BREWING TEAS + TISANES
SUGGESTED BREWING INSTRUCTIONS
The following are guidelines to help you create a great tea experience for your favourite type of tea or herbal infusion. Feel free to experiment, have fun and use your taste as the best guide.
Brewing Black Tea
We recommend using higher temperature water, boiling or just before boiling (90-100 C), with a proportion of 1 teaspoon of leaf per cup of boiling water. Steeping time can vary depending on whether you wish to drink with milk or without. To drink without milk, 3 to 4 minutes is plenty of time to bring out a well-balanced sweetness and astringency.
Brewing Green Tea
We recommend using slightly cooler water to brew green tea. If the water is too hot, the leaf will “stew”, creating a bitter cup. Moderately hot water, 80 C, with one teaspoon of leaf per cup and a steeping of 2 to 3 minutes provides 2 to 3 satisfying infusions.
Another common method would be to enjoy the tea “Chinese style”. Merely place a few leaves at the bottom of a cup or glass, add hot water, and cover. After a couple minutes or so the leaf will unfurl and sink to the bottom of the vessel allowing you to drink from the top. When the water is down to just over the leaves, simply add more water. This style provides many infusions for a small amount of leaf.
Brewing Herbal Infusions/Tisanes
We recommend using 1-2 teaspoons of leaf per cup of boiling water and steeping 2 to 3 minutes or to taste. This provides a sweeter, better tasting brew while repeated infusions allow you to extract all the nutritional and medicinal benefits from the herb.
Herbal teas can be brewed in porcelain, ceramic, glass, or stainless steel but never in aluminum or other harmful materials. Be sure to cover the cup or teapot while steeping to prevent the loss of fragrant essential oils and other therapeutic and nutritional elements.
Our Chai can be prepared in two ways – steeping or the traditional boiling method.
For steeping, simply infuse one teaspoon of leaf/spices per cup of boiling water and steep 4 to 6 minutes (the longer infusion time is needed if you wish to add milk). Add milk and sweetener and enjoy.
There are many recipes and styles for making traditional boiled chai. The method we like to use (with added instructions for sugar/dairy alternatives) follows:
Use one teaspoon Chai per cup water. Bring to full boil for three minutes. Add whole milk/soy milk (in ratio of 1/4th milk to 3/4 water), and let boil another two minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.
For raw sugar, add it after the milk returns to a boil, stir, and allow it to dissolve before serving. Honey (especially raw honey) should be added after the chai is completely finished or served with the chai and added to each cup to taste.
For soy or rice milk, do not allow it to return to boil. Remove from heat just as the leaf and spices began to re-circulate to the top of the pan. Most soy and rice milks will separate when boiled.
WANT TO TAKE IT A BIT FURTHER?…
Tea is only as good as the water you use. Chemicals like chlorine will affect the taste of your tea. Using cold spring, well or filtered water is optimal for making tea.
Ideal water temperatures for brewing tea can be achieved three ways: use a kettle or heating mechanism that will achieve the temperature required for the type of tea you are brewing; boil water to its fullest and then add a small amount of cold water to moderate the temperature you need; or simply boil water and let it stand until the proper temperature. A more sensitive tea leaf like white and Japanese green are better brewed at 71-77°C (160-170°F) below boiling to retain flavour and antioxidant properties. Standard green tea is similar at 77-82°C (170-180°F). Oolong, pu-erh and black tea should be brewed with hot boiled water.
There are several devices used for brewing loose leaf tea. The traditional single pot allows you to brew in several ways. A strainer is usually built into the base of the spout allowing the leaves to remain in the pot. A more ceremonial two pot method has the tea being brewed in one pot then transferred to another for serving. This adds to the flexibility and control of the brewing process. A tea glass cylinder uses a screen filter to separate the tea leaves and is effective for viewing and re-steeping the tea.
The traditional egg shaped tea ball infuser is convenient for disposing of the leaf but is not as effective for steeping larger whole leaf tea. Bamboo strainers, stainless steel baskets, cloth or paper tea filters are recommended for a full flavour experience.
If you use a standard measure of 2 grams or one teaspoon per 8 ounce cup of water, here are some suggestions for steeping time; oolong and white tea require 90 seconds to 2 minutes and can be steeped several times, green tea 2-3 minutes several times, pu-erh tea 2-5 minutes and lends well to many infusions, black tea is steeped 3-5 minutes and usually only once.
Be adventurous, experiment with the process, see what works best for you and above all… enjoy the tea.