Even the most novice tea drinker can probably brew a decent cup. But why settle for decent? If a truly great cup of tea is what you’re after, follow these dos and don’ts.
Do you have a favorite tea? Make your recommendation in the comments!
DO choose a loose for optimal flavor. Generally speaking, loose-leaf tea is better quality than tea in bags. That’s partially because the tea leaves are larger and have more room to expand. For this reason, loose leaf can have more flavor than the small, packed-in leaves in most tea bags. Loose tea is also generally produced in smaller quantities by companies with an interest in creating unique teas with robust flavor.
DON’T assume a tea bag is always poor quality. These days, there are plenty of companies that make loose tea-quality in a larger-than-average bag.
DO fill the kettle up with cold water. Not hot — not even warm water.
DON’T bring the water to a rolling boil. Too-hot water can ruin the delicate flavor of the tea.
DO however, traditionally prepared oolong tea needs scalding hot water.
DON’T place the tea bag in a cup of hot water. For best results, pour the hot water over the tea bag.
DO follow the brewing instructions on the package if you’re not sure. Remember that when in doubt, a little cooler is safer than a little too hot.
DON’T worry about whether the milk goes in before or after. Really, there’s no difference! Once upon a time, people liked to pour milk in the cup before adding tea to protect their fine china from the extreme temperature change.
DO let the tea brew for at least 6 minutes for the best taste and for at least 10 if you want a caffeine kick.