Brewing tea was never intimidating to me until I started learning about it. It wasn’t until then that I found out you could brew tea without a bag and that there were several types of tea. Suddenly, the world of tea wasn’t so simple and neither was achieving the perfect steeped tea.
Bag vs. Loose Leaf Tea
My entire life I was taught Lipton tea bags were the best tea you could buy. While Lipton is still my go to for Black Tea, I’ve since learned there are tons of tea brands out there. The best often only offer loose leaf tea. This is not to say Lipton isn’t good. It is actually quite decent. When attempting to brew the best tea possible, though, I found myself questioning if tea bags were ruining the taste of my tea.
As I started testing different teas, I incorporated loose leaf teas. I started off brewing these with DIY tea bags. I later switched to infusers. While there is an art steeping tea, I realized there was more to it than bag or no bag. For me at least, it boiled down (pun intended) to what type of tea I was brewing. Some teas taste better brewed loose, while with others it simply doesn’t make much of a difference.
There are two things that make all the difference to me.
Poor water quality can make or break your tea experience. If you live in an area where the water isn’t too tasty, your tea will suffer. I had to learn this the hard way.
Boiling water purifies it, right? So shouldn’t boiling water better the taste of it? That’s what I thought, but it doesn’t work that way. No matter how long or to what temperature you boil your water, it won’t improve its taste. I can’t say how many times I’ve experienced what should have been a nice cup of tea due to poor water quality. There’s only one fix to this.
Use different water.
If the water from your tap doesn’t taste too good to you, consider purchasing it. This way you can ensure clean tasting water and a good brew. You can also eliminate water from the reason you don’t like a particular tea. If you still don’t like it, it may be because of the temperature or your boiled water.
Tea Brewing Temperature
It took me years to figure out what my preferred brewing temperature. There are some simple guidelines to get you started, however, the best temperature for a perfectly steeped tea is up to you.
There’s no right or wrong temperature for tea. Yes, water that’s too hot can scorch the leaves of certain teas. Likewise, water that’s too cool won’t awaken the full flavor of the brew. However, what you like is up to you. Don’t feel pressured into what’s right and wrong when it comes to teas and steeping them. All that matter is you enjoy the brew.
What helps you to enjoy a nice cup of tea? Comment below.