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HOW TO MAKE A CUP OF HOT TEA

Don't stress about the perfect cup. Just start by heating fresh, cold water and remember the 3 Ts:
  • Tea: Use 3 grams or 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf tea for every 8 oz of water
  • Temperature: Depends on the tea (see below)
  • Time: Depends on the tea (see below)
Black Teas and Blends: The leaves have been processed and oxidized, so you can't do much to hurt the leaves
212° for 3-5 minutes. Do not oversteep to avoid bitterness

Pu'erh and Dark Teas: More robust than Black Teas, you can steep these longer
212° for 3-5 minutes or to taste

Oolong Teas: A little more delicate than Black Teas, and you can re-steep the leaves numerous times
190° for 3-5 minutes

Green Teas and Flowering Teas: Slightly processed (either steamed or pan-fried), lightly oxidized. Much more delicate than Black Teas. Do not oversteep.
175° for 2-4 minutes

White Teas: The least processed of all teas and the most delicate
175° for 2-4 minutes

Herbals: Herbs; No tea leaves so timing is up to you
212° for 5-7 minutes for a good steep or to taste

Rooibos: South African bush; No tea leaves so timing is up to you
212° for 4-6 minutes for a good steep or to taste

Tisanes: Fruit pieces; No tea leaves so timing is up to you
212° for 5-7 minutes for a good steep or to taste


TEA EDUCATION

I was honored to be asked to write a few articles on tea for IBUKI Magazine, an English-language publication about Asian lifestyle, entertainment, food, and culture in the Pacific Northwest.
Here are links to the articles as well as the full publications:

Discovering Tea in IBUKI Jan/Feb 2013

Shedding Light on a Dark Tea -- Pu'erh in IBUKI Mar/Apr 2013

Black Beauty in IBUKI May/Jun 2013