Tea Preparation

Tea brewing is an art that is simple to perform but which also requires some care to do well. While essentially tea is brewed by adding boiling water to the dry leaf, the quantity of leaves, the temperature of the water and timing is of vital concern. The following is a guide for brewing tea leaves. Please feel free to experiment to find the method that best suits your taste and the particular leaves that you are preparing. Each package of our tea contains detailed instructions as well as brewing times for the various teas.

1) Warm your empty tea pot by filling it with hot water. This will prevent the hot water from cooling too quickly when it is added to the leaves.

2) Boil freshly drawn tap water. If the quality of your tap water is poor, try using filtered or bottled spring water. For black tea, use the water when it comes to a boil. Water left boiling too long will de-aerate. This will result in a flat tasting tea. For green tea, the water should be heated to a lower temperature (usually approximately 80 degrees Celsius), which may vary from tea to tea.

3) Empty the hot water from your tea pot and add 2.25g or one rounded teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup (5.5 oz) of water (or one heaping teaspoon per mug). We suggest placing the tea directly into the bottom of the pot or using a basket infuser. Tea ball strainers, while convenient, often yield poorer tasting tea as they are often too small to allow all of the leaves to fully unravel. If you do use a tea ball, be sure to use one that is sufficiently large.

4) Add the freshly boiled water over the leaves in the tea pot.

5) Brew your tea for the appropriate amount of time. The amount of time needed to brew your tea varies depending on the leaves being used and the drinker's individual taste. Careful timing is essential for brewing tea that meets your desires. A very general rule to follow is the smaller the leaf, the less time required for brewing. Broken grades of tea leaves and most Darjeeling teas usually only need 3-4 minutes to brew. Whole-leaf teas often need 4-5 minutes. All teas, however, will become bitter if brewed for longer than 5 or 6 minutes. When brewing tea, time with a timer, and not with your eyes. It is a common mistake to brew the tea until it looks a particular color or shade. The color of tea is a poor indicator of the tea's taste.

6) Serve the tea. If you use a basket infuser or a tea ball, remove these promptly when the brewing time has expired. If you placed the tea directly into the pot, pour the tea into the cups through a strainer to catch the leaves. In this instance, if you do not wish to serve your tea immediately, pour your tea through a strainer into another pre-heated tea pot.

7) ENJOY YOUR TEA!!! Add whatever you desire to your tea. You may find that some teas taste particularly nice with sugar and/or milk or lemon, while others taste best pure.