There's something comforting about brewing tea and taking the time to savor it. Here are some tips to make the most of the experience — and end up with the best tasting tea.
BREWING THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA
Make sure your tea has been properly stored. The best way to store tea is in an airtight container, at a constant temperature, away from light, moisture, and other odors. Once exposed to air, tea leaves quickly lose flavor. Keep bulk teas in a large container, and use a smaller one for daily tea use, so you don’t have to keep opening the large container.
Use fresh, cool, oxygenated water. Never use tepid, long-standing, pre-heated or hot tap water.
Heat the water and pour it directly over the leaves. (Use about one teaspoon of tea per cup.) For green teas, heat it to the point where bubbles just begin to form. For oolong teas, heat the water until the bubbles start to release and it is beginning to boil. For black tea, allow the water to come to a gentle boil.
Steep the tea in an infuser -- about three to four minutes for green tea and four to five minutes for oolong and black tea. Don't overpack the infuser so the leaves have enough room to unfurl completely. Or simply steep the loose leaves and then pour the brewed tea through a strainer into a serving cup.
Perfect tea is brewed one cup at a time. Personal tastes, vary, of course -- you'll want to adjust the measurements and brewing times according to your own preferences.