.
* Amount of tea: Use one tea bag per 1-2 cups of water or for loose tea use one teaspoon of tea leaves for every cup. Never reuse a tea bag – the flavor will have been used in the first cup.
* Steeping: Exactly how long you should steep your tea depends on the type of tea; however, most teas begin tasting bitter after seven minutes of steeping. Steep green tea for about three minutes, oolong and black teas for about five minutes and herbal teas for about seven minutes. Remove the tea bag immediately after use to avoid burning the leaves – this will make the tea taste bitter. Remember that tea bags take less time to brew than loose tea leaves.
* Strength: Some people like strong tea. My motto for strong tea is, “Add more tea, not time.” Steeping the tea for more time will only reduce the flavor, not increase the strength.
* Additions: When adding both lemon and sugar, add the sugar first. If the lemon is added first the citric acid will prevent the sugar from dissolving. Cream should not be added to tea as it interferes with the taste but personal preferences vary.
Thanks for the tips Liz. Way before when Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was abundant where I lived, I frequented often for their Tropical Passion Tea Latte so when I saw that they had this tea at Ralphs, I had to pick it up. The tea bags are silky and in a pyramid shape. So elegant. I almost feel bad for throwing the tea bag away. I thought I could recreate that tea latte at home with the tea in my hand, but it was a failure. I heated up 1/2 a cup of vanilla soy milk, 1/2 a cup of water and added the tea pyramid. I let it steep for a few minutes and then removed the tea bag. I think it failed because I need to add some vanilla powder or vanilla syrup in it. My homemade tea lattes are still a work in progress. Hope it will turn out better next time.
Retails: $8.50 at Ralphs
My Cost: $8.50