If you’ve spent any time drinking tea, you’ve heard about steeping. Ever wonder what it actually is and if you’re doing it right?
Steeping tea is basically the art of soaking tea leaves in water to bring out its truest flavors. But while most people simply put their tea into hot water, let it soak for a few minutes, and then drink their beverage, there’s a better way — if you want to steep your tea properly and enjoy the full and fantastic benefits from your tea, then read on for some great tips.
Pick the Right Tea
If you’re interested in steeping tea, start with a high-quality tea that offers pleasant and delicious flavors so you can savor every hint of its notes. Using the whole leaves in hot water is ideal because it’ll give the leaves the opportunity to soften and release its flavors while moving and blending with the water (but Art of Tea’s tea bag collections will work well too because of their fantastic grade).
Prepare Your Water Correctly
Typically, people bring their water to a boil and then put their tea inside of the cup or pot, but that’s not the correct way to steep tea. Using boiling water will make the tea taste bitter and diminish the nutrients and minerals in the beverage. Also, try to use purified water because tap water could have elements that mask the flavors from the tea.
Figuring Out Each Specific Tea
All tea cannot be steeped the same. Each tea is going to require different lengths of time to be left in the water and the ideal temperature of the water is going to vary from tea to tea. For example, you don’t want to steep a tea for two minutes if it’s only supposed to be in the water for one — this could drastically change the way it tastes and the amount of nutrients you get from the drink. The type of tea will also determine how much of it you need to put into the water.
Here’s a guide that recommends the correct water temperature and steep time for a variety of our favorite teas:
The main things to remember are to use the right water, get it to the right temperature, and don’t use too much or too little of your chosen tea. Then, don’t let the leaves sit in the water for too long or take them out too quickly.
Once you figured out how long your tea needs to be steeped and at what temperature, give it a shot. It might take you a few tries to get your tea to taste just the way you want it to, but once you get it right, you’ll be able to prepare your favorite tea perfectly every time.