Tea Steeping Guide
is no "right" way to make a cup of tea. The most important thing is
that it tastes good to you. If you like your tea with cream and sugar,
butter and salt, or on its own, then that's the "right" way for you to
are a few guidelines that people sort of agree on when it comes to
steeping the different types or categories of tea. If you've never tried
a particular tea, you might try steeping it according to the following
general guidelines. If it is too strong, use less tea, use a lower
temperature, and/or steep the leaves for less time. If it is too weak,
use more tea, raise the temperature, etc. Some teas, particularly
Oolongs and Pu-erhs, can be steeped several times with dramatic
differences in flavor between steepings. Each tea is unique, so
experimentation is the key until you get comfortable with the process.
A note on water:
over 99% of the steeped tea's liquor is water, it is essential to have a
good water supply. If your tap water tastes bad, is overly hard, or is
overly soft, bottled or filtered water will be your best option.
Distilled water is not good candidate for tea because of its lack of
dissolved minerals, etc that give the water a perceptible taste.
Distilled water is often described as flat or stale tasting, and as such
should not be used for tea. The same goes for overly hard water. It has
too many dissolved minerals (calcium and magnesium predominantly) which
will negatively affect the tea liquor. The best bet for consistently
good tea is to use bottled spring water, which is usually balanced in
terms of mineral content and taste. Faucet-mounted or pitcher-type water
filters are usually a good option, too.