Tea Brewing Tips

Author: Corina   Date Posted:20 March 2015 

How much tea should I use? Generally to make 1 standard cup (200ml) of tea use approximately 2 grams (1 teaspoon) of tea. This can vary with each individual cup size and the actual leaf size can have some influence on how much tea is used. Tea brewing is a very personal thing and there is no exact way it should be done. However here are a few tips to help you get the best flavours from your tea and maximum enjoyment.

Brewing tips

  • Warm your tea cup or pot, it does make a difference and only takes a minute.
  • Do not overboil the water as it will drain the water of oxygen.
  • Do not brew your tea for too long as this is often the cause of a bitter aftertaste.

White Tea

White tea has gained popularity in recent times as a result of its high antioxidant qualities but it has actually been around for more than a thousand years. White tea is the least processed of all teas as it's basically picked and dried.

Health - White tea is significantly lower in caffeine and recent research has indicated that white tea retains the highest level of disease preventative antioxidants known as polyphenols. Further studies have indicated that white tea contains more active cancer fighting antioxidants than green tea.

How to prepare;

  • White teas are best prepared like green tea. Their delicate nature will be destroyed by water that is too hot and cause an astringent bitter taste. Filtered water is preferred but not essential and water used should be below boiling point - about 75 - 80 degrees celcius.
  • Steep for about 2-3 minutes depending on individual tastes 
  • Leaves can be rebrewed 2-3 more times

Green Tea

The Chinese and Japanese have been enjoying the health benefits of green tea for thousands of years, not only is it bright and refreshing but it's also low in caffeine. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and high in vitamins C, E and fluoride.

Health - Research has shown that drinking green tea can boost the immune system, reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and also offer protection against tooth decay. Green tea is also referred to as non or un-fermented and is primarily produced in China, Japan and Taiwan.

How to prepare;

  • Filtered water is preferred but not essential, and water used should be below boiling point.With some fine green teas, the water can be as low as 80 degrees C. If you over brew your tea it will become bitter.
  • Generally Green tea should be infused for approximately 2-3 minutes. The finer leaf varieties infuse between 1-2 minutes and the larger leaf 2 -3 minutes.
  • All green leaf teas can be used more than once and some very high grades can withstand a number of infusions.

Traditional and blended Black Teas

  • Steep large leaf black teas for approx 3-5 min whilst finer cuts brew between 2-4 min
  • Milk can be added to all black teas, but we do recommend that you try our black teas without milk as the milk can mask the delicate flavour of some teas.
  • Sugar and honey is up to the individual person and perfectly ok to add to your tea.

Chai Blends

Chai is a well known Indian blend of black tea and spices. Chai means tea and comes with a variety of spices. In India this traditional blend was made on condensed milk which made it a very sweet brew. Today it is generally brewed with milk or soy and honey. It is very similar to a latte but with tea and spices. Chai blends is perfect for a winter warmer.

How to prepare;

  • Mug size - fill your saucepan with a mug of either milk or soy.

Alternatively you can have half milk/soy and half water.

  • Use 1 heaped teaspoon per mug of your favourite blend of Chai.
  • Combine the liquid and tea and add to saucepan and stir well.
  • Heat liquid until small bubbles appear and remove, do not boil liquid.
  • Add sugar or honey to mixture making sure it dissolves well through the mixture. Sugar and honey helps to draw the tea from the leaves.
  • Turn off heat and let stand for 2 minutes.

For stronger tea let stand 1-2 minutes longer.

  • Slowly strain leaves from liquid into your mug.
  • Drink hot and enjoy a warm spicy winter treat.

Oolong

Oolong is a semi-fermented tea, combining the best qualities of green and black teas. Some can lean more towards a black tea in flavour and yet others have the appearance and characteristics of a green tea.

Health - Benefits of oolong tea include the reduction of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, inflammatory disorders and high cholesterol, while also providing vital antioxidants, promoting superior bone structure, robust skin and good dental health.

How to prepare;

  • 1 teaspoon per cup but best to use the largest infuser you have or let the leaves swirl loosely in your teapot as the leaves need room to expand.
  • Water temperature is best at about 90 degrees celcius.
  • Steep for 3 minutes
  • Same leaves can be re-used 2-5 more times but increase the steeping time by 1 minute each time.

Rooibos

Rooibos is a fine red needle-like leaf from a South African shrub commonly known as “Red Bush” It is produced in much the same way as standard tea. Rooibos is totally fermented with a clean aromatic flavour similar to light black teas.

Health – Rooibos contains no caffeine, artificial colours or preservatives and is low in tannin, making it a healthy & delicious drink for adults and children. Rooibos can be drunk all day and is terrific iced. Rooibos is high in antioxidants - Iron, potassium, fluoride and calcium.

How to prepare;

  • Use one teaspoon per cup
  • Like herbal and fruit infusions (see below) - rooibos can be brewed as long as you like without ever going bitter in taste as it contains very little tannin. However, the average steeping time is between 4-8 minutes and using boiled water.

Iced Tea – Tea or Fruit Infusion

Any tea can be made iced, but fruit infusions are exceptional as they make a great natural and refreshing drink ideal in the warmer months and a great thirst quencher.

How to prepare;

  • Generally you will need approx 1 tablespoon of Fruit or Tea per litre of water. This will depend on the leaf size.
  • Use cold water on tea leaves as hot water will increase bitterness.
  • Leave in fridge for at least 4-8 hrs, but for best results leave overnight.
  • Serve over Ice, add lemon or citrusslices, fruit or mint leaves.
  • Add a little honey or sugar syrup as this brings out the fruity flavour.
  • Sugar Syrup – combine equal parts sugar and boiling water.

Herbal Infusions

Herbs can react differently to each individual and it is always best to check with your health practitioner if you are unsure or have any concerns.  Traditionally herbal blends are served hot but many actually make a lovely iced tea as well.

How to Prepare;

  • The rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of dried herbs for each cup. 
  • Add the dried herb to a teapot, plunger or tea ball and add boiling water.
  • Let the herbs steep for at least 5 minutes to ensure all the active goodness is released.
  • Add honey or lemon as desired. 

Disclaimer:  Our herbal blends should not be substituted for any advice or treatment that you would get from your health practitioner. Nor is it intended to directly or indirectly prescribe the use of various remedies without the consent of your health practitioner. If you are under medical care for any condition, see the advice of your health practitioner before drinking these herbal infusions and do not make any adjustment to prescribed medication or treatment regime without their prior approval.