Fun 304: Drinking Tea

Back To Main
Drinking Coffee

Tea should taste excellent

Tea might taste gross for several possible reasons

  • The water to steep it was lukewarm instead of hot
  • The tea was low quality
  • The tea steeped for too long

Drinking tea is good for you

Many studies confirm tea’s benefits

  • Prevents various cancers and removes toxins from the bloodstream
  • Prevents clogged arteries as a blood thinner
  • Helps entire circulatory system from increasing blood flow
  • Reduces the risk of stroke
  • Reduces the risk of neurological problems like stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Flouride in tea prevents tooth decay
  • Protects lungs from cigarette smoke damage
  • Expands the airways, helping asthmatics
  • Strengthens the immune system, prevents infections and an anti-inflammatory
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Keeps blood sugar levels in line
  • Stimulates relaxation

Tea is much lighter than coffee

  • Black tea’s caffeine content is about 1/4 coffee’s
  • Tea’s teeth-staining effects are nowhere near as severe as coffee’s

Get everything for great tea

Types of teas

Tea has over 1,500 worldwide varieties

All tea except herbal tea comes from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis

  • Black – taken from the tea plant after the leaves have turned black
  • Pu-erh – fermented black leaves
  • Oolong – taken from the plant halfway between black and green tea
  • Green – taken from the plant while the leaves are green
  • White – made from tea plant buds
  • Herbal – everything else including chamomile, cinnamon, mint, and lavender

Find good tea

  • Grocery stores usually have unsatisfactory tea
  • Don’t buy teabags
    • Bags impede the steeping process
    • Tea bags are often nothing but tea plant remnants
  • In tea shops look for the following
    • Tea stored in airtight, opaque containers under subdued lighting
      • Don’t get tea stored in fancy non-airtight containers directly under lights
    • Knowledgeable staff about teas
    • Tasteful and relaxed atmosphere, not abundantly overloaded
    • Several dozen tea varieties
    • A wide variety of practical, not fanciful, tea accessories
    • Their tea display must be larger than their pastry display
  • Online shopping for tea has the best price and variety
    • Sample first before stocking up, since you can’t taste them until buying them

Find water with plenty of oxygen in it

  • Use tap water or filter tap water immediately before using
  • Bottled water has a plastic flavor and little oxygen
  • Distilled, boiling or boiled water doesn’t have minerals that capture oxygen particles

Your heating element

  • Electric water kettles are quicker than a stovetop or microwave for heating water
  • With the microwave, set a toothpick into very pure water or it will overheat instead of boil

Get a good teapot

  • A teapot is both the chamber for brewing and prevents the tea from cooling down
    • Cast-iron teapots can absorb and retain plenty of heat but are often expensive
    • Ceramic and porcelain transfer heat very slowly and are usually cheaper than iron
    • You can use other objects as teapots like glass measuring cups
  • A dedicated teapot comes with an infuser
    • An infuser is a small basket-shaped filter with an edge that sits inside the teapot
    • Don’t let the infuser hold the tea during steeping, but keep it as a strainer
    • Like tea bags, infusers impede the steeping process
      • Tea needs room to spread out for the water to circulate through the leaves

Get a teacup

  • Ceramic cups keep the tea hot the longest
  • Small cups are quaint but aren’t usually large enough for most people

How to brew good tea

A. Start heating water

  • Put in a little more water than you want for tea since the tea leaves will soak up some water

B. Preheat the teapot and wait for the water to boil

  • Fill the teapot and teacup with hot tap water to avoid losing heat later

C. Do the following right before it comes to a boil

  1. Pour the water out of the teapot and blot with a paper towel if you prefer
  2. Add tea to the teapot
    • About one teaspoon for every eight ounces of water
      • The measurement is called a teaspoon for this reason
      • For white tea, add 1.5 teaspoons for every eight ounces of water
    • Use a real measuring spoon, don’t guess
    • Add extra for stronger tea and experiment to find your preference
  3. Add the water to the teapot
    • Green – when bubbles first appear from boiling
    • White – shortly before it comes to a boil
    • Black, Oolong & Herbal – right after it starts boiling

D. Steep for the appropriate amount of time

  • The longer your tea steeps, the bitterer and stronger it becomes
    • Green – 1-2 minutes
    • Oolong – 1-9 minutes
    • Black – 3-5 minutes
    • White – 4-15 minutes
  • Herbal – 5+ minutes, but it doesn’t grow bitterer or stronger with more steeping

E. Prepare the teacup

  • Discard the water by pouring it through the infuser over the sink

F. Pour the tea and drink

  • Pour your tea into a cup through the infuser or a mesh filter
  • Add extra flavor with a cinnamon stick as a stirrer

G. Cleanup

  • You can compost or send tea leaves through the garbage disposal
Back to Main