USER GUIDE 1.0
Our recommendations for how to make tea is a mixture of how we were raised and some things we just picked up over the years. We are not saying this is the RIGHT WAY, that could lead to fisticuffs. The right way is how you enjoy your tea, and how you like to prepare it- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
This methodology is how our blends and varietals were cupped throughout the design process. The photos of the cups and bowls on the product pages reflect how tea looks when made this way so it can be used as a reference point. If your tea looks darker in your cup and feels too strong, add a splash of hot water.
THE FOUR POINTS TO MAKING GOOD TEA
1. TEA TO WATER RATIO
Using the right amount of tea is the first step. Volume measurement (using a spoon or scoop) can get you pretty darn close to the optimal amount. The challenge is that no two teaspoons are the same. As an example, a teaspoon of our Best Coast Breakfast can weigh anywhere between 2.7-3.3 grams. While this isn’t a precise method it is accurate enough for a good cup and sometimes it just feels good to play it casual with your loose.
Our tea chart includes teaspoon and tablespoon measurements for each of our products and most standard teapot volumes- scroll down to see.
Hands down the best way to measure loose tea is to weigh it, and with digital scales being so inexpensive these day and our clever tea matchbox design, why wouldn’t you. Simply identify the tea weight for the volume of water your pot holds (scroll down to reference )- and using the included tray weigh out the loose tea for a precise and consistent experience. The procedure only takes seconds once you get used to it.
Use the clip to seal the bag when finished and then pack it up and stow away till next time.
This scale was purchased at our local grocery store for $17.00 and will add value in your kitchen beyond your tea service.
2. WATER TEMPERATURE
Incorrect water temperature is the leading killer of good tea. Some teas like it hot, and others do not. A simple and inexpensive kitchen thermometer will guide you well. Heat your filtered and freshly drawn water using an electric kettle, or an old-fashioned stove-top version, or heat in a saucepan or a cast iron pot hanging over an open fire. Just don’t use a microwave.
You can purchase electric kettles that have temperature settings and many will also hold at a desired temperature. These are sweet but not crucial. Since most black and herbal teas steep at high temperatures you can pour right off boil. For temperature sensitive teas we pour the water into the pot and then use the thermometer to stir the water, releasing heat, until the desired temp is reached. Since most of the time you want to bring tea to water for these sensitive types this works out well- read below for more details. For oolong teas we pour water into an insulated carafe and do the same, so our water is ready for the next bath.
For under 20 dollars you can install a thermometer in just about anything. All you need is a thermometer, a drill bit and a gasket available at any decent hardware store.
3. Bring "TEA TO WATER" or "WATER TO TEA"
These two expressions are guides on how best to start steeping. For some teas you want to place the leaf in the pot and pour the water directly over the leaves- bringing the "water to tea". This is a slightly more aggressive way to start the steeping process. For other teas you will want to place the water in the pot and then slowly add the leaves, for a more gentle extraction. It is a small procedural difference that makes a big difference in your cup.
Now if you don’t have a tea pot, try a glass Pyrex measuring cup. They are readily available, inexpensive, have volume markings, durable and are multi-use. Their thick glass retains heat well and while the shape isn’t the best for tea it is better than a saucepan and most other cooking items. Cover with a saucer or small plate when brewing black and herbal teas. While drinking the delicious tea you make, search the web for a teapot that suits your tea of choice and your style.
4. STEEPING TIME
Last but not least is steeping time. This is easy- once the tea is in the water just set a timer or ask Siri to, that's what we do.
Easy eh? So- how much tea should you use? How long should you steep it? What temperature? Just measure how much your tea pot holds and follow the chart below.
+ Add additional 1/4 to 1/3 of tsp or Tble accordingly
NR Not recommended
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
There is a plethora of material on the web about how to make tea. Just say “Siri, How do I make tea?”, she will pull it up for ya. There are also great classes and certifications available if your thinking of going pro. Check out the world tea expo for starters, or if your looking for a more personal approach check out www.beingtea.com Suzette is about as knowledgeable as they come and one of the sweetest folk you’ll ever meet.