...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The So-Good Cup of Tea

 As a counter-balance to yesterday's post about the not-so-good cup of tea, today we'll see the most basic elements in creating a very good cup of tea. The thing about brewing tea is that you have to account for its diversity. Both brewing times and brewing temperatures vary depending on the type of tea you're making. Here's a very brief tutorial on it.

First of all, brewing times vary from 1 minute to 5 depending on tea types and strength preferences. I received this wonderful little timer from one of my spiritual direction clients as a Christmas gift. It's color-coded to display recommended brewing times for various tea types: 1 minute for green, 2 for white, 3 for blacks and 5 for herbals. That said, my personal preference is 3 for both greens and whites and 5 for blacks and herbals, but I like a strong tea. I do find, however, that greens brewed at 5 minutes take on a grassy bitterness, so that "extra" 2 minutes really does make a difference!

Besides brewing times, brewing temps can add to the subtlety of the tea's flavor as well. Here is a chart that was included with my electric tea pot. A stove-top kettle wouldn't give you this much temperature control automatically, you'd have to monitor the water with a thermometer for that; but with an electric kettle you can simply set the temp you want and wait for the beep.

So there you are. All ready to brew the perfect cup of tea!

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