Category Archives: Tea

Perfect Water Temperatures for Brewing Tea

One of the most important components of brewing tea is water.  It is important to use a good source of water, preferably filtered. Equally important is the temperature of the water.  Different types of teas require different temperatures to get the best cup of tea.  Here is a guide to the perfect water temperatures for brewing tea.

  • Black Tea - You want to bring the water to a full rolling boil for black tea.  You want to steep black tea for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Green Tea - This is the most delicate tea to brew.  You will get the best cup of tea if you bring the water to 160 degrees and steep for 2 to 4 minutes.
  • White Tea - A prized tea, it is a bit more robust than green tea.  You will get a great cup of tea if you bring the water to 180 degrees and steep for 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Oolong Tea - Bring the water to a 190 degrees and steep this tea for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Rooibos Tea - This tea is very similar to black tea in that you want to bring the water to a full rolling boil and steep for 3 to 5 minutes.

Keep this guide handy by bookmarking this page.  That way it will always be available when you are brewing tea.  It is also a good idea to invest in a good tea thermometer to help out.

Health Benefits of Tea

It seems that every week there is a new report coming out that talks about the health benefits to drinking tea.  Researchers claim that tea is good for everything from cancer to heart disease to diabetes.  All of the information can lead you to wonder just what is fact and what is hype.  Here are some of the things we have discovered.

  • Cancer - A new study out shows that tea may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.  It is believed that the polyphenols found in tea reduce the size of cancer tumors.  More studies and analysis must be done though, caution researchers.
  • Diabetes - Researchers looked at 18 studies of over 500,000 people to see if their coffee or tea consumption had any effect on whether or not they developed Type 2 diabetes.  They found that if a person consumed 3 to 4 cups of coffee it reduced their risk by 25%.  The figure was similar for decaf coffee and tea consumption.

While I do not believe that drinking tea is a magic bullet that can cure everything, I do believe it can be part of a well balanced approach to taking care of your body.  Plus it is just so good to drink.  What do you think? Do you have a medical condition that you feel has gotten better because you drink tea?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

American Tea Room Your Ultimate Tea Resource

Le Palais Gourmet is Now American Tea Room

American Tea Room Your Ultimate Tea ResourceLe Palais Gourmet has been a fixture in Beverly Hills for years.  Recently they have undergone a renovation of sorts, changing their name to better reflect their company.  They are now known as American Tea Room.  There were several reasons for the switch, including an easier name for their customers to remember.  It does not signal a change in their really great tea selection though.

Recently I received some tea samples and they are definitely my new favorite source of loose leaf tea.  The three varieties in our tea cabinet are Immortal Green, Tangier, and St. Tropez.

Immortal Green is a green tea blended with peach.  I have always loved the pairing of tea with peach and this is a really delightful one.  The green tea is a very high quality, the leave unfurl nicely in the water, and the tea is wonderful to drink.

Tangier is a very special black tea blend.  It is Ceylon black tea leaves with saffron and and apricot petals.  Very exquisite.  I could drink this tea all day long, either as a hot tea or an iced tea.

I am a big fan of Rooibos tea.  It is naturally caffeine free, so it is perfect to share with my daughter or the times when I do not want to be kept up late.  St. Tropez is a green Rooibos with red currants, blue mallow blossoms, and a hint of wild berries.  It is a nice fruity tea.  I've tried it hot, but think it would also make a really great iced tea.  I highly recommend this one.

American Tea Room is a great choice for loose leaf tea, tea pots, and other tea accessories.  They even have a selection of teas in pyramid shaped tea bags, perfect when you are on the go.  As they change over from Le Palais Gourmet, they are also having a sale on their teas.  Check them out today and buy some for your tea cabinet.

Top 5 Tea Essentials

If you are just starting out or are a long time tea drinker, it is always a great idea to have all of the right tools for brewing the perfect pot of tea.  Here is our list of the Top 5 Tea Essentials that you should have in your kitchen.

  1. Tea KettleTea Kettle.  You need hot water when making and having an appliance that is devoted to this task makes it very easy.  We currently use this Chef's Choice Tea Kettle.  I like that it is stainless steel, shuts off automatically, and will not operate if there is no water in it.  It holds 1 3/4 quarts of water, which is perfect for making a pot of tea.  It boils water in minutes and is much faster than trying to do so on the stove top and safer than using the microwave.   Someday I would love to have the Breville Variable Temperature Kettle, as it brings water to 5 different temperatures no thermometer required. This is a great feature for tea making as different types of teas need different temperatures of water for the perfect steep.  For now the Chef's Choice is a great tea kettle though.
  2. Teapot.  When brewing loose leaf tea, it is necessary to have place for the tea to brew.  Tea leaves that have a chance to open, infuse the water with more flavor than your standard teabag tea.  There are many different ones to choose from, made from a variety of materials.  The standard teapot is ceramic, but there are also glass, stainless steel, and cast iron ones.
  3. Infuser/Strainer.  Many people that brew loose leaf tea prefer to steep their tea inside of an infuser basket. These generally sit within the lip of the teapot and then can be pulled out when the tea is done steeping.  We prefer brewing the tea loose inside of the pot and then pouring the tea through a stainer into a tea cup.  We are currently using the Rösle Tea Strainer and absolutely love it.  It is a very fine mesh, so even the smallest of tea leaves do not get through.
  4. Tea cups.  It is always nice to have an assortment of teacup to choose from.  Sometimes you want a large cup of tea and other times it is nice to have some smaller cups to share a pot of tea with friends.  It is all up to you to have all matching cups or an oddball assortment of cups to choose from. Our tea cabinet has a collection of tea cups and mugs that we have gathered over the years.
  5. Tea.  This is definitely the most important component of all to making a great cup of tea.  All teas are definitely not created equal.  Personal preference is also a very important part of deciding just what kind of tea you are going to keep in your tea cabinet.  Some of our favorite teas come from Teavana and the American Tea Room.  We will be giving reviews of them in future posts.

We hope that gives you a little peak into what we keep in our tea cabinet.  These are definitely the tea essentials that you need in order to brew a great cup of tea.

Welcome to the Tea Cabinet

Growing up, I was never really a tea drinker.  My parents were more into coffee, so it wasn't really something we had around the house.  About 10 years ago, my husband's aunt gifted us a teapot and some loose leaf tea for Christmas.  It all got placed on a shelf somewhere and we forgot about it.  Fast forward about 4 years ago, we were again given some loose leaf tea.  The teapot was remembered and we used it to brew the tea.  It was wonderful.

I had tried many different types of tea, in their teabag form before that, but this was something else entirely different.  The flavors were so much stronger.  Plus I loved the ritual of setting the tea leaves to steep, pouring through a tea stainer and into a teacup.  Whether it is a enjoyed alone or with a group of family and friends, there is something very comforting and appealing about tea.

My husband and I have a whole cabinet in our kitchen devoted to our love of tea.  Now we would like to share that love with you.  Welcome to the Tea Cabinet.  Brew up a fresh pot and enjoy this journey with us.  We can't wait to get to know you better and explore the world of tea.