How Long Should Tea Leaves Steep?
White: Heat water until just before boiling. Steep 30 seconds to 2 minutes
Green: Heat water until just before boiling. Steep 1-3 minutes
Oolong: Heat water until just boiling Steep 3-5 minutes *traditionally, Oolong leaves are used 3 times
Black: Heat water until boiling. Steep 3-5 minutes
Tisane: Heat water until boiling. Steep 5 minutes
A Short Guide to Tea Cupping
Stage 1: Line up six, six-ounce cups, with the samples (or cards listing them) behind each cup.
Stage 2: Measure 2.5 grams (or 1 teaspoon) of tea into the bottom of each cup.
Stage 3: Bring water to a full boil or to the recommended temperature, then pour it over the leaves.
Stage 4: Set your timer and let the tea steep for the recommended time. Let the cup cool slightly. Lift the wet of "infused" leaves up from the bottom of the cup, and examine.
Repeat this for each tea you are tasting, dipping your spoon in a cup of clean water in-between sampling.
Stage 5: Bring a tablespoon of liquid to your mouth and slurp it with a loud noise.
Stage 6: Spit the tea into your spittoon or sink and record your impresssions.
SerendipiTea makes great Iced Tea!
Making Iced Tea is Easy Peasy. Simply prep a double strength batch of tea, i.e. a concentrate. Use 1/2 the amount of water normally used to make hot tea & steep for the recommended amount of time in boiled water. Discard leaves, cool to room temp, then keep chilled in the refrigerator (do not add ice). Pour over a generous glass of ice when ready to drink or serve.
To make cold brew iced tea infuse ½ ounce loose leaf tea in 1 quart of water. Refrigerate in a covered container for at least 5 hours or overnight. Strain leaves after desired amount of cold steep time has elapsed. Keep chilled in the refrigerator (do not add ice). Pour over a generous glass of ice when ready to drink or serve.
Iced Tea will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. If excess was prepared, pour into ice cube trays to make Iced Tea Cubes ~ great additions to water, seltzer, alcohol or tea
Making Chai is easy!
A very traditional Indian beverage, Masala Chai literally means Mixed Spice Tea. There is no universal Chai recipe. The beverage varies from region to region and even from family to family, each guarding their own recipe which is often passed down from generation to generation.
Masala = Mixed Spice & Chai = Tea
A traditional Indian beverage made with steamed milk & sweetened to taste.
For a quick & simply Masala Chai variation, pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp of Chai; let steep 5 mins, then add 1/2 cup of hot milk or condensed milk for greater sweetness. Strain leaves & spices before drinking.
Another suggestion is to prepare a mixture of half Chai (tea) & half milk & then steam like a cappuccino; at home a small hand-held frother is perfect for Chai!
For an authentic Masala Chai, simmer 1 tsp of Chai with 1/2 cup milk & honey on stovetop. Gradually add 1/2 cup water. Strain leaves & spices before drinking.
Pouring over ice makes delicious Iced Chai!
This versatile tea can also be prepared as a self-drinker. Plain hot Chai is made like any black tea (steep 5 minutes) or green tea (steep up to 3 minutes). May be enjoyed without adding milk.
Like the great Greta Garbo, Tea wants to be alone! A sensitive leaf, tea will pick up the odors of its neighbors in the cupboard. To maintain absolute freshness, store your tea leaves in a closed container in a cool, dry place away from direct light, moisture and heat. Never put tea leaves in the refrigerator or freezer as the condensation will alter the composition of the leaf thus encouraging its breakdown. Buy only amounts of tea leaf that you will consume within a six month period, again, ensuring freshness.