your cup of tea

Regardless how expensive the tea you purchase, if you brew it wrong it will taste awful. This is a lesson many beginners learn the hard way. Most people who claim they "don't like the taste"are repelled by an incorrectly brewed tea. This can create an erroneous dislike that can last a lifetime. But this can easily be avoided by learning how to brew tea properly.

Steeping good tea doesn't have to be complicated, but it is also not as simple as throwing it into boiling water and leaving it to stew. There are easy ways, to steep the perfect cup. Can you image, there are nearly as many brewing methods as there are teas. At Tea Courage we have evaluated a method which will provide the most effective and functional way to infuse the ideal tea. The trick to steeping tea correctly comes in three parts: amount of the tea, water temperature and steeping time.

AMOUNT: Using too much tea will make your tea bitter and your water empty. Too little will bring a weak cup and a sense of longing. The volume that is considered the "golden ratio" is one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water. However, there are exceptions. Light teas, such as white peony and chamomile, will taste best with twice that amount.

TEMPERATURE: The ideal temperature in which to steep depends on the tea. Use boiling water (212 degrees) when preparing black, dark oolong and herbal teas. These teas are tough-they can take the heat. It is important to use cooler water (180 degrees) when steeping more delicate teas, such as green, light oolong and white teas. Remember not to over steep, or the tea will taste astringent.

TIME: It is said that "time heals all wounds." However, it also makes tea turn bitter. The rule of thumb is 5 minutes for most black teas-any longer, and they will taste as strong as coffee. Dark oolong, herbal and white teas, are much more forgiving.. These teas will taste best when steeped for 7 minutes but will still be drinkable if steeped a little longer. For light oolong and green teas, a little TLC must be employeed, steeping for only 3 minutes.