How to brew a perfect pot of Tea
1. Store loose leaf tea in an air-tight sealed tin or ceramic canister at room temperature for up to two years.
2 Use freshly drawn cold water or bottled spring water. NEVER use distilled water as the lack of minerals makes the tea taste flat. Never reuse water that has been previously boiled. Put the kettle on the stove and heat.
3 Meanwhile, pre-warm the teapot with the hottest tap water, cover and let sit while the water is heating in the kettle. This prevents the boiled water from cooling too rapidly which greatly improves the tea’s flavor. When the water is almost boiling, empty the pre-warming water from the teapot and add the tea you would like to brew.
4 Measure 1 tsp. of loose leaf tea per 6 oz. cup of water in your pot. Place directly into the warmed pot or use a paper filter, removable infusing basket or a wire mesh tea ball. Only fill tea balls halfway so the tea leaves can expand fully and release their flavors totally.
5 Bring the kettle water to a full rolling boil (200-210) for black tea and just boiling (180-190) for oolongs. For green and white teas, due to their delicate nature, the water should be 160-180. You may boil the water and let it cool a few minutes before pouring it over the green or white tea. (Do not over boil the kettle water or the tea will taste flat due to a lack of oxygen.) Cover the pot with its lid and a tea cozy for extra warmth.
6 Swirl pot and set the timer. Do not judge by the color of the tea. Black teas and oolongs take approximately 5 minutes, herbals and fruit infusions take 5-7 minutes and green and white teas take only 1-2 minutes to brew. If you prefer a strong brew do not steep longer- simply add more tea leaves. If you prefer weaker tea, do not steep less time but instead add more water. (Steeping the tea longer makes it bitter and steeping it less will not extract the complex flavors.)
7 Strain into a second pre-warmed teapot if you did not use a filtering device or you may strain it directly into tea cups to serve if you plan to use it all at once. Otherwise you must remove the leaves when the timer goes off so it does not overstep and become bitter, harsh and undrinkable!
8 Cover with a tea cozy which will keep the tea hot for up to an hour.