Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. You will find it in about 80 percent of all households in the United States. The beverage is so versatile that you can take it hot or iced. It is suitable for all occasions.
On any day, more than 159 million people in the United States are drinking tea. In 2019, over 3.8 million gallons of tea were consumed in the United States. Other big consumers of tea in the world include Pakistan and Russia. If you wish to brew your own cup of tea, keep reading to find out how you can make it perfect.
1. The water temperature
Ensure that your water temperature is just right. Once your kettle of water is boiled, you need to give it some time to cool down. Even if you enjoy piping hot tea, a few minutes will not leave you with a cold cup. It will be just as hot and the results will be better.
One of the top secrets for making the perfect cup of tea is never pouring boiling water over your tea. Boiling water scalds the tea too fast. It does not have enough time to release all of its flavors. Tea is delicate, and it needs to be treated as such. Let your water rest for about three minutes before pouring it onto your loose tea or teabags.
White and green teas achieve their optimal taste at 158°F (70°C) and black tea will taste better at 185°F (85°C). Small-sized kettles may help when you need to brew tea when camping or going on road trips. If you do not want to let yours boil and then cool it down, consider using it right before it reaches the boiling point.
2. Loose tea vs. tea bags
Dried tea leaves are better than tea bags if you are really serious about your flavors. Most tea bags are made with low-grade tea leaves and may have tea dust to act as fillers. Since the bags are tightly packed, diffusion is restricted. You are likely to end up with bland-tasting tea.
Tea bags are, however, a good choice when you have limited time. High-quality options will give you a better taste. Ensure that your teabag does not have too many fillers.
3. Consider the type of water you use
Pay attention to the types of water you’ll be using for your tea. Even though tap water may be safe, it may have fluoride and other chemicals. They may change the taste of your tea.
If water softeners are used in your area, they could make your tea salty. If the water has a high mineral content, your water may taste sweet. Ultimately, the right type of water for your tea depends on your personal preferences.
4. Timing is everything
When brewing tea, timing is everything. Your timing depends on the type of tea you will be brewing. Steep tea bags and white teas for a maximum of three minutes and green tea for two minutes. Oolong and black tea have short steeping times. They only need one minute and 30 seconds. If you keep them in hot water for too long, they release a lot of tannins and cause an astringent flavor.
5. Pick the right cup
Picking the right cup for your tea is very important. Avoid using metal and plastic cups. Porcelain cups are your best option because they do not influence the flavor of your tea. With plastic cups, the tannins are likely to stick to the sides of the cup and change the flavor of your tea. Metallic cups will give your tea a metallic taste. The only downside of using porcelain cups is that they are porous and can make your tea cool down too quickly. In most cultures, tea is served in porcelain cups.
It is also important to pick a cup that suits your mood. Most people have a favorite teacup. The right one can improve the taste of your tea and make you feel better.
6. Add milk
Milk in tea is a matter of preference. If you choose to add it, be careful. Excessive calcium can lead to the formation of scum at the top of your tea. Stirring your milk tea may also get rid of calcium.
In conclusion, there are various types of tea and with some research, you can make a perfect cup regardless of your preferences. Even though there are a few fail-safe rules to observe, a great cup of tea is personal. Experiment and find out what works for you.