The secret to making great tea is actually not much of a secret at all; you need the water to be the right temperature and only steep the tea for the proper amount of time. This seems incredibly obvious, but every day, thousands of people do this incorrectly. The most common mistake comes from those who just heat up the water to boiling in a teapot then pour it over their leaves. They don’t time how long the tea steeps either. This produces tea that is over-extracted, bitter, or slightly burned. The bitterness or acrid flavours can ruin an otherwise great tea.
There are several different kinds of tea and each one has a specific steeping time and temperature that is proper. If you’re trying to make great tea, you need to know the proper time and temperature so that you extract the perfect tea. If you’re serving others this tea, you can impress them with tea in a way they’ve never had it before. So many people, even those who drink tea every day, do not ever get tea the way it’s supposed to be. They just pour boiling water over their leaves and hope for the best. Even those who think they drink great tea every day will be impressed by the tea you serve.
Oolong is a tea that falls somewhere between green and black tea in terms of flavour as well as preparation. While it may be considered a middle-of-the-road tea, it is sometimes very difficult to prepare properly. Water should be heated to about 88 degrees, which is slightly below boiling. If you are trying to do this with a standard teapot, you’ll probably miss the mark. You should buy a tea kettle that is programmed for different temperatures. That way, you can punch in which kind of tea you intend to make and it will heat the water appropriately.
For oolong tea, the tea should be steeped for about five to eight minutes.
Black tea is the most robust of the various tea varieties and can withstand the harshest treatment. To extract full flavour from your black tea, you can use boiling water; water should be set to about 100 degrees. You only need to steep black tea for about four to six minutes. It can withstand harsh temperatures, but it does get better fairly quickly, so you don’t need to steep it for as long.
You need to be gentle with green tea. It has one of the more delicate flavours and is one of the more delicate varieties. You should heat the water to about 65 to 70 degrees. Also, you should only steep it for about two to four minutes.
There are other kinds of tea that deserve special treatment as well if you want to extract the right amount of flavour. Essentially, every tea needs to be treated differently. If you’re trying to make a great cup of tea, your best option is to buy an electric device that will heat the water to the proper temperature and steep the tea for the proper amount of time.