For many, the start of a new year comes with the promise of self-improvement. Perhaps you are resolving to be more organized, change careers, eat healthier, or the ever-popular quest to reach that ideal weight.
Whatever your goals for the new year, try not to overwhelm yourself and stay positive! The best advice I can give is to take tiny steps out of your comfort zone and make room for new experiences – no matter how big or small.
How about we start with your tea drinking. Let’s kick your tea drinking experience up a notch or two. Below are five simple steps to help you brew a perfect cup of tea!
- Use loose-leaf tea. This is the single best way to instantly improve your cup of tea. Bitter tea can result from over-steeping, which is easy to do with a teabag full of finely ground tea leaves. Try our tea infusers and teapots with a built-in strainer.
- Understand the tea types. All teas — black, oolong, green, white — come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The differences are determined by where they originate and how they’re withered, oxidized, rolled, dried, and sorted. Once you understand the differences and identify your preferred teas, you can enjoy the wide variety of flavors. Plan a virtual tea tasting 101 session with The Tea Experience with a group of friends! Sessions include a kit with tea samples, infusers, cups, and a sweet treat!
Below is a brief description of each tea type:
- Black: Fully oxidized for dark, robust flavor.
- Green: Not oxidized for a fresh, vegetal flavor that can be sweet and floral or more savory.
- White: Some natural oxidation that results in a fresh, delicate flavor and a champagne-colored tea.
- Oolong: Semi-oxidized at levels that can vary, resulting in flavors that may include delicate floral and tropical from greener varieties to others more similar to black teas.
- Herbal: Technically not tea, but tisane. They can come from a wide variety of plants, such as hibiscus, mint, or chamomile.
- Water matters! A general rule of thumb is to use filtered tap water low in chorine and calcium salts. The best flavor is drawn out of the tea leaves brewed in oxygen-rich water. Water that has been sitting a while, or more likely boiled over and over again, will lack oxygen, leaving your cup of tea tasting flat.
- Brew thoughtfully. Your tea leaves need sufficient time and space to brew, so follow the guidance above by type or whatever instructions are included on the package.
- Black: Steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Green: For Chinese green, Steep 2 to 3 minutes. For Japanese green, Steep 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- White: Steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Oolong: Steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Herbal: Steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Try not to overload your tea. Don’t blindly sweeten or add cream to your perfect cup of brewed tea. Try to appreciate the actual taste of the tea before adjusting. Good tea doesn’t need milk (dairy or non-) and sugar (unless of course you a drinking chai). A drizzle of honey or agave may be all you need.
Need a nudge to get started? Try our SimpliciTEA starter kit which includes 4 (1oz) cans of tea: Black (Assam), White (Chinese Pai MuTan), Green (Chinese Green), and Oolong (Chinese Ti Kwan Yin); 1 Tea Infuser;1 TEAspoon; Honey Spoons; a sweet treat that compliments the teas; and steeping guidelines and tasting notes.
I’m here if you have questions! Good luck and enjoy your perfect cup of tea!