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.
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.
- Tea 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.