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The Water’s Gotta Be Fresh

Would you take a bath in water that’s been sitting there all day?

Then don’t use water that’s been sitting idle in the kettle. It doesn’t have to be fresh from the Swiss Alps. Freshly poured from the tap will do.

According to a Second World War-Era short film made by the Empire Tea Bureau, always use fresh water when making tea. Stale water means stale tea.

1: Water Temperature

Like steeping times, water temperature varies based on the type of tea.

It ranges from 175 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit (80-100C) depending on the type of tea.

The UK Tea & Infusions Association (Yes, that’s a thing) says that using water that is too hot for your type of tea will cause a bitter taste.

Buy Better Tea Leaves

    Besides temperature and steeping time—and water quality—the other most critical element when it comes to a perfect cup of tea is, of course, the quality of the tea itself

    1. Ditch the Tea Bag

    2. Tea bags are undoubtedly more convenient than loose tea, but what you trade in convenience you probably are giving up in taste and quality. Tea Muse explains it like this:

    There is, of course, a huge taste difference. Teabags generally contain bits of tea leaves (typically fannings and dust), not whole leaves, and these leaf fragments brew up a nice cup of blah tea. As any tea expert will tell you, one of the essential requirements of brewing tea is giving the leaves enough room to expand so that their flavor is properly extracted. Because space is limited in a traditional teabag, the size of the tea leaf is smaller to compensate. Thus, the quality of the flavor is decreased. Thus, loose tea reigns supreme.

    On the other hand, for those times you are in a tea rush, tea bags from quality tea merchants that are pyramid-shaped instead of flat are a good compromise, since they allow the leaves to expand. You can also go with a coffee filter in a pinch in lieu of a tea bag.

    Let it steep

      Steeping time is very important when making a perfect cup of tea. Let the tea steep for 1-5 minutes, depending on the type. Steep green tea for 1-3 minutes, herbal teas for 3-5 minutes, black teas for 2-5 minutes and oolong teas for 1-5 minutes. If you don’t like your tea to be too strong, try removing the infuser after a minute or two and taste the tea. If it’s too weak, continue steeping for another minute or two.

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